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1950, Telepicture Marketing, 89 min, Sweden, Dir: Hasse Ekman

When beautiful young Dagmar Brink (Eva Henning) commits suicide her neighbors are stunned - especially when her final note leaves them all her possessions, including the enigmatic portrait of Dagmar called “Girl with Hyacinths.” Intrigued, the husband begins an investigation into what could have made the beguiling woman kill herself. Ekman’s greatest film is a slow-building tale of suspense leading to a stunning, unforgettable conclusion. “An absolute masterpiece. Twenty-four carats. Perfect.” - Ingmar Bergman.

1949, Janus Films, 84 min, Sweden, Dir: Ingmar Bergman

Made right after the dissolution of Bergman’s second marriage, this is an often dazzling tirade against the institution of matrimony. The principal couple, Bertil (Birger Malmsten) and Ruth (Eva Henning), travel home by train to Sweden from Switzerland, at each other’s throats the whole way. Meanwhile, in Stockholm, Bertil’s former lover, Viola (Birgit Tengroth, who also wrote the stories on which the film is based), tries to evade the predatory advances of her psychiatrist, and then of a ballet dancer who was once a friend of Ruth’s. This dark and multilayered drama, sustained by biting dialogue, reveals Bergman’s profound understanding of the female psyche.

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