A rational, exacting, and self-controlled theatre director is staging a production of Strindberg’s Dream Play. Dozing after rehearsal, he’s woken by his lead actress, who seems out to seduce him. An intimate, revealing and personal look at the heart, mind and soul of the director.
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A director has to answer questions of utmost importance, play the mascarade of every actor and, at the same time, caress their souls and taking great care not to hurt them, thus having a huge responsibility, although he is also plunged into the great unknown. To me this film is a new landmark.
It is not always easy to take what is, in essence, a one-room narrative or stage production, and turn it into such an engrossing film. Bergman, with great casting, manages to do just that, and delivers a solid psychological drama.
Set on a stage, a conversation between possible lovers, about past and present, about actors and directors, about life and death. This film covers a range of deep subjects and confesses to its audience about the childlike qualities one must have in order to pretend, which is essentially what acting is, and a director merely facilitates the overall effectiveness of this pretend world. A deeply thought provoking film!
Once again, Bergman explores the blurred lines between truth and lies. What is fact and what is fiction? How much of our own lives is truly genuine and how much is performance for the benefit of those around us? Stirring stuff.
It feels very much like a lesser Bergman film, but I will take that over so many other viewing choices. Solid performances, an interesting script, and the usual unflinching look at the hearts and minds of those onscreen.
Talkfest chamber piece whose popularity baffles me. This is dry as a bone stuff. A theatre director reflects on his relationships past and present. There are a couple of neat devices and the actors do their damnedest but the whole thing never breaks out of confessional, stage play territory. There are so many better Bergman films to choose from
2.5 stars. Interestingly, Bergman's humourlessness had not been an issue for me until it was combined with self-serious meta-commentary, as here. The film did, however, remind me why I only spent a week as a member of my university's drama group as an undergraduate, in spite of my love of performing. Of course, the acting here was suburb, but I'd rather they weren't acting actors.