Aus dem Leben der Marionetten (From the Life of the Marionettes) 1980

From the Life of the Marionettes

Critics Consensus

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67%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 12

76%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 790

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From the Life of the Marionettes Photos

Movie Info

Peter (Robert Atzorn) and Katarina (Christine Buchegger) are at a marital crossroads, but, when he brutally kills a burlesque dancer, their domestic squabbles are rendered trivial by comparison. In the wake of the crime, the film backtracks, painting a portrait of the fraught union between Peter and Katarina. When does a marriage go bad? What causes a member of the German bourgeoisie to murder an innocent woman? These are the questions director Ingmar Bergman's movie tries to answer.

Cast & Crew

Robert Atzorn
Peter Egermann
Christine Buchegger
Katarina Egerman
Martin Benrath
Professor Mogens Jensen
Rita Russek
Katharina Kraft
Lola Muethel
Cordelia Egermann
Walter Schmidinger
Tim Mandelbaum
Heinz Bennent
Arthur Brenner
Rolf A. Wilhelm
Music
Sven Nykvist
Cinematographer
Petra von Oelffen
Editing
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Critic Reviews for Aus dem Leben der Marionetten (From the Life of the Marionettes)

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (4)

Audience Reviews for Aus dem Leben der Marionetten (From the Life of the Marionettes)

  • Feb 20, 2013
    In "From the Life of the Marionettes," a tender embrace between a half-naked prostitute(Rita Russek) and her customer, Peter Egermann(Robert Atzorn), soon turns ugly, as he suddenly attacks her before brutally strangling and sodomizing her. The first person on the scene is Peter's friend, Professor Mogens Jensen(Martin Benrath), a psychiatrist. Interviewed afterward, he wonders at what could have driven Peter to such a heinous act. Yeah about that. Turn the clock back a couple of weeks, and Peter is telling Mogens a fantasy he has about killing his wife Katarina(Christine Buchegger), a fashion designer, which he instantly dismisses as harmless. Once Mogens thinks Peter has left, he calls Katarina for a possible assignation but she has second thoughts, with, unbeknowst to them, Peter hidden in the room. "From the Life of the Marionettes" is a dark and disturbing movie about a murder that is much more concerned with the murderer than the victim. As the movie goes on, the possible motive becomes increasingly more complex to the point where Peter gets what he has been seeking all along. Some of that motivation might come from him feeling trapped, as he is pulled and pushed in all directions, hence the movie's title. As oft-putting as some of Ingmar Bergman's later films can be, it might surprise some that this one is a little more accessible, as the movie's circular structure draws the viewer in with a limited amount of exterior shots to heighten the claustrophobia. For the most part, Bergman is operating on all gears with his patented use of close-ups and the positioning of faces. For this film, Sven Nykvist shoots mostly in black and white, with occasional flashes of brightness to heighten the dreamlike imagery; the only color images coming at the beginning and the end, with the reds accenting the lurid atmosphere of the strip club.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 14, 2009
    Bergman was on top form writing this piece - there's lots to think about. What motivates a respectable man, whose mental state indicates only a small risk of self-harm, to undertake such a violent and frenzied crime? Do the ulterior motives and actions of those around him (wife, shrink, wife's business partner...)deliberately or unwittingly trigger the crime - or indeed are those sub-plots entirely incidental to the central event? These questions are not answered - they are raised and illuminated. This is not Bergman's greatest piece of cinema - the mixture of documentary, drama and flashback can be a little disorienting - but the argument of the film drives on relentlessly and it is compulsive watching. Well worth seeing.
    Cassandra M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 29, 2008
    A somewhat underrated Bergman film, made in Germany during his tax exile from Sweden. The film starts in colour, with a brutal murder by the main character. What follows next is a series of non chronological scenes before the crime and interrogations after the crime, all illustrating the main characters troubles and what drove him to the murder. Visually the film is beautiful thanks to Sven Nykvist, especially the black and white cineamatography (which 90% of the film is). Plus there are some brilliant surreal dream sequences.
    Emily B Super Reviewer

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