Marianne, some thirty years after divorcing Johan, decides to visit her ex-husband at his summer home. She arrives in the middle of a family drama between Johan's son from another marriage and his granddaughter.
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Marianne and Johan meet again after thirty years without contact, when Marianne suddenly feels a need to see her ex-husband again. She decides to visit Johan at his old summer house in the western province of Dalarna. And so, one beautiful autumn day, there she is, beside his reclining chair, waking him with a light kiss. Staying at a cottage on the property are Johan's son Henrik and Henrik's daughter Karin. Henrik is giving his daughter cello lessons and already sees her future as staked out. Relations between father and son are very strained, but both are protective of Karin. They are all still mourning Anna, Henrik's much-loved wife, who died two years ago, yet who, in many ways, remains present among them. Marianne soon realizes that things are not all as they should be, and she finds herself unwillingly drawn into a complicated and upsetting power struggle. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Although not acknowledged as a sequel to Scenes from a Marriage (1973), the characters Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson portray have the same names and occupations as they did in Bergman's acclaimed Swedish television miniseries and the action takes place 30 years after their divorce; the same amount of time that had passed since "Scener ur ett äktenskap" was filmed. Ullman's character also refers to the "idiot" that he had left her for as Paula, the character he left her for in "Scener ur ett äktenskap". See more »
After Karin gets up to leave before playing the saraband, the wires from the lights, and the end pins for the cellos are no longer on the floor, despite being there once Karin and Henrik's conversation began. See more »
The last film masterpiece? Quietness which speaks.
I am by no mean qualified to give a full range analysis of the film Saraband by Ingmar Bergman, but would like to give my personal comments.
This may be the last great film as an art genre, as opposed to film as entertainment. In the early days of film directors where trying to please a reading audience. No living director has protected this heritage better than Bergman. He can still compete with the best authors of his time.
The quietness which surrounds this film, the excellent actor performances, the long footages of close-ups of faces, the first cello sonato of Bach (Saraband), the old man who is a bit like Bergman himself; all this makes the film a masterpiece. The dialogs hold great literary quality. Bergman and his film crew are able to show people who are inactive on the outside, but active on the inside; it is quietness which speaks! There is no time for trivial dialog in the films of Bergman: Here you will find people who talk out about the great tragedies in life. The composition gives you a feeling of being in a theatre.
Bergman is a living challenge to anyone who wants to take film seriously as an art form!
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