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

  • Jun 15, 2019

    Intense and puzzling chamber play switching between black-and-white and color and with extensive dream sequences.

    Intense and puzzling chamber play switching between black-and-white and color and with extensive dream sequences.

  • Feb 25, 2019

    Not unlike Hitchcockâ(TM)s Frenzy (1972), Bergman reconstructs a horrible sex murder and explores the events immediately before and after the âdisasterâ? (which is shown in shocking and vivid colour at the filmâ(TM)s start, while the rest is in clinical black and white, shot stunningly by Sven Nykvist). Of course, the result is very unlike Hitchcock (where the wrong man, our ambiguous hero, is suspected) â" although there is a chance that Bergman expects that some viewers could feel some identification with murderer Peter Egermann (Robert Atzorn) who feels increasingly antagonistic toward his wife of ten years, Katarina (Christine Buchegger) and confesses that he fantasizes about killing her to his psychiatrist (Martin Benrath). We see Katarina and Peterâ(TM)s life before the event, as he becomes increasingly despondent and even threatens suicide and she pulls away from him asserting her independence (while both are drinking a lot â" indeed the names of these characters are the same as the bitter alcoholic couple who are friends with Johan and Marianne in Scenes from a Marriage, 1973). Peterâ(TM)s mother and Katarinaâ(TM)s gay co-worker also provide their views, both in flashback and as statements to the police after the murder. The highpoint of the film is probably the co-worker Timâ(TM)s exploration (in a monologue, in front of a mirror) of matters of identity, both as a gay man and as an aging adult who still feels his younger self (even as a child) inside. One senses Bergman reflecting on his own mortality (he was 62) and the effects of time on a person as well as relationships. But, for all the dark self-analysis here, it is hard to grasp why Peter did it â" some final Freudian suggestion about latent homosexuality does not cut it. Instead, it may be better to see the film as another portrayal of the patriarchal environment that women are trapped in, suffering at the hands of men (again and again), particularly when they dare to assert themselves. Indeed, all three of the filmâ(TM)s female characters have been subjected to unfair control and domination by men; the title of the film itself implies that women are therefore the âmarionettesâ?. However, Bergman doesnâ(TM)t provide any solution to the problem, leaving it up to viewers to ponder whether he thinks that men too are marionettes who struggle and despair but cannot break free of the grip of patriarchy. Say it isnâ(TM)t so.

    Not unlike Hitchcockâ(TM)s Frenzy (1972), Bergman reconstructs a horrible sex murder and explores the events immediately before and after the âdisasterâ? (which is shown in shocking and vivid colour at the filmâ(TM)s start, while the rest is in clinical black and white, shot stunningly by Sven Nykvist). Of course, the result is very unlike Hitchcock (where the wrong man, our ambiguous hero, is suspected) â" although there is a chance that Bergman expects that some viewers could feel some identification with murderer Peter Egermann (Robert Atzorn) who feels increasingly antagonistic toward his wife of ten years, Katarina (Christine Buchegger) and confesses that he fantasizes about killing her to his psychiatrist (Martin Benrath). We see Katarina and Peterâ(TM)s life before the event, as he becomes increasingly despondent and even threatens suicide and she pulls away from him asserting her independence (while both are drinking a lot â" indeed the names of these characters are the same as the bitter alcoholic couple who are friends with Johan and Marianne in Scenes from a Marriage, 1973). Peterâ(TM)s mother and Katarinaâ(TM)s gay co-worker also provide their views, both in flashback and as statements to the police after the murder. The highpoint of the film is probably the co-worker Timâ(TM)s exploration (in a monologue, in front of a mirror) of matters of identity, both as a gay man and as an aging adult who still feels his younger self (even as a child) inside. One senses Bergman reflecting on his own mortality (he was 62) and the effects of time on a person as well as relationships. But, for all the dark self-analysis here, it is hard to grasp why Peter did it â" some final Freudian suggestion about latent homosexuality does not cut it. Instead, it may be better to see the film as another portrayal of the patriarchal environment that women are trapped in, suffering at the hands of men (again and again), particularly when they dare to assert themselves. Indeed, all three of the filmâ(TM)s female characters have been subjected to unfair control and domination by men; the title of the film itself implies that women are therefore the âmarionettesâ?. However, Bergman doesnâ(TM)t provide any solution to the problem, leaving it up to viewers to ponder whether he thinks that men too are marionettes who struggle and despair but cannot break free of the grip of patriarchy. Say it isnâ(TM)t so.

  • Sep 02, 2018

    Interesting, but not great, Ingmar Bergman drama.

    Interesting, but not great, Ingmar Bergman drama.

  • Apr 30, 2016

    The complexities of marriage/relationships and how wrong they can get. Well made film, just not uplifting.

    The complexities of marriage/relationships and how wrong they can get. Well made film, just not uplifting.

  • Apr 20, 2016

    OK late career Berman Spoiler Alert!!! still haven't figured out why this starts in colour then switches to black & white

    OK late career Berman Spoiler Alert!!! still haven't figured out why this starts in colour then switches to black & white

  • Jul 23, 2015

    Tem ambição natural dos filmes de Bergman, mas aqui ele jamais consegue fornecer material suficiente para justificar suas ambições.

    Tem ambição natural dos filmes de Bergman, mas aqui ele jamais consegue fornecer material suficiente para justificar suas ambições.

  • Feb 21, 2014

    A Bergman's personal reflection about coldness, nihilism and insanity that can come from a relationship where there is no love. Technically well done.

    A Bergman's personal reflection about coldness, nihilism and insanity that can come from a relationship where there is no love. Technically well done.

  • Walter M Super Reviewer
    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.

    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.

  • May 04, 2012

    Je voulais voir un film, j'ai vu une pièce de théâtre. On peut pas en vouloir à Bergman.

    Je voulais voir un film, j'ai vu une pièce de théâtre. On peut pas en vouloir à Bergman.

  • Jan 19, 2012

    An underrated work of Bergman. Far better than his other German work (serpent's egg). Heavy and visually stunning, especially the dream sequence.

    An underrated work of Bergman. Far better than his other German work (serpent's egg). Heavy and visually stunning, especially the dream sequence.