Love in Thoughts

Institute History

  • 2004 Sundance Film Festival


Achim von Borries accomplishes in Love in Thoughts, his first major production, what few American filmmakers seem to be able to do: intertwine a beguiling sensuality with a stimulating complex of ideas. This combination makes this X-Filme production one of the most provocative and seductive works in this Festival's program. Blessed with a stunning and gifted cast, this beautifully accomplished period piece captures an intensity of feeling that transforms what might have become in less talented hands a thesis on the absolutes of love and death into a sexually vibrant and resonant ramble through the decadence of prewar Weimar excess.

The film flashes back from an inquiry into the death of Guenther to a group of young upper-class Germans. Here Guenther, his best friend, the poet Paul, and his shamelessly seductive sister, Hilde, embark on a four-day orgy of alcohol, drugs, and sexual liaisons with a circle of friends and acquaintances, determined to be happy or die. As reckless and sexually ambivalent encounters ensue, the story drives toward its inevitable conclusion.

An exploration of the paradoxical inability to act on love shared by many of us, but especially prevalent among the more intellectual, Love in Thoughts is passionate and engrossing storytelling that transports desire and despair to the screen in a fervent discourse on the pitfalls of romantic disillusionment.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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