Rules of engagement
The three o’clock cinema was thus an institution. There were rules, of course (both explicit and implicit):
Everyone is familiar with Ingmar’s penchant for punctuality.
Going to the movies on rainy days alone, or just watching especially interesting films, was out of the question. So was spending sunny days on the beach, or choosing to skip the more challenging films. What you needed, in short, was obsessive cinematic dedication. (Perhaps this dedication also included getting close to a father who had previously been absent from our lives, but that’s another matter.)
Ingmar often told us it pained him to see how Liv Ullmann’s dachshund expressly revealed its boredom with a film. In other words, you weren’t allowed to get bored or fall asleep. I particularly recall a documentary about a sawmill. The film just went on and on – footage of logs being split in perpetuity.