(Theorem). Into the home of a classic bourgeois familyfather, mother, son, daughter, and maidwalks a stranger (Terence Stamp). This handsome, unassuming young man was described by Pasolini as a generically ultra-terrestrial and metaphysical apparition: he could be the Devil, or a mixture of God and the Devil. The important thing is that he is something authentic and unstoppable. One by one, each family member seeksand findsin the visitor a catalyst for the fulfillment of desires denied within the confines of the family structure. Liberated by a moment of authenticity, each is left, on the visitors departure, with a personal kind of madness, stripped naked in a symbolic desert. Pasolinis first film shot in a bourgeois milieu is predicated on the theorem that anything done by the bourgeoisie, however sincere, profound and noble it is, is on the wrong track. But, Pasolini continued, this condemnation . . . has to be suspended before a final assessment is made, since . . . the bourgeoisie is undergoing a revolutionary change. . . . That is why the film remains suspended; it ends with a cry.
Written by Pasolini. Photographed by Giuseppe Ruzzolini. With Terence Stamp, Silvana Mangano, Massimo Girotti, Anne Wiazemsky. (105 mins, In Italian with English subtitles, Color, 35mm, From Luce Cinecittà, permission Mondo TV)
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