1976, Paramount, 136 min, Sweden/USA, Dir: Ingmar Bergman

After a prolonged stint in television, Bergman returned to the big screen with a decidedly dark film even by his standards, fusing such familiar themes as the troubles of marriage, mental illness and death. This intense drama tells the story of two psychiatrists (Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson) bound by the institution of marriage and nothing more, as Ullmann’s tormented psyche gradually envelopes the film’s material reality to reveal a desperately lonely inner world. Featuring what Roger Ebert called “one of the greatest performances in an Ingmar Bergman film,” FACE TO FACE takes the legendary collaboration with Ullmann to bold new heights.

1983, Kino Intl., 125 min, Italy/Soviet Union, Dir: Andrei Tarkovsky

Director Andrei Tarkovsky’s first film outside the Soviet Union was shot in Italy, where Russian writer Andrei Gorchakov (Oleg Yankovsky) has traveled to research an 18th-century composer. Though the interpreter (Domiziana Giordano) accompanying him is quite charming, Andrei is stricken with homesickness, until he meets an eccentric (Erland Josephson) who challenges him to save the world. This haunting, visually poetic film garnered several awards at Cannes (though Soviet authorities reportedly prevented it from winning the Palme d’Or).

1986, Kino Intl., 142 min, Sweden/UK/France, Dir: Andrei Tarkovsky

As a family descends on a remote Swedish island to celebrate the birthday of patriarch Alexander, World War III erupts, and the old man makes a bargain with God to avoid nuclear holocaust. Starring one of Ingmar Bergman’s favorite actors, Erland Josephson, and shot by the Swedish director’s longtime cinematographer, Sven Nykvist, THE SACRIFICE was Tarkovsky’s final film. In Swedish, French and English with English subtitles.

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