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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 War I. When his brother commits suicide, Abel seeks refuge in the apartment of an old acquaintance Professor Veregus. Desperate to make ends meet in the war-ravaged city, Abel takes a job in Veregus' clinic, where he discovers the horrific truth behind the work of the strangely beneficent professor and unlocks the chilling mystery that drove his brother to kill himself. Written by
The film is interesting, of course -it tells about the rise of Nazi power. But this is the less "bergmanian" film of Ingmar Bergman. It's not an intimate portrait of people -as the Swedish director always does. Here we have a big budget movie, with many actors... Although the presence of Liv Ullmann, Bergman loses his targets. On one side he wants to analyze a period, on the other one he has to follow more mainstream rules -because he works for a big budget production. As a result he "fails" (it's a big word) in both things -although the film is not a failure.
We feel Ingmar Bergman is not really at ease. This is not his natural dimension -he's a super director because he has an extraordinary ability of understanding neurosis and anxieties, his favorite context are the relationships among a few people. In "The Serpent's Egg" these trademark are really minor.
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