Johan and Marianne planned to finalize their divorce after several years. They met in order to sign the papers but it was an extremely difficult task to carry out. Touching a low point in his life, ...
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.
In the midst of a civil war, former violinists Jan and Eva Rosenberg, who have a tempestuous marriage, run a farm on a rural island. In spite of their best efforts to escape their homeland, the war impinges on every aspect of their lives.
Ten years of Marianne and Johan's relationship are presented. We first meet them ten years into their marriage. He is a college professor, she a divorce lawyer. They say that they are happily married - unlike their friends Katarina and Peter who openly fight, especially when under the influence of alcohol - but there is a certain detached aloofness in the way they treat each other. In the next ten years, as they contemplate or embark upon divorce and/or known extramarital affairs, they come to differing understandings at each phase of their relationship of what they truly mean to each other. Regardless of if it's love or hate - between which there is a fine line - they also come to certain understandings of how they can best relate to each other, whether that be as husband and wife, friends, lovers or none of the above.Written by
'Knots Landing' creator David Jacobs has stated that this film served an inspiration of the series that would run from 1979-1993 on CBS. See more »
Affection shouldn't be kept just for vacations.
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The end credits aren't shown on-screen but read by director and writer Ingmar Bergman, while "a beautiful picture of Fårö" is shown (different for each episode). Bergman himself is not credited at all. See more »
Bergman prepared a four-hour version of "Scenes from a Marriage," hoping it would be shown as a two-part film. It never appeared in the US, although the original six-hour mini-series was shown on PBS after the 168 minute cut had played theatrically. See more »
Concerto for violin, strings & continuo in B flat major, Op. 10, No. 1
Written by Tomaso Albinoni
A short extract is played during the very beginning and end of each episode (it's not featured in the theatrical version) See more »
I used to think that I knew a thing or two about marriage having been married for as long as I have but nothing from my experience had prepared me for the merciless and deep dissection of Marriage: Bergman Style. When we meet Johan and Marianne for the first time, they have been happily (or so it seems) married for ten years. They have two daughters; they are still young, very attractive, healthy, educated, well off, and they seem to love each other very much. But Bergman is not interested in happy families all happy families are happy in the similar ways. Like Tolstoy many years before him, Bergman explores the second part of the formula All unhappy families are unhappy in their unique ways.
Bergman and his leading actors Liv Ullmann and Arland Josephson give one of the most truthful, honest, heartbreaking and credible portraits of a couple, one of the most intense character studies ever done on film. For five hours, we share twenty years from the lives of Johan and Marianne as well as their love, hate, misunderstandings, insecurities, anger, jealousy, denial, sadness, pain, despair, and loss. We witness the moments of incredible tenderness and unexpected and shocking violence, both physical and mental. There are no depth that they have not descended in the search of themselves and the meaning of their relationship.
There are actually four marriages Bergman studies in "Scenes from a Marriage" none of them is happy, all are miserable. Bergman does not deny the possibility of finding a soul mate but his opinion on the modern marriage is quite pessimistic.
It felt like Bergman was saying - marriage is dead, long live love. For hours after the film was over, I could not shake off the sadness and pessimism of it. Only later I realized that even if four marriages in Bergman's film were disastrous, it does not necessarily mean that all couples in the world are or have to be that miserable. Bergman wrote and directed Scenes from a Marriage in 1973 when he was in his 5-th marriage, the one that would last for 24 years until his wife died. He brought in the screenplay (I think so but I may be wrong) the bitterness, resentment, anger and disappointments from his previous four marriages - maybe that's why the film is sometimes almost impossible to watch?
"Scenes from a Marriage" is a masterpiece but it may leave you devastated and emotionally exhausted. I watched the original 5-hours TV version and did not even bother with three hours version. 10/10
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