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Sunday, October 5, 2008

THIRST (1949)

Hard to take early Ingmar Bergman pic features the sort of simplistic Freudian dramatics he would refine and eventually (thrillingly) outgrow. It’s right after WWII, and both Europe and the couples we meet need to heal themselves. Alas, in Bergman’s spin the women are all hysterics and the men are self-centered bastards. The theme may be how can love survive, but the question feels irrelevant with a cast of characters you’d flee from. (Our lead is a ballerina too injured to dance. 'Nuff said.) A ‘daring’ for its time lesbian seduction adds nice period flavor (she’s the film’s one possible temptation) and a technically dazzling sequence through the aisles of a train stand out amongst all the neurasthenia, but it's hardly enough to offset the company you’re asked to keep.

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