Saraband Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ August 14, 2005
[font=Century Gothic]"Saraband", written and directed by Ingmar Bergman, takes place thirty years after the events of "Scenes from a Marriage".(But it is not essential that you see the earlier movie to watch "Saraband.") Once married, Johan(Erland Josephson) and Marianne(Liv Ullmann) have not seen each other in the interim when she decides on a whim to visit him. Johan is now retired from being a professor because of an inheritance from an aunt and living in the country. His son, Henrik(Borje Ahlsedt), from a different marriage, and Henrik's daughter, Karin(Julia Dufvenius), live nearby physically but distant emotionally. Karin's saintly mother, Anna, died two years before. Henrik is an underemployed music professor while Karin is a 19-year old talented classical musician in need of professional training. It is the relationship between Karin and Henrik that takes center stage here.[/font]
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[font=Century Gothic]Ingmar Bergman has not lightened up in his old age. "Saraband" is a chamber piece which is mostly about the damage parents can do to their children. The main flaw here is that there is no real resolution to the main conflict. The performances are of course all great.[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]Note: I know a lot has been made of this being Ingmar Bergman's swan song. But this is the first appearance of Liv Ullmann, 66, in front of a camera in nearly ten years. So, I am wondering how many more movies will she be appearing in? [/font]
Super Reviewer
September 19, 2012
Late Bergman that wasn't quite as well received as his earlier films. I liked it though. We still have very profound relationships to explore.
Super Reviewer
October 19, 2006
hejsan. mycket bra film! even has geriatric nudity!! YEAH!
the story is so simple, a 2 line synopsis would sound utterly boring but bergman digs deep into details which keeps the pace fresh and interesting.
½ October 8, 2014
An outstanding final work Bergman made for TV, but it's much too good for it not to have been released theatrically. Basically Scenes from a Marriage: 30 Years Later. Nearing retirement and hearing her ex-husband has done well for himself in advanced age, curious Marianne decides on a whim to see how he's doing, decades later, and stumbles upon Johan's horrible son, who it appears is having an incestuous relationship with his daughter, who's significantly talented with the cello and wants to leave to have some semblance of a normal life but is very afraid to do so. A stunning work, a worthy finale to a remarkable career in the arts for the fine Swedish director, who through but ten dialogues can make a far better film than 90% of the other directors out there today.
July 9, 2014
"Saraband" is no minor work by any measure
½ June 9, 2014
A masterpiece from Bergman, a reflection about life, love, dreams. An honest film about failed relationships, failed parents, failed people. It seems that there is no possibility for happy people in this crew.
November 1, 2013
You bet your life I want to see the sequel to the greatest film/miniseries ever made about marital disintegration. Also, it's the last film by the man who's tied for my #1 director, so it's already obligatory viewing.
September 16, 2013
Serão ainda uns quantos os realizadores capazes de meter as mãos numa crise familiar, mas é preciso um Bergman para encarar um apocalipse familiar sem nunca temer levar o rancor e a frieza humana até limites extremos. "Saraband" pesa uma tonelada como drama e asfixia com carradas de angústia até a um ponto a que nenhum filme norte-americano chegaria (muito por causa de uma tradição de entretenimento algo oposta ao maior compromisso europeu com a arte). Bergman nem sequer tem de recorrer ao terror psicológico para nos apertar a corda à volta do pescoço. Há muito pouco em "Saraband" para desviar os olhos do ecrã (esse é um efeito mais Lars Von Trier) e há tanto para que ninguém pestaneje perante o desfalecimento doloroso das peças num xadrez familiar totalmente assombrado pelo passado. "Saraband" decorre trinta anos depois de "Scenes of a Marriage" e parece que o tempo secou os ânimos e anulou todas as hipóteses que a comédia tinha de aliviar os diálogos mais ríspidos. "Saraband" não abre espaços para a comédia e o seu sarcasmo é demasiado ácido para enquadrar-se nessa categoria. É uma sequela, mas funciona perfeitamente como filme isolado. Liv Ullmann mostra que é muito mais uma força da natureza do que uma simples actriz e a jovem Julia Dufvenius dá indicativos de que pode ser uma boa herdeira. Passa por elas (e por uma determinante terceira mulher ausente) a última palavra de "Saraband" e uma das últimas na obra de Bergman: só uma mulher é capaz de um amor gigantesco e incondicional enquanto dois homens travam uma guerra sem tréguas.
