The Killers (1946)

The many acquaintances of one young murder victim each hold a piece of the puzzle to his mysterious death in The Killers, and as Robert Siodmak traces his life back through splintered collections of memories, clues, and treacherous triple crosses, the layers of his fatally obsessive insecurity begin to unfurl.

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The Woman in the Window (1944)

The nervous mistrust built into the duplicitous narrative and motifs in The Woman in the Window speaks to film noir’s most classical archetypes, and in further literalising the genre’s expressionist nightmares Fritz Lang delves even deeper into one naïve professor’s dreams of seduction, murder, and subterfuge.

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Late Spring (1949)

With Yasujirō Ozu’s contemplative editing and curated mise-en-scène guiding Late Spring’s lyrical rhythms forward, there is both profound joy and sadness to be found in its central father-daughter love, finding melancholy drama in her resistance to getting marriage and his quiet acceptance of being left behind.

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Thirst (1949)

As Bertil and Rut ride a train through a war-ravaged Europe in Thirst, the nostalgic affairs and heartbreaking traumas of their past rise to the surface in uneasy flashbacks, bringing a faintly nightmarish edge to their festered love which Ingmar Bergman contains within claustrophobic interiors, seeing them viciously pour their frustrations out onto each other.

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Port of Call (1948)

Romantic melodrama may be the basis of Port of Call’s romantic storyline, and yet in the authentic location shooting and miserable suffering of its suicidal protagonist, Ingmar Bergman imbues it with a discomforting grit inspired by Italy’s neorealist movement, setting in a bleak tone that sees old traumas surface and threaten the chance for new beginnings.

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A Ship Bound for India (1947)

An air of fleeting transience hangs over A Ship Bound for India, embodied literally by the industrial ships sailing from one dock to the next, and formally weaved into the narrative as an extended, nostalgic flashback, revealing a confidence in Ingmar Bergman’s direction that probes the Oedipal dynamics between a sailor, his father, and his mistress.

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