A young woman, Karin, has recently returned to the family island after spending some time in a mental hospital. On the island with her is her lonely brother and kind, but increasingly ... See full summary »
Max von Sydow
"The Silence" is about the emotional distance between two sisters. The younger one is still attractive enough to pick up a lover in a strange city. The older one -- even though she is very ... See full summary »
A sensitive exploration of the tragic irony of the psychiatrist suffering with mental illness. Dr. Jenny Isaksson is a psychiatrist married to another psychiatrist; both are successful in ... See full summary »
Andreas, a man struggling with the recent demise of his marriage and his own emotional isolation, befriends a married couple also in the midst of psychological turmoil. In turn he meets ... See full summary »
A kind but pampered beautiful young virgin and her family's pregnant and jealous servant set out to deliver candles to church, but only one returns from events that transpire in the woods along the way.
Max von Sydow,
When 'Vogler's Magnetic Health Theater' comes to town, there's bound to be a spectacle. Reading reports of a variety of supernatural disturbances at Vogler's prior performances abroad, the ... See full summary »
Max von Sydow,
Ingmar Bergman's The Serpent's Egg follows a week in the life of Abel Rosenberg, an out-of-work American circus acrobat living in poverty-stricken Berlin following Germany's defeat in World... See full summary »
In turn-of-the-century Sweden, cancer-stricken, dying Agnes is visited in her isolated rural mansion by her sisters Karin and Maria. As Agnes' condition deteriorates and pain management becomes increasingly more difficult, fear and revulsion grip the sisters, who seem incapable of empathy, and Agnes' only comfort and solace comes from her maid Anna. As the end draws closer, long repressed feelings of grudging resentment and mistrust cause jealousy, selfishness, and bitterness between the siblings to surface. Written by
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bergman, who produced the film with his own money, could not find an American distributor as they felt it was too uncommercial. Roger Corman, who had just left American-International Pictures to set up his own New World releasing company, was in the market for a prestige picture to give his new operation some class. See more »
You look so disconcerted. You thought our talk would be different, didn't you? Do you realize I hate you and how foolish I find your insipid smile and your idiotic flirtatiousness?
How have I managed to tolerate you so long and not say anything? I know of what you're made - with your empty caresses and your false laughter. Can you conceive how anyone can live with so much hate as has been my burden? There's no relief, no charity, no help! There is nothing. Do you understand? ...
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To see Liv Ullmann, whose nature is so warm and natural, play a role in which her warmth is superficial and fraudulent, is a little offsetting; yet, great actress that she is, she pulls it off, so that if I had never seen her before, I would believe she was that way.
"Cries and Whispers," much ballyhooed, I recall, when it appeared, seems too psychoanalytically intense today; dark and mysterious, beautifully filmed in an intense red-yes, very striking against the northern cold, but somehow not entirely convincing. The people are cynically presented as tortured animals caring only for themselves, without a scrap of genuine feeling for others. Anna, the maid, is the exception, so that she may serve as a foil for the rest of them.
Harriet Andersson gives a striking performance as Agnes who is dying of cancer. I have seen what she portrays, and can tell you she expressed it in all its horror and hopelessness. Ullmann plays Maria, one of her sisters who touches others easily, but without real feeling, so that the touches mean nothing. For those who grew up cinematically during the seventies, she was a great, expressive, sensual, flawless star of the screen, one of Ingmar Bergman's jewels. Bergman himself of course was already a legend by the time this film was made, a great master who did what he wanted and what he felt, yet never lost sight of the audience. What he seems to be saying here is we are desperate creatures living a cold and ultimately empty existence. The ending clip seems an after thought that seeks our redemption, but it arrives too little too late. We are lost.
(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)
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