Handsome Devil
Photo Janus Films

Handsome Devil

Could there be any bigger publicity buzz than being denounced by The Pope? At The 1968 Venice Film Festival, “Teorama,” written and directed by Italian provocateur the late Pier Paolo Pasolini, with a score by the incomparable Ennio Morricone, was surprisingly, and erroneously, awarded by The Roman Catholic Church’s film-reviewing body, The Office Catholique International du Cinema. By March 1969, The New York Times was reporting The Vatican was rescinding its prize, citing it did not “respect the sensibility of Christian people.”

From the director of “Salo” and “The Decameron,” “Teorema,” which will play at The Moviehouse in Millerton, N.Y., as part of the arthouse theater’s “Great Italian Auteurs” series on Wednesday, June 28, and Sunday, July 2, is a strange reckoning with God — or maybe The Devil. An alluring blue-eyed man (Terence Stamp) in a white summer sweater strolls up to the Milanese estate of an industrialist family and proceeds to seduce them all, bedding husband and wife, their teenage son, and even the maid. Touched by the divine, their psyches individually begin to unravel in the aftermath. An openly gay, left-wing political thinker, Pasolini channeled the full extent of his disregard for the consumerist conformity of the petite bourgeoisie social class into “Teorema,” a Marxist fable where sex with a beautiful intellectual plummets the 1% into existential despair.

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