If that makes any sense...
Upon 2nd viewing I've come to realize how wrong I was and just how great this movie is! Seeing it on 35mm really helped. At one point the projectionist messed up and the image was blurred. The same thing happened later on, except it was part of the actual shot. Having two blurred shots, one unintentional and one intentional was a great postmodern experience and was the moment I realized how great this film is.
Registicamente esagerato(la pellicola che impazzisce,i meravigliosi piani-sequenza sulla spiaggia,la continua alternanza di luce,penombra e oscurità,la sovrapposizione dei volti che restano però sempre in due unità distinte...),Bergman ci conduce in un fantastico viaggio introspettivo,una lunga seduta psicoanalitica in cui le due donne,reduci da esperienza traumatiche,confluiscono in una specie di osmosi.Grandioso.
Radical cinematography in this reflection on film itself, one of both obliquities and immediacy: the purpose of art towards its subject and audience, the artifice and escapism, the moving image as a window to the human spectrum, its effect on individual psyche, so reflected in two women. The intimacies of Andersson’s agent fully bared, as Ullman’s trauma patient - an actor - listens, and as we observe both, before being herself torn apart by the voyeurism; the personas blurred, the plurality of the camera thence realised. Stimulating, bold study.
" The hopeless dream of being - not seeming, but being. At every waking moment, alert. The gulf between what you are with others and what you are alone."
There is no other film like this. I feel it's still inside of me, breathing and grazing my soul. A life-changing masterpiece.
This amazing scene when she talks about the two boys while the mute actress is listening...
Sublime exploration of the duality of personality and the multiplicity truth. The apex of selfconsciousness in cinema.
Emerging from a prolonged bout of ill-health and determined to re-establish his reputation after mixed reviews for his previous few films, Bergman inaugurated a fertile period of his career with this absorbing and intense masterpiece. The distinctions between the real and the imaginary are deliberately blurred in what is essentially a two-hander with brilliant performances by Andersson and Ullmann. Dazzlingly good...
One of my least popular opinions and one I did not expect to hold: This is utter nonsense. Dull as all HELL. Total balls. A slut venting, intermixed with irrelevant images. No wonder my hipster friends love it. The stars I give are for Sven Nykvist.
The first dialogues at the cottage between Alma and Vogler alone make the film great. However, much of the rest of the film is full of the typical ambivalence of Bergman's characters that I can never sympathize with and grow tired of, not to mention the uncharacteristic lapses into surrealism that further isolate the viewer.