Film director Martin Grandé (Hasse Ekman) is visited by his old math teacher, who has an idea for a film about the everyday hell of life. Martin remains skeptical, but the writer Thomas (Birger Malmsten) says he has just the right story. A short while back he interviewed a 17-year-old girl, Birgitta-Carolina Söderberg (Doris Svedlund), who works as a prostitute for her boyfriend Peter (Stig Olin). Birgitta-Carolina is distraught because Peter and her cold-hearted sister Linnéa have taken away her newborn baby. Thomas has also reached a low point in his own marriage with Sofi (Eva Henning), where they are even thinking of murder or suicide…
In Fängelse Ingmar Bergman proves himself a master of the low-budget film. He had to pinch and scrimp in all areas of the production – lighting, electricity, sets, extras, shooting days, music, film stock. And nevertheless the movie contains a wealth of unusual images: interplay of light and shadow, surreal dream sequences and even a little slapstick comedy that takes up the themes of death and the devil.
Fängelse is full of Bergmanian irony: while the old teacher and the director are still debating whether it is possible to make a movie about hell when God might not even exist, we have just seen this very movie with the story of Thomas and Birgitta-Carolina. –Berlinale
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