ALL THESE WOMEN
FÖR ATT INTE TALA OM ALLA DESSA KVINNOR
1964, Janus Films, 80 min, Sweden, Dir: Ingmar Bergman

Conceived as an amusing diversion in the wake of the despairing THE SILENCE, this comedy is Bergman’s first film in color, and it looks like a glorious chocolate box. Working from a bawdy screenplay he cowrote with actor Erland Josephson, about a supercilious critic drawn into the dizzying orbit of a famous cellist, Bergman brings together buoyant comic turns by a number of his frequent collaborators, including Jarl Kulle, Eva Dahlbeck, Harriet Andersson and Bibi Andersson. ALL THESE WOMEN, in which Bergman pokes fun at the pretensions of drawing-room art, possesses a distinctly playful atmosphere and a carefree rhythm.


THE SERPENT’S EGG
1977, Park Circus/MGM, 118 min, USA/West Germany, Dir: Ingmar Bergman

A large U.S./West German co-production shot entirely in English with a fascinating mystery at the center of its plot, THE SERPENT’S EGG is an underappreciated anomaly in Bergman’s filmography. Starring David Carradine alongside Bergman regular Liv Ullmann, the film takes place in 1920s Berlin, as Nazi sentiment was beginning to brew just below the surface of German society. While it was originally panned by critics (perhaps due to its significant departure from his other work), the film offers an honest reflection on the director’s early memories of fascism during his time in Germany as a teenager.


FACE TO FACE
ANSIKTE MOT ANSIKTE
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.


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