music friday: relax
geezer cinema/african-american directors series/film fatales #187: the marvels (nia dacosta, 2023)

film fatales #186: loving couples (mai zetterling, 1964)

Mai Zetterling was an interesting person in Swedish film history. She worked at roughly the same time as Ingmar Bergman, who wrote the screenplay for Zetterling's debut as an actor, in Torment (1944). She appeared in films as an actor for another 20+ years, until she moved to writing and directing. Loving Couples is her first feature as a director. It was controversial in its time for its sexual themes (including homosexuality) and nudity. The film is reminiscent of other, better, movies, but it stands on its own as well. Much of the film takes place at a celebration at an estate that brings to mind Renoir's Rules of the Game and Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night. There is a framing device with three women delivery babies in a maternity hospital that recalls Bergman's Brink of Life. If you're gonna have influences, it's good to choose the best movies. If in the end, Loving Couples will stick with me mainly because it made me want to watch those other movies, well, there are worse things for a movie to accomplish.


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