A screenwriter summons his muse in the form of a memory as he sits down to write a script about a past affair. After Marianne appears to him and discusses his ideas for the story, she’s transformed into the main character of the film he’s writing.
Born Liv Johanne Ullmann on 16 December 1938 in Tokyo. Her father Viggo was an international aircraft engineer, hence her childhood spent in Tokyo (which her family left upon Japan’s alliance with Germany in 1940), Toronto and New York. Following an accident, Viggo Ullmann died in New York in 1944, and when the War ended in 1945 Liv’s mother Janna moved with her two daughters home to Trondheim. Liv was seven years old when she first set foot in Norway.
After a period of study at the Webber-Douglas Academy in London, Liv Ullmann made her stage debut in Stavanger in Anne Frank’s Diary (roughly the same time that Harriet Andersson was playing the same part in Stockholm). Her film debut came in Fjols til fjells in 1957. Following a number of promising film and stage roles in Norway, Liv Ullmann came to Sweden to make her breakthrough film Persona, and remained in the country as Ingmar Bergman’s partner for five years. She played major roles in his films up until Autumn Sonata in… read more
Yet another extension to Scenes from a Marriage, multifaceted: written by Bergman, Josephson playing him on-screen, Ullman directing; the marital study based on true past (Bergman and Ullman being former spouses), relived within the narrative - in Prospero’s Books-style authorial layering - paving its own dramatisation. In its wistful recollections - more muted, yet emotive conversationals - and web of adulterous complicity, Ullman only sometimes, however, treads the line between graceful seniority behind the camera and mere stupor.
A thinly-veiled autobiographical work written by Bergman and brilliantly directed by Liv Ullmann. Like "Through A Glass Darkly", it is a film about an artist's exploitation of another's suffering, which often comes at the expense of their own sanity. The work of aged but unbowed genius; to me it is to Ullmann as well as Bergman's credit that it is on the same level as the master's greatest cinematic achievements.
The first "movement" as it were moves slow and lays on thick with seemingly unnecessary detail and a lack of dramatic pace but the last hour devastates like almost none-other. A bergmanesque Closer. I sometimes forget why Bergman is considered the king of intense chamber dramas and then films like this come along. I couldn't swallow for the last hour.