There’s a tiny detail that captures why Bergman movies are among my favorite exhibits of human nature: in the middle of a relationship extinction level event, Liv Ullmann still crawls over Erland Josephson to the nightstand to set the alarm clock. Even when it feels like their lives are tumbling down, habit keeps moving them forward. Their fights don’t have neat arcs; the actors let heartbreak or guilt or fear or fury come in fast and surprise them, and shunt them aside just as quickly. This couple can be viciously cruel with each other one minute and so tender and gentle the next; they can stay up all night talking in circles. Despite all the ways they know each other so well, and intellectualize their own baggage with laser precision, they can still be at its mercy. Watching them grapple with whether they're better together or apart is more complicated and crushing and hopeful than I expected even from Bergman.
Leave a Reply.
The Bri-terion Collection
I’m loving the Criterion Channel streaming service, so every week I’m going to share my favorite new find.