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 »
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
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 »
"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 »
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,
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. Written by
As Ingmar Bergman was essentially exiled from his native Sweden because of an ongoing battle with the tax authorities, the film was financed by his West German company, Personafilm GmbH, and Lew Grade's ITC Film, and shot in an old film studio outside Oslo in Norway. See more »
In the dialogue scene where Charlotte is lying on the floor and Eva is sitting on the sofa behind her, the shadow of the boom mic is visible on the curtains when the camera pans to Eva for a few seconds. See more »
The mother's injuries are to be handed down to the daughter. The mother's failures are to be paid for by the daughter. The mother's unhappiness is to be the daughter's unhappiness. It's as if the umbilical cord had never been cut.
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Generally, either "Seventh Seal" or "Persona" is the film that a critic will name if s/he is stuck with the task of naming Ingmar Bergman's greatest achievement. A couple others might be named, but rarely do you hear a critic espouse the brilliance of "Autumn Sonata."
The first thing I noticed about this film is that it is, like "Cries and Whispers," nothing less than a painting. The textures, the warm reds and the close-ups of the faces of wounded souls, all combine to make the viewer realize that s/he is witnessing High Art.
Then there's the shot of Liv Ullman's wounded profile as she stares at her mother, Ingrid Bergman, while mother shows Liv how the Chopin piece should be played. It is an eloquent scene. Truly heartbreaking and unforgettable. One can feel Liv's pain begin to show itself: it is the painful shame of inadequacy and mediocrity made all the more shameful because it is mother inspiring these feelings in her.
Later, it's Liv's cruelty toward her mother in that unforgettable late night diatribe.
And finally, it's Liv's crippled sister and Ingrid's disgust at the thought that not only did mediocrity crawl out of her womb, but so did deformity and suffering.
The film is bleak (obviously) and the resolution is only slightly hopeful. It is however a masterpiece -- a film that reveals that what the world needs now is not Love, as the song proclaims, but Compassion and Grace. Liv Ullman is the only actress who can say these things without opening her mouth. Ingmar Bergman is the only filmmaker who can make a seemingly banal story into an eloquent prayer for redemption and reconciliation.
(CAUTION: Dont take mom to see it on mother's day ... unless...)
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