The most famed and honored filmmaker ever to emerge from the nation of Sweden – and regarded by many as one of the three or four most brilliant directors of the 20th century – Ingmar Bergman radically altered the nature and meaning of the motion-picture form, transfiguring a medium long devoted to spectacle into an art capable of profoundly personal meditations into the myriad struggles facing the psyche and the soul. By focusing on the exploration of self with unparalleled intensity, Bergman brought to the screen a new sense of emotional intimacy, fusing the concepts behind Freudian psychotherapy with a dreamlike sensibility founded on visual metaphors, flashbacks, and extreme close-ups to create a revelatory cinematic world unlike any before it.
Born Ernst Ingmar Bergman on July 14, 1918, in Uppsala, Sweden, he followed a brief 1938 military stay by attending Stockholm University. While there, he staged his first plays, among them adaptations of Macbeth, August Strindberg’s… read more
Soft, understated tone coupled with stark, graphic imagery; patient a match initially, but cutting in gradual effect. Recurring irony: Ullman in Scenes from a Marriage as a marriage lawyer undergoing marital breakdown; Ullman in Face to Face as a psychiatrist becoming slowly psychotic - moreover, with the doctor-patient interplay of Persona, and its heightened gender conflicts. Surprisingly evocative as melodrama, while versatile in framing - the haute tension Hour of the Wolf arguably should’ve been. Not to mention: shockingly underseen.
Very similar in style and directing to The Hour of the Wolf, this Bergman piece haunts and taunts you till the very end. By far one of best performances delivered by Liv Ullman.
With Spaghetti Westerns, commercial cinema provided a lively and genuine commentary on the growing radicalization of the Italian left.