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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Miss Julie (1951)

Alf Sjoberg’s adaptation of the Strindberg play is so seamlessly fluid that unless you were already aware of it, you’d never guess its theatrical origins. Sexual politics and class distinction come to a brink as a wealthy landowner’s daughter (Anita Bjork as the Miss Julie of the title) comes into conflict with her father’s male servant (Ulfe Palme). Winner of the grand prize at the Cannes film festival, Sjoberg’s film may lose the claustrophobic innervation of the play but he compensates by visual equivalents for Strindberg’s dialogue and situations as well as the heightened intensity of Bjork and Palme’s performances.

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