Cinema: Robust Sickness

"Classicism is health," wrote Goethe. "Romanticism a disease." By those very rigid standards, First Love is a sick film—admirably sick with love. It is also the robust debut of a film maker to be admired and watched. Just about every actor insists that "what I really want to do is direct." Maximilian Schell has not been content merely to yearn; he has made it happen.

Based on Ivan Turgenev's novella, First Love is the deceptively elemental narrative of an adolescent smitten by his father's mistress. "It is a story unusually lit with affection...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!