First Love (1970)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
as Dr. Lushin
as Princess Zasekina
as Lt. Belovzorov
as Count Malevsky
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This is an awfully strange adaptation of the classic Turgenev novella. Dominique Sanda is gorgeous, and of course Sven Nykvist photographs her to perfection - visually it's all quite lush and colorful - but the thin storyline can't quite take such overmelodramatization. (A lot of it seems to be just a framework for Sven to go all-out, which is superb if all you want to do is look at scenery in many beautiful ways.) There are several 'what-the-fuck!?' moments and some bizarre 'artistic' sequences that are pretty incomprehensible. The period of this period piece is very ambiguous, and the music comes way out of left field. Among the cast are the wonderful Dandy Nichols (no one is better at playing annoying and decrepit old ladies) and an outrageous John Osborne (probably best known as a playwright) as the weirdo who creepily recites bad poetry while herding pigs. With close-ups of the pigs' rear ends. Told you it was weird, didn't I?
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