Bergman’s production Yukio Mishima’s play Madame de Sade was not the first work by the Japanese playwright to be performed in Sweden. In 1959, Dramaten had produced some of Mishima’s Noh plays and in 1970, the Swedish Theatre in Helsinki visited Dramaten with a version of Madame the Sade. Mishima had been nominated several times to the Novel Prize in literature but was passed over in favour of his mentor Kawabata (1968).
The setting of Madame de Sade begins in France in 1772 and ends twelve years later, nine months after the French Revolution. Six Women, one of them Madame de Sade, discuss their views and feelings of the notorious sadist and sodomist Marquis de Sade.
An enthusiastic critical corps focussed on Bergman’s ensemble of actresses and on the concentration and musicality of his staging. Continue reading
Karin (Bibi Andersson), a happily married mother of two, surprises herself by responding in-kind to an unforeseen profession of love from David (Elliott Gould), an archaeologist visiting Sweden, whom her doctor husband (Max von Sydow) has befriended. But love, however toxically exhilarating, is seldom simple, and deceit and David’s volatile temperament take their toll. The Touch marked the first time Bergman worked with an established Hollywood star (Gould). Continue reading
Two sisters—the sickly, intellectual Ester (Ingrid Thulin) and the sensual, pragmatic Anna (Gunnel Lindblom)—travel by train with Anna’s young son, Johan (Jörgen Lindström), to a foreign country that appears to be on the brink of war. Attempting to cope with their alien surroundings, each sister is left to her own vices while they vie for Johan’s affection, and in so doing sabotage what little remains of their relationship. Regarded as one of the most sexually provocative films of its day, Ingmar Bergman’s The Silence offers a disturbing vision of emotional isolation in a suffocating spiritual void. Continue reading
Set in beautiful 14th century Sweden, it is the sombre, powerful fable of wealthy land-owning parents whose daughter, a young virgin, is brutally raped and murdered by goat herders after her half sister has invoked a pagan curse. By a bizarre twist of fate, the murderers ask for food and shelter from the dead girl’s parents, who, discovering the truth about their erstwhile lodgers, exact a chilling revenge Continue reading
After having neglected her children for many years, world famous pianist Charlotte visits her daughter Eva in her home. To her surprise she finds her other daughter, Helena, there as well. Helena is mentally disabled, and Eva has taken Helena out of the institution where their mother had placed her. The tension between Charlotte and Eva only builds up slowly, until a nightly conversation releases all the things they have wanted to tell each other. Continue reading
It Rains on Our Love / Det regnar på vår kärlek (1946) was Bergman’s fourth film and it paints a very romantic picture of poverty and love on the run. Two young lovebirds from the wrong side of the tracks find peace of a kind in an idyllic, rural squatters’ community. It’s like a polished hybrid of a Frank Borzage film and the more sentimental elements of Italian neo-realism. The paternalistic narrative voice of the film is actually incarnated in one of the characters, a kindly lawyer. Continue reading
Plot Synopsis from ALLMOViE:
Though he made allusions to his own life in all of his films, Fanny and Alexander was the first overtly autobiographical film by Ingmar Bergman. Taking his time throughout (188 minutes to be exact), Bergman recreates several episodes from his youth, using as conduits the fictional Ekdahl family. Alexander, the director’s alter ego, is first seen at age 10 at a joyous and informal Christmas gathering of relatives and servants. Fanny is Alexander’s sister; both suffer an emotional shakedown when their recently-widowed mother (Ewa Froling) marries a cold and distant minister. Stripped of their creature comforts and relaxed family atmosphere, Fanny and Alexander suddenly find their childhood unendurable. The kids’ grandmother (Gunn Wallgren) “kidnaps” Fanny and Alexander for the purpose of showering them with the first kindness and affection that they’ve had since their father’s death. This “purge” of the darker elements of Fanny and Alexander’s existence is accomplished at the unintentional (but applaudable) cost of the hated stepfather’s life. Ingmar Bergman insisted that Fanny and Alexander, originally a multipart television series pared down to feature-film length, represented his final film, though within a year after its release he was busy with several additional Swedish TV projects, and he returned to make one more theatrical release movie before his death – the 2003 Saraband. Oscars went to Fanny and Alexander for Best Foreign Film, Best Cinematography (Sven Nykvist), Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction/Set Decoration. Continue reading