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From Social Issues to Softcore: Close-Up on Liv Ullmann in “The Wayward Girl”

From Social Issues to Softcore: Close-Up on Liv Ullmann in “The Wayward Girl”

Edith Carlmar's The Wayward Girl (1960) is exclusively showing on Mubi starting December 16, 2020.Illustration by Ruth Gwily.Edith Carlmar’s The Wayward Girl, a 1959 tale of young lovers on the run, revealed one of cinema’s great stars to the world—Liv Ullmann. But it would also spell the end of Carlmar’s career in feature filmmaking. Norway’s prolific first woman director, Carlmar made ten features in the decade between 1949 and 1959, from comedies and social-issue dramas to what came to be considered the country’s first noir with her debut Death Is a Caress. Alongside her husband Otto, Carlmar would establish Carlmar Film A/S, producing movies that, not unlike her contemporary Ida Lupino, tackled sensational subject matter—abortion, unwed pregnancies, substance abuse, and juvenile delinquency—with warmth and empathy. Above all, Carlmar was a popular filmmaker: hardworking, mercenary, and with a good eye for the scandalous issues of

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