Ingmar Bergman’s The Magician (Ansiktet) is an engaging, brilliantly conceived tale of deceit from one of cinema’s premier illusionists. Max von Sydow stars as Dr. Vogler, a nineteenth-century traveling mesmerist and peddler of potions whose magic is put to the test in Stockholm by the cruel, eminently rational royal medical adviser Dr. Vergérus. The result is a diabolically clever battle of wits that’s both frightening and funny, shot in rich, gorgeously gothic black and white. –The Criterion Collection
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
This is about how science, in its effort to search for the truth everywhere, can go too far. Sometimes it even pushes itself to prove art could be fraud, to the point of making fun of it. But here, for eight minutes, in the same way as in many classic gothic 'horrors', it's an artist's magic itself that provides an accordingly comic 'means' to deliver the humiliating offender his deserved nemesis
Non al livello de"Il settimo sigillo"o"Il posto delle fragole",ma cmq una pietra miliare della filmografia bergmaniana; una pellicola molto interessante,sempre in bilico tra il drammatico e il surreale,ma con una vena ironica di fondo.La deriva verso l'irrazionale e l'emergere del proprio inconscio è qualcosa di imprescindibile nell'essere umano.Sì può celare dietro una maschera,si può negare,ma è sempre in agguato.