(Three Strange Loves)
Eva Henning, Birger Malmsten, Birgit Tengroth, Hasse Ekman,
A voyage across a war-scarred Europe forms the background of a married couple’s collapsing relationship in Bergman’s dreamlike early work, a fascinatingly untethered first run at the themes of isolation, emotional torment, and romantic masochism that would make up much of his later career. “A sort of Voyage in Italy revised by Sartre” (Cinema 58), Thirst focuses on a couple on a train while leaping forward and back to other relationships—a widow and her lecherous psychiatrist, a lonely dancer—all connected by a similar hopelessness. Technically remarkable, the film showcases Bergman’s growing assurance at cinematic storytelling.