Vancouver Unconventional Books Message Board › Sex & the City [of Brooklyn) or

Sex & the City [of Brooklyn) or

A former member
Post #: 31
One of the many good things about Teorema is that it is probably the most accessible of Pasolini's mid-period films. Unlike his other works, there isn't a lot of graphic violence or sex; it is actually quite restrained. It isn't the graphic content so much as the tone and the style of the film that gets to you. The narrative is quite tightly constructed and overdeliberate, so the course of events unfolding seems eerily inevitable.

The contrast between the different film stocks (black-and-white, sepia-toned, and "normal" saturated colour) and the different music (the faintly creepy and ominous Ennio Morricone jazz score, Mozart's Requiem), the cutting back and forth between each character's daily business, and the fact that there is very little dialogue (the visitor appears to communicate with the family almost telepathically), is also unusual and unsettling.

Indeed, it is quite shocking how this ordinary repressed bourgeois family automatically self-destructs in short order after they have been liberated and abandoned by the visitor. But what is even more shocking is how starkly the family's spiritual wilderness is contrasted with the apotheosis of the deeply religious maid, who returns to her rural peasant village and performs miracles -- healing the sick, levitating about a farmhouse, and finally immolating herself in the earth as her tears regenerate the soil like those of a mater dolorosa. I don't think we expect to see the quiet despair of the bourgeoisie or the religious exaltation of the peasantry represented so matter-of-factly with such sincere force and conviction.
Regi M.
Regwords
Vancouver, BC
Post #: 14
At 5:30 AM today, Sunday, I began watching Teorema. At about 7 AM, I fell into a deep sleep. When I awoke, I knew everything! I used some spit to clean out my eyes, and I was no longer blind!

I spent the next 5 or 6 hours responding to the group work on "now and "becoming". The work was brilliant! Astonishing! Then I erased it with one mis-click. "The horror", as Mistah Kurtz would say.
While I was typing,however,my mind was also occupied with a response to the Teorema stuff.

I'll do the Teorema first, so I can feel some success, or hara kiri is a real possibility.

There is a current in Literature which echoes Pasolini's main theme. I take this theme as stated by Jason above: "...this ordinary repressed bourgeois family automatically self-destructs in short order after they have been liberated and abandoned by the visitor." I re-state it: "Society,as represented by _______________ will self-destruct after an experience which is alien and which threatens the status quo".

Three short stories will help to illustrate these thoughts.
"The Giraffe" is a short story by Italian Mauro Senesi. Some boys bring a giraffe to town. The giraffe is seen as a threat. In fact, it is in very much danger from the townsfolk, and from the inability of the boys to care for it. The giraffe "holds a mirror up to Nature" as Hamlet would say. Indeed, the mirror is flashed outward at the audience, as at the end of "Death and the Maiden". The threat could be a scientific theory, a new form of government, "differences" such as homosexualty, bisexuality...the list is endless. Are we ready as a society to change, to accept change, to adapt to change? Repeatedly, we prove the answer to be "no".

In the short story "Figure Over The Town" by Texas author William Goyen, a man sets himself up on a platform above a small town. He's a flagpole sitter. The townspeople grow increasingly fearful and began to torment him. His time "aloft" stretched into 40 days and 40 nights. Everyone in town had a different reason for his being up there. The mirror again reflected each person's guilt and fear. The young narrator becomes so disturbed, he dreams fitfully each night. His last dream ends with the ephemeral idea that the figure left his post in the night. Or was he taken forcefully?

"How lonely I felt under that mask." The narrator of "Laughter" could be the stranger in TeoremaPeople react to him, to his very presence. The author, Russian playwright Leopnid Andreyev,asked once "Who strikes man with love-God or the Devil?" The mask-wearer was so proud of his beautiful wondrous mask,but all it prompted in others was laughter, not love, respect, friendship. Was the stranger God? Or the Devil?
Let the stranger be anything alien to the status quo. Let that which is brought be sex,new ideas, new religions,new ...or frightening disturbances. Society will react out of fear.


A former member
Post #: 21
Oh Bravo, Regi! Your opening lines made me clap my hands in delight and giggle! biggrin

YOU SAY:
Society,as represented by _______________ will self-destruct after an experience which is alien and which threatens the status quo....and "Let the stranger be anything alien to the status quo. Let that which is brought be sex,new ideas, new religions,new ...or frightening disturbances. Society will react out of fear".

I NOD MY HEAD FURIOUSLY LIKE A PARROT ON A PIRATE'S SHOULDER AND SQUAWK:
Yes, yes, yes!! Love the strategic placement of the "_____________" and the global perspective on what is alien and a threat to the status quo, that is, it doesn't just have to be sex and/or violence. I guess the choice of what is used by the artist is based on personal experiences, convictions, fetishes, passions, and the historical context as well.

Ahhh, I feel better now cos I was kinda disturbed by some of the footage in the Pasolini documentary, Whoever Tells the Truth Shall Die--- but that's probably a conditioned reaction largely courtesy of my puritanical teachings from youth and childhood.
A former member
Post #: 22
REGI:

PS: Enjoyed your stories too. smile

A former member
Post #: 23
DELAYED RESPONSE TO JASON:
Re-reading my first posting, I now see how it may seem that I'm saying that SEX is dee main idea in Teorema. That is not what I meant. Rather, your introduction of Teorema composed a mental hyperlink in my brain and led me to just talk about the birds and the bees in a general way-- that's all. For the most part, I favour the "evolution argument."
A former member
Post #: 32
Here is a link to a Monty Python sketch called "The Third Test Match", which is a parody of Pasolini's style in Teorema.

If Pasolini made a movie about a cricket game, it might look like this: http://www.youtube.co...­
Regi M.
Regwords
Vancouver, BC
Post #: 16
I have been reading and re-reading all the posts so often my brain hurts. Yes, I watched Teorema. I posted my memories of other stories which used the 'Stranger' trope to challenge established groups. I have also read much criticism,analysis,and biography of Pasolini.
Now I need to stop and ask how did this get started? It comes from Last Exit to Brooklyn, right?
OK Sex is a part of the human condition. Arguably, one of the "basic needs"-usually included by Maslow and others as intimacy or social interaction or caring which need not include intercourse. Freud, of course,moves a tiny baby quite quickly into stages of sexual needs,activity, experimentation,repression,... It seems as if Last Exit and Theory are found here-and say something about sex being "everything". After their encounters, the family does not eat,sleep, communicate-the boy even urinates in an unorthodox manner. They are disturbed.
What has disturbed the Last Exit-ers? Poverty. Ignorance. Illiteracy. Disenfranchisement.
Hey-we are done with this book,right?
Sunday after my nap, caused by watching Teorema I came upon a movie from 2012 called "Nobody Walks". A young woman arrives in a home. She is seductive and is seduced(?) by the Husband. Everything falls apart,the sexual lives of five or six family members are challenged, and the last line of the film comes from the Wife, who tells the young woman that the family will never hear from her or see her again. There are so many similarities, I was astounded. Somehow, however,there is hope in this story. There must be compromise and struggle, but things might be OK. I wonder if the Wife's strength is what does it?
The movie is from Sundance 2012. Please read:

http://entertainment....­
A former member
Post #: 33
I'm not sure how we went from discussing Last Exit to Brooklyn to parsing Teorema.

Actually, I think it was because the homoerotic violence in "Strike" kind of reminded me of Pasolini's two novels, Ragazzi di Vita and Una Vita Violenta, and his early films, Accattone and Mamma Roma, which are all set in a similar environment of bleak urban poverty and disenfranchisement and are framed with biblical allusions (and even scenes of "crucifixion").

Lyn wanted to know more about Pasolini, and James joined in on the conversation, and so we just took it from there.

Actually, I was thinking, it might be cool to read and discuss the William Weaver translation of Una Vita Violenta ("A Violent Life") with the group some time.
A former member
Post #: 27
Here is a link to a Monty Python sketch called "The Third Test Match", which is a parody of Pasolini's style in Teorema.

If Pasolini made a movie about a cricket game, it might look like this: http://www.youtube.co...­

Just viewed this, Jason--funny!
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