KOMAL GANDHAR (Ritwik Ghatak, 1961)

History as tragic illusion: writer-director Ritwik Ghatak, cinema’s Bengali poet of the Partition of India, begins Komal Gandhar, a.k.a. E-Flat, set in Calcutta, near the end of the second act of a nighttime performance addressing the 1947 event. (The play is Ghatak’s own 1952 Dalil.) A character in the play-within-the-film asks, “Why should I move […]

THIRST (Ingmar Bergman, 1949)

Stitching together three stories by Birgit Tengroth, who also plays one of the lead roles (how adaptable those Swedish talents are!), Ingmar Bergman’s Törst, mistranslated as Three Strange Loves upon its original U.S. release, goes back and forth amongst characters and sometimes their recollections, hence different time frames, and also between reality and dream. The […]