7.6/10
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After the Rehearsal (1984)

Efter repetitionen (original title)
R | | Drama | TV Movie 9 April 1984
Rational, exacting, and self-controlled theater director, Henrik Vogler, often stays after rehearsal to think and plan. On this day, Anna comes back, ostensibly looking for a bracelet. She ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Henrik Vogler (older)
...
Rakel Egerman
...
Anna Egerman (older)
Nadja Palmstjerna-Weiss ...
Anna Egerman (younger)
...
Henrik Vogler (younger)
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Storyline

Rational, exacting, and self-controlled theater director, Henrik Vogler, often stays after rehearsal to think and plan. On this day, Anna comes back, ostensibly looking for a bracelet. She is the lead in his new production of Stindberg's "A Dream Play." She talks of her hatred for her mother, now dead, an alcoholic actress, who was Vogler's star and lover. Vogler falls into a reverie, remembering a day Anna's mother, Rakel, late in life, came after rehearsal to beg him to come to her apartment. He awakes and Anna reveals the reason she has returned: she jolts him into an emotional response, rare for him, and the feelings of a young woman and an older man play out. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Drama

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R | See all certifications »
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9 April 1984 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

After the Rehearsal  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ingmar Bergman was so impressed when he met Lena Olin for the first time that he wrote the part of Anna especially for her. See more »

Connections

Featured in Bergman Island (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
If ever there was a way to spend 72 minutes with Bergman, it's here
23 January 2005 | by See all my reviews

Fanny and Alexander, to Ingmar Bergman, IS his last released film, written and directed by him. But this film, which was originally meant only for Swedish television, found its way to the USA and abroad, and (excluding Saraband, which was a film that just had to be made by its maker) is a welcome piece of theater, about the theater. After the Rehearsal is a short, but extremely satisfying take on what it means to be a director, and what it means to act, or to just be in the profession of the imitation of life. Bergman gives us only three actors (two kids, who pop up only for a few moments, one of which the child who wonderfully played Alexander in the above title, is one of them), and all that happens is talk, and talk.

To one who may not be familiar well with Bergman, it may not be wise to go immediately to this film. That is, unless one is very much in love with the theater. The filmmaker, who was also a major producer and director of countless theatrical production, is able to suffuse his personal views, good and bad, on the process, or the lack thereof. Interesting too is how his lead male, Henrik (Erland Josephsson, one of Bergman's most recognizable and accessible talents), has a conversation not just with an aspiring actress (Lena Olin), but also his ex-wife (Ingrid Thulin, also one of the magnificent women from Bergman's repertory company), to explore his past and present difficulties.

There is so much that Bergman brings to the table to discuss about the theater in this film, and in such a short running time, that it might be moot to delve very far into his what certain things may or may not 'mean'. Like many of the director's films, it's dramatic structure that tries to get behind the surfaces of what lies in seemingly one or two-sided characters. Henrik, at times, is given voice-over narration where he questions what he's saying, sometimes in anger or despair, to this young actress. Or, when his love (Thulin) is shown to be somewhat compassionate even as she seems a little crazed or, in fact, lonely. As Henrik and his pupil talk (not rehearse, of course) about why they are there, it becomes strikingly existential even when it's not meant to be. Olin is brilliant in the opposing side of Josephsson's often calm but boiling persona, as she tries to figure out what it is this director wants out of her.

When it comes down to it, Bergman is not only asking questions about the theater and the people in it, but also about human nature in its role of the theater. While this could sound like subject matter to scare or (worse) bore away some viewers, if you give the film enough patience for the 72 minutes (that seem to fill each minute with enough substance for an average work twice its length), it serves its purpose well enough to not be disregarded as an important later work in Bergman's career. And, by the way, if you're young (i.e. under 17) and have some reason to want to check this out, don't let the R rating deter you; it's one of the most un-necessarily R-rated films ever (for a brief flash of nudity, which could very well even be given a PG rating). A+


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