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From its fake-newsreel opening to a narrative which ‘innocently’ echoes the form of the Catholic mass, this is the film in which Pasolini let it all hang out: his scepticism about religious faith, his homosexuality, his hatred of ‘bourgeois values’ and his declining confidence in political solutions. Terence Stamp (fresh from facing the devil in Fellini’s Toby Dammit) plays a mysterious visitor to an upper-middle-class family in Milan. What if, Pasolini asks, each member of the household – father, mother, son and daughter, and not forgetting the maid – were to be seduced and then abandoned by the visitor?

How would each of them react, and what would become of their lives? The title suggests something quasi-scientific, but the fuel in Pasolini’s tank is satire, not algebra. Existential anguish was never more playful.

Part of MAC’s Les Enfants Terribles season, celebrating the talented rebels and agitators of the filmmaking world with a season of work from directors who have no problem at all pushing all of your buttons. From Rainer Werner Fassbinder to Marjane Satrapi to Spike Lee, these are 'les enfant terribles' of cinema, gleefully tackling incendiary topics whilst simultaneously ripping up the filmmaking rulebook. Curated by Elaine Lillian Joseph.

MAC’s reopening cinema programme has been generously supported by BFI FAN Covid-19 Resilience fund from the National Lottery, through the BFI Film Audience Fund.

Duration includes trailers and adverts. Please note that we do not admit latecomers after the main feature has started and we have a limited food & drink policy. See more information about Relaxed Screenings here. /// Fancy a meal or drinks when visiting us for an event or a trip to the park? Our KILN Cafe serves breakfast, lunch & light bites see information here. /// Please read our current Visitor Guidelines before booking your event.