• Thirst is one of the few Ingmar Bergman films that he directs- but did not write (the most notable and best of which is 1960’s The Virgin Spring).
  • This is already Bergman’s seventh (7th) film as director.
  • Early in the film, there is a long take of Ruth (Eva Henning) character pacing back and forth—Bergman is not quite yet on the level of Renoir or Ophuls, but this makes for a splendid 4-5 minute shot. To that effect, Bergman’s camera will often slip through walls in Ruth’s apartment- like when Bertil’s (Birger Malmsten) wife confronts her.
  • This is a cruel world- the story involves drinking, abortion, and the sort of savage way people treat each other (often couples) in Bergman’s world. This is a realism counterpoint to Hollywood for sure. Ruth is laying in only her bra in the final shot- and this is eleven (11) years before Hitchcock would put Janet Leigh in a bra to open Psycho.
  • Bergman would often explore comedy early in his career- but not here- this is a serious drama.
  • Once again, the camera slides past the transparent curtains at the doctor’s office.

At the 43-minute mark- Bergman brilliantly stages the faces of Viola (Birgit Tengroth) and Dr. Rosengren (Hasse Ekman). She is in the foreground facing left in profile – the doctor is facing the camera in the background off center left—this is an exceptional sequence and shot. Bergman’s camera then swims to a closeup. Even early on, Bergman tried to explore dialogue scenes cinematically (similar to say how Kurosawa or Antonioni would later do). This shot here would be a major part of Bergman’s stylistic repertoire- and a shot that had to have inspired Agnes Varda for La Pointe Courte (1955).

At the 56-minute mark Ruth is laid out in the foreground bottom of the screen talking to (rather fighting with) Bertil in the background making for a sublime composition

  • At the 66-minute mark there are three characters in the frame- Ruth, a fellow dancer, and the instructor- and Bergman bounces them all off of mirrors.

At the 71-minute Viola is foreground left facing the camera at an angle in profile with Valborg (Mim Nelson) in the background right drinking port.

  • Recommend but not in the top 10 of 1949