FROM THE LIFE OF MARIONETTES
AUS DEM LEBEN DER MARIONETTEN
1980, Janus Films, 104 min, West Germany/Sweden, Dir: Ingmar Bergman

Made during Bergman’s self-imposed exile in Germany, this drama offers a lacerating portrait of a troubled marriage and a complex psychological analysis of a murder. Unhappily married businessman Peter nurses fantasies of murdering his wife, Katarina, until a prostitute becomes his surrogate prey. In the aftermath of the crime, Peter and Katarina’s psychiatrist and others attempt to explain its roots. This compelling film moves seamlessly between dream and everyday reality, between lurid color and austere black-and-white, and the acting by the German cast is superb.


THE MAGIC FLUTE
TROLLFLÖJTEN
1974, Janus Films, 134 min, Sweden, Dir: Ingmar Bergman

Director Ingmar Bergman shot Mozart's last operatic masterpiece for Swedish television in 1973, all on a studio lot in which the famed 18th-century Royal Court Theatre of Drottningholm was re-created. A heroic prince (Josef Köstlinger) has been enlisted by the Queen of the Night (Birgit Nordin) to rescue her daughter, the beautiful Pamina (Irma Urrila), from her evil father, Sarastro (Ulrik Cold). The music is sublime, and the film is stunning to look at with gorgeous cinematography by Bergman favorite Sven Nykvist. “THE MAGIC FLUTE is magical indeed, charming and musically fulfilling, a perfect commingling of one form of art and another.” - Charles Champlin, Los Angeles Times.


THE RITE
RITEN
1969, Janus Films, 72 min, Sweden, Dir: Ingmar Bergman

In one of Ingmar Bergman’s most stylized and political films, three traveling actors are accused of taking part in a performance deemed pornographic by the state’s authorities. Before an intractable judge, they are forced to defend themselves and their art, but their own personal flaws and scandals also are brought to the fore. Taking place in a shadowy bureaucratic netherworld, the film confronts artistic censorship while also investigating such Bergman-esque themes as sexual violence and the nature of performance.


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