Absentia Episode 3, The Emily Show, Shines as a Classic Thriller

TVOvermind | 2/14/2018 | Joy D'Angelo
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In Absentia episode 3, “The Emily Show,” director Oded Ruskin – with actress Stana Katic as his Ingrid Bergman – shows true mastery of Hitchcockian suspense. Granted, from that era Katic looks more like a cross between Audrey Hepburn & Sophia Loren. However, if you’ve seen the Alfred Hitchcock films Spellbound and Notorious you know I’m not talking about her physical appearance.

The reasons Bergman in these films came to mind in terms of Katic are two fold. First is the congruence of their abilities to express so many varied emotions via facial expressions. The second reason is the kind of characters Bergman played in those movies. For those who haven’t seen the films, the quote below is from an article by Diana Bosch, who runs the classic film blog Flickin’ Out.

Alfred - Hitchcock - Icy - Blondes - Style

Alfred Hitchcock’s “icy blondes” have become synonymous with his style of storytelling. But a focus on those characters is limiting of the kind of creator he was because you ignore an era of his filmmaking that features a slew of strong, confident women possessing a different hair color: the brunettes. The 1940’s brunettes weren’t dogs or fragile women; they were beautiful badasses. But one of these actresses stood far above the rest: Ingrid Bergman.

With Absentia, yes, there’s also a similarity of topic in the repressed memory issue that’s in Spellbound. Thus far though the story structure is tighter than that film was. The influence of Hitchcock on Absentia – especially for The Emily Show – goes far beyond that single movie.

First - Structure - Absentia - Emily - Crime

First of all, the very structure of Absentia, the “double-chase” of Emily trying to find out who took her while being pursued for a crime herself, is a storyline used in many classic Hitchcock films. Yet this idea has become such a standard structure we rarely think about the rich...
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