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**** FOREIGN FILMS

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I can honestly say that I have seen some foreign films that have absolutely floored me in terms of what they actually were.

 

I knew that I had never seen the equivalent in American films.

 

And that I never would.

 

One of these films was Pier Paolo Pasolini's "Teorema".

 

A very handsome house guest goes to bed with each and every member of a wealthy family and, in the process, changes their rather ordinary lives:

 

The mother has a religious conversion.

 

The father walks away from his wealth and privilege.

 

The son becomes a modernist painter.

 

The daughter becomes a non-functioning human being.

 

And the maid can levitate.

 

Throughout all of this, the question remains - Is this very handsome house guest - The Devil or God?

 

Or is he something else entirely - like a spontaneous dream of salvation?

 

As the stranger, Terence Stamp offered a performance that was pure gold.

 

Teorema.jpeg

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"Throughout all of this, the question remains - Is this very handsome house guest - The Devil or God?"

The changes that the family and the maid experience are so different that lead the characters to almost opposite directions. Each member of the family abandons his or her materialism and thus become lost.

The maid, on the other hand, transcends her carnality and becomes a spiritual being.

Pasolini said that The Visitor was a god.

 

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"Throughout all of this, the question remains - Is this very handsome house guest - The Devil or God?"

The changes that the family and the maid experience are so different that lead the characters to almost opposite directions. Each member of the family abandons his or her materialism and thus become lost.

The maid, on the other hand, transcends her carnality and becomes a spiritual being.

Pasolini said that The Visitor was a god.

Pier Paolo Pasolini's first choice for the beautiful young man in "Teorema" was Lee Van Cleef.

 

I just don't see this choice, but, obviously, Pasolini did see it.

 

Reportedly, Pasolini liked rough sex.

 

But the young man in the film is anything but rough.

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A very handsome house guest goes to bed with each and every member of a wealthy family and, in the process, changes their rather ordinary lives:

 

The mother has a religious conversion.

 

The father walks away from his wealth and privilege.

 

The son becomes a modernist painter.

 

The daughter becomes a non-functioning human being.

 

And the maid can levitate.

 

Throughout all of this, the question remains - Is this very handsome house guest - The Devil or God?

 

It has been a while and I do need to see this one again. Some Pasolini films I get into more than others. Like I said on the other thread, Decameron is absolutely hilarious. Never had the courage to watch Salo, although it probably isn't as bad as a great many other sadistically violent films and at least wasn't promoting violence and fascism as a "good thing" like so much on TV these days.

 

Obviously a right-wing politician would consider Terence Stamp a Devil simply because they are all anti-sex, especially when it crosses the genders. Film officials from the Vatican certainly couldn't figure it since it won a prize in Venice, then was the subject of controversy. Terence later appeared as a healing sex therapist in Bliss (1997) and I guess this could be a precursor role, except I am not sure if the daughter is exactly healed by him.

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It has been a while and I do need to see this one again. Some Pasolini films I get into more than others. Like I said on the other thread, Decameron is absolutely hilarious. Never had the courage to watch Salo, although it probably isn't as bad as a great many other sadistically violent films and at least wasn't promoting violence and fascism as a "good thing" like so much on TV these days.

 

Obviously a right-wing politician would consider Terence Stamp a Devil simply because they are all anti-sex, especially when it crosses the genders. Film officials from the Vatican certainly couldn't figure it since it won a prize in Venice, then was the subject of controversy. Terence later appeared as a healing sex therapist in Bliss (1997) and I guess this could be a precursor role, except I am not sure if the daughter is exactly healed by him.

Pasolini's film did win the Grand Prix at the Venice Film Festival.  But it was also passionately denounced by Pope Paul VI.  It was then banned as obscene in Italy.  Pasolini was also arrested.  But, in a celebrated trial, he was finally acquitted of all charges.

 

It is a film that is open to so many interpretations.

 

The character of the daughter in the family remains quite a mystery, because she seems to be the only one who is not healed.

 

Unless Pasolini is saying that it would be better for her if she had not existed.

 

tumblr_n9sq946j1l1rg9uuwo2_1280.jpg

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MS.DON JUAN OR IF DON JUAN WERE A WOMAN - FROM THE TRULY UNIQUE ROGER VADIM - THIS FILM IS A CAMP MASTERPIECE -

 

10xzy4g.jpg

 

(Brigitte Bardot and Robert Walker, Jr. in the film - the poor guy doesn't stand a chance!)

 

Brigitte Bardot. looking both lovely and voluptuous, plays a woman who is very skilled at lovemaking and delights in the destruction of men.

 

Because she is always on guard, she has her own personal submarine so she can always get away quickly.

 

Her scenes with Mathieu Carriere, who plays a priest and Robert Walker, Jr., who plays The Guitarist, are not to be believed - in other words, they must be seen.

 

Robert Walker, Jr., who spends a delirious night of sex with Brigitte Bardot, wakes up in the morning and realizes that she has left him - he has only one recourse, HE KILLS HIMSELF!!!!

 

Brigitte Bardot even has a lesbian sex scene with a very young Jane Birkin.

 

The film has to be seen - TO BE BELIEVED..

 

Mere descriptive words could not do it justice.

 

There was nobody like Roger Vadim.

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I can honestly say that I have seen some foreign films that have absolutely floored me in terms of what they actually were.

 

I knew that I had never seen the equivalent in American films.

 

And that I never would.

 

One of these films was Pier Paolo Pasolini's "Teorema".

 

A very handsome house guest goes to bed with each and every member of a wealthy family and, in the process, changes their rather ordinary lives:

 

The mother has a religious conversion.

 

The father walks away from his wealth and privilege.

 

The son becomes a modernist painter.

 

The daughter becomes a non-functioning human being.

 

And the maid can levitate.

 

Throughout all of this, the question remains - Is this very handsome house guest - The Devil or God?

 

Or is he something else entirely - like a spontaneous dream of salvation?

 

As the stranger, Terence Stamp offered a performance that was pure gold.

 

 

 

Terrence Stamp is brilliant.

He's one of those actors who can seem to do nothing and yet does everything.

The fusion of art and craft in his work always amazes.

I caught some of his scenes recently in THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT.

Wow!

 

As for he fate of the daughter in TEOREMA, I've wondered what Pasolini was trying to say by having her turn out so badly (catatonic) as a result of her experience with the stranger played by Terrence Stamp as opposed to what happened to the other members of the household.

The maid is able to levitate! 

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Terrence Stamp is brilliant.

He's one of those actors whose can seem to do nothing and yet does everything.

The fusion of art and craft in his work always amazes.

I caught some of his scenes recently in THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT.

Wow!

 

As for he fate of the daughter in TEOREMA, I've wondered what Pasolini was trying to say by having her turn out so badly (catatonic) as a result of her experience with the stranger played by Terrence Stamp as opposed to what happened to the other members of the household.

The maid is able to levitate! 

I saw Terence Stamp in a Fifth Avenue bookstore once.  He was with Jean Shrimpton.  They were so very beautiful.  You could not take your eyes off them.   

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Another of these films is "Le Plaisir" by Max Ophuls.

 

The middle segment is glorious - a madam and her girls take a long trip and attend her niece's communion in a backwards village.

 

Incredibly, everything goes swimmingly - and nothing is really predictable.

 

In the opening segment, a young man entertains at the local pleasure palace.

 

When he collapses and is taken home, the doctor removes his "dress face" and discovers an old man.

 

His elderly wife explains that he cannot accept old age.

 

In the final sequence, two lovers - a sculptor and his model - live through a tumultuous relationship.

 

When she feels that she has lost him, she throws herself out a window and fells several floors.

 

She survives the fall, but cannot walk - her lover decides to marry her.  

 

The camerawork in this film is so fluid that it does seem totally "miraculous".

 

If you watch it "visually", it transports you to another world.

 

And it's a world that has you constantly on edge.

 

In other words, what will happen next?

 

img_current_734_005_large.png

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I bought "Le Plasir" shortly after viewing on TCM. The three tales are all based on Maupassant. The first scene is striking with a coach easing up in front of an extravagantly gay (i.e. with gaity) dance hall. A man in tails jumps out and high steps it through the entrance, up the stairs, and right on the dance floor. The middle tale is the longest and is sandwiched by the two much shorter ones. The "girls" are seen through the windows of the "house," Ophuls doesn't let us in. They travel in a coach to the Christening. The tale is full humor throughout though not without a solemn scene inside the Church. There are sweet ironies. Daniele Darrieux doesn't strike me as a prostitute but she is so charming, who cares. Jean Gabin plays a naughty but lovable husband. Ophuls illuminates the tale with his virtuoso and patented camera work without appearing mannered. Wonderful film.

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I bought "Le Plasir" shortly after viewing on TCM. The three tales are all based on Maupassant. The first scene is striking with a coach easing up in front of an extravagantly gay (i.e. with gaity) dance hall. A man in tails jumps out and high steps it through the entrance, up the stairs, and right on the dance floor. The middle tale is the longest and is sandwiched by the two much shorter ones. The "girls" are seen through the windows of the "house," Ophuls doesn't let us in. They travel in a coach to the Christening. The tale is full humor throughout though not without a solemn scene inside the Church. There are sweet ironies. Daniele Darrieux doesn't strike me as a prostitute but she is so charming, who cares. Jean Gabin plays a naughty but lovable husband. Ophuls illuminates the tale with his virtuoso and patented camera work without appearing mannered. Wonderful film.

The cinema of Max Ophuls is fascinating.

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It has been a while and I do need to see this one again. Some Pasolini films I get into more than others. Like I said on the other thread, Decameron is absolutely hilarious. Never had the courage to watch Salo, although it probably isn't as bad as a great many other sadistically violent films and at least wasn't promoting violence and fascism as a "good thing" like so much on TV these days.

 

Obviously a right-wing politician would consider Terence Stamp a Devil simply because they are all anti-sex, especially when it crosses the genders. Film officials from the Vatican certainly couldn't figure it since it won a prize in Venice, then was the subject of controversy. Terence later appeared as a healing sex therapist in Bliss (1997) and I guess this could be a precursor role, except I am not sure if the daughter is exactly healed by him.

 

I saw Salo or the 120 days of Sodom at a XXX-rated theater in Florence when it first came out. They may have banned it in regular theaters but you could see it in porn theaters and I remember the stunned feeling I had when I came out of the darkness of the place and found my fellow theatergoers were mostly grisly old men. My girlfriend and I ran from the place, but we talked for weeks about what the movie could be saying about violence and man's propensity for it. I agree today's movie violence is promoted as a "good" thing particularly by kids who eat it up.

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