Twenty years after her debut feature as director, Mai Zetterling returns to the novelist of her first outing, infusing the biopic with horrors, real and imagined.
Born into Swedish nobility, replete with privilege and expectation, Agnes von Krusenstjerna defies convention and her families wishes by pursuing a writing career. As she harnesses her burgeoning talent to write erotic fiction, while coming to terms with her own sexuality, she is placed on a trajectory peppered with great success but also an all-consuming danger.
Mai Zetterling sets the scene for her final feature film as director with a harrowing opening sequence set in Venice that is drenched in a claustrophobic atmosphere so viscous you can feel it. And the film is truly one that you feel throughout.
Although Amorosa was never intended to be Zetterling's final feature film as director, there is a feeling of closure surrounding it. For many, it was seen as a return to Swedish national cinema and a return to the prestige art film. Most significantly, it was a return to Agnes von Krusenstjerna, the author who wrote the novels Zetterling adapted into her debut feature, Loving Couples (1964). Von Krusenstjerna wrote about female sexuality in her novels at a time when sex was not mentioned at all in literature, least of all female writers.
Amorosa screened in competition at the 43rd Venice International Film Festival.
– Reece Goodwin (TV & Special Events curator)
5 & 11 Jul 2021
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