1952, Janus Films, 107 min, Sweden, Dir: Ingmar Bergman

An early precursor to many Bergman classics - indicated by both its flashback structure and comedic timing - WAITING WOMEN is a charming film about three sisters who deliver personal accounts of the state of their marriages, ranging from brutally honest to genuinely funny and sweet. Known primarily for a hilarious flashback sequence involving a broken elevator, the film’s subtler humor is just as memorable, pointing toward the minimalism and restraint that Bergman would demonstrate throughout his career.

1951, Janus Films, 96 min, Sweden, Dir: Ingmar Bergman

A film that the director considered a creative turning point, this reverie about life and death unites Bergman’s love of theater and cinema, and touches on many of the themes that would define the rest of his legendary career - isolation, performance and the inescapability of the past. In one of the director’s great early female roles, Maj-Britt Nilsson beguiles as an accomplished ballet dancer haunted by her tragic youthful affair with a shy, handsome student (Birger Malmsten). Her memories of the sunny, rocky shores of Stockholm’s outer archipelago mingle with scenes from her gloomy present, most of them set in the dark backstage environs of the theater where she works.

Syndicate content