Saraband Reviews

  • Mar 01, 2019

    Bermanâ(TM)s last film is quite good. Itâ(TM)s a play-like story about characters from one of his earlier projects but can also stand on its own as a fascinating psychological drama.

    Bermanâ(TM)s last film is quite good. Itâ(TM)s a play-like story about characters from one of his earlier projects but can also stand on its own as a fascinating psychological drama.

  • Feb 02, 2019

    Ingmar Bergmanâ(TM)s last feature, shot on digital video for Swedish TV, is a return to the couple of Scenes from a Marriage (1973), played again by Liv Ullmann (now 65) and Erland Josephson (now 80), whose characters had earlier divorced (after his affair) but remained attached. Well, thirty years later, after no contact for decades, Marianne (Ullmann) decides to visit Johan (Josephson) at his country retreat (paid for with a fortune inherited from a rich aunt). Marianne introduces this journey by speaking directly to the camera and giving us a rundown of what has happened to both of them in the intervening years â" but it is hard not to look at Ullmann (and then Josephson) and think about aging and the effects it has on the body and soul. (David Lynch worked this same magic with his most recent series of Twin Peaks). Of course, viewers watching the films in the new blu-ray boxset in the order intended will have just watched the 1973 film/series and will be sensitive to any variations in Marianne and Johanâ(TM)s behaviour. If anything, his insensitivity and cruelty has intensified, but it is still hard to get a read on her. She maintains her centered confidence (scored at the end of 1973) but is her attendance to others and advice to them part of a continued avoidance of self-scrutiny? At any rate, much less devotion is paid to Marianne than to Johan in this film (given that Johan is a Bergman surrogate but also here perhaps a surrogate for Bergmanâ(TM)s own father?). In actuality, however, the plot of Saraband (broken into ten duets between players) focuses more on Johanâ(TM)s granddaughter Karin (Julia Dufvenius) and her relationship with her parents, Johanâ(TM)s son Henrik (Börje Ahlstedt) and her deceased mother, Anna. In the two years since Annaâ(TM)s death, Henrik has retreated from his work as a musician scholar to take an (unhealthy) interest in training Karin to become a cellist. The real crime here is that he has also treated her as a wife surrogate (reinforced by a couple of startling moments). His weakness and inability to cope are not tolerated by Johan nor Marianne who both seek to free Karin from his grasp. But ultimately it is her decision to make. On the surface, then, Saraband seemed similar to other Bergman chamber dramas, but with the initial expectation of âreturn/retreadâ?, I was prepared to be underwhelmed. However, he had not lost his punch and the tensions in the relationships here â" and their frankness â" reverberated with me the next day. Bergmanâ(TM)s experience may not be our own but his self-analysis and skill at dramatization combine for some powerful theatre (I mean TV). His final statement echoes his earlier emphasis on the sins of the father and subsequent liberation from them, a story of his life.

    Ingmar Bergmanâ(TM)s last feature, shot on digital video for Swedish TV, is a return to the couple of Scenes from a Marriage (1973), played again by Liv Ullmann (now 65) and Erland Josephson (now 80), whose characters