Bergman’s little-seen English-language film starring Elliott Gould and Bibi Andersson, which charts the course of a doomed affair, earned mixed reviews on release in 1971 and was quickly overshadowed by his subsequent works – but it’s time to recognise it as a major entry in the director’s canon.
It’s unsurprising that many myths and misconceptions have arisen surrounding Ingmar Bergman, that of the terminally gloomy Swede being merely the most prevalent. Here, after all, is someone acknowledged as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time yet viewed by those none too familiar with his body of work as a whole as a forbiddingly lofty, aloof philosopher rather than an artist or entertainer. (Even a feature in last month’s Sight & Sound claimed that some of Bergman’s films might today “be considered so wilfully opaque and mired in symbolism as to be past the point of parody”.) Read More »