½ February 3, 2013
Well-made Ingmar Bergmann drama chronicling an elderly divorced couple, Marianne and Johan (Liv Ullman and Erland Josephman), who reunite in many years after their relationship disbanded. They are able to get along surprisingly well, but they are faced with a substantial problem. Johan's granddaughter (Julia Dufvenius) comes to them in need of help, because her father and Johan's son, Henrik (Borje Ahlstedt) is a suicidal, obsessive, and insane cello player who is on the verge of taking his own life. Generally compelling drama that reunites two older actors from director Bergmann's 1974 hit, "Scenes from a Marriage." Nicely filmed and acted, but a bit confusing at times.
½ February 7, 2012
not up to the level of Scenes of a marriage, but very touching portrayal of human anguish, and the bipolarity of human character
June 6, 2011
Bergman added way too much to something that was simple and beautiful in the beginning (Scenes from a marriage)
May 8, 2011
I think it's fair to say that this is minor Bergman, but it's still Bergman, with restrained, pitch perfect actors and perfect camera angles and lighting. This is a small story told impeccibly.
January 1, 2011
Pai (Josephson) e filho (Börje Ahlstedt) - ambos homens velhos, cuja existência se resume a um coquetel infeliz de amargura, ressentimento, solidão e egoísmo - se odeiam, um à espera da queda do outro, como se competissem numa espécie de cadeia alimentar psicológica. O elo forte nessa autofagia familiar, a esperança de quebra dessa tradição de choque entre gerações, é a neta (Julia Dufvenius, uma revelação), música promissora acossada pelo seu genitor (incestuosamente?) obcecado.

Impiedoso "drama de câmara", canto de cisne do mestre sueco, onde a indiferença afetiva e emocional do ex-marido de Marianne (Liv Ullmann) é filtrada por seu olhar feminino, vivido, fazendo com que passe a se conhecer melhor, como mãe inclusive.
September 18, 2010
A well crafted film about how complicated relationships can get over the time...
August 30, 2009
Saraband (2003). Bergman's Last film. Not introduced into USA until 2005. A reflection on life and marriage. A powerful somewhat severe film it is not to be dismissed. It was nominated for academy awards but did not win. I some how ended up watching Saraband before Scenes from a Marriage. I have queued the 5 hour version. I think I would have preferred seeing Scenes first but oh well Saraband is quite complete in it's own right. The film is present in acts. The plot and story concerning an aging (83) widower -retired with house keeper in the hills of Sweden. He is visited by his ex wife. His sons wife has died and he quit the University and the son and grand daughter are living in the small lake house cabin not far from the main house. The older guy (Johan) played by Erland Josephenson is a professor and his son and daughter are both Educated Intellects and Musicians (cellists) . Each of Bach's cello suites contains a sarabande, and this film uses the sarabande from Bach's fifth suite, which Bergman also used in Cries and Whispers (1971). Typical of Bergman films this films is a detailed intimate portrait and character study of the 3 individuals in the family and the newly arrival the ex wife. Families in turmoil (with an aging father and possible insane son who has very bad finances (insolvency) ) dont make for the most entertaining movies for the general moving going public. However in this film Bergman continues (as his past films indicate ) his passion for drama and presenting (his) truths regarding the human psyche and human conversations and incidents ( families not necessarily in turmoil but interacting deeply) . His films for me go straight to the heart in presenting truths hidden desires motivations angers. that we human beings generally do not discuss. All his films are canvas painted frame by frame with the classic symbols words and interactions of existentialism. Some of my "Joe Blow" friends have watched these films and they just get nothing out of them or are just bored. I am just not sure of what "type" of person "gets it " or understands enough to get enjoyment and fulfillment out of watching his films. Sometimes his films can be painful to watch (not this one) I wish Bergman had included more musical interludes with the two cellists actually playing or practicing. The sound and vision of the son in the church playing the organ was really impressive on my audio visual system. This film is really the end chapter (in a way) for Scenes from a Marriage. I will watch that 5 hour movie tomorrow or over the next 2 nights. I will then read all the critic reviews of both movies and might revise this short review. 5 stars highest recommendation for Saraband.
½ June 11, 2007
Could be Bergman's last film and it isn't that good of one. It's just way to dull.
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