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.


SUMMER WITH MONIKA
SOMMAREN MED MONIKA
1953, Janus Films, 97 min, Sweden, Dir: Ingmar Bergman

Inspired by the earthy eroticism of Harriet Andersson (in the first of her many roles for him), Ingmar Bergman had a major international breakthrough with this sensual and ultimately ravaging tale of young love. A girl (Andersson) and boy (Lars Ekborg) from working-class families in Stockholm run away from home to spend a secluded, romantic summer at the beach, far from parents and responsibilities. Inevitably, it is not long before the pair are forced to return to reality. The version initially released in the U.S. was re-edited by its distributor into something more salacious, but the original presented here is a work of stunning maturity and one of Bergman’s most important films.


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.


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