Bolder thematically than cinematically this may appear unecessarily muddled at points, but it offers a Bergmanesque examination of women's problematization of motherhood and a thinly veiled critique of the Swedish master's obsession with it. Irreverent and with a surprising gay dimension, it mingles the playful yet tormenting proceedings with some great (but self-conscious) camerawork, mainly in the exterior shots.
Trois personnages féminins dans une société lourdement phallocratique, ordonnée et structurée selon d'ancestraux et cyniques principes réactionnaires, ("trente secondes de paradis pour trente années d'enfer") bousculées par l'hégémonie et l'arrogance masculines, dans une première oeuvre élégante et solide dont on reconnaît en filigrane l'influence bergmanienne. www.cinefiches.com
The comparison to Bergman extends only as far as their common casting, and maybe a Nordic aesthetic. An unimaginative, artistically mediocre development of an overly literal story. The one-dimensional characters - all pathetic, vapid or vile - don't help expand possible readings of the film beyond dour, uncritical negativity and incoherent moralism. Nor do they help make it less tedious. Unimpressed. 2.5
An excellent script by director Mai Zetterling and her husband David Hughes from the novel by Agnes von Krusenstjerna. Casting is exceptional as is the b&w cinematography of master Sven Nykvist. The sexual diversity under scored in the relationships is quite interesting for the time period and adds a somewhat subversive tone to the film. Highly recommended.
Tropes of male vs. female role play not unlike Bergman (here with a little flamboyant twist), but it felt frustratingly exaggerated, leading to exhaustion. For one thing, it confirms something we already know: Sven Nykvist is a genius (you know he did Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice, right?!). Also, Lindblom is my second favorite Bergman muse next to Ingrid Thulin... here, she's super bitter, always captivating <3
This takes a fabulous turn for the queer as it nears its climax, which helps to mitigate the relentless unsatisfied "female longing" trope that dominates. Existential and campy at the same time. Was it the "examination of sex" that got her booted from Cannes, or the sacrilegious church hijinks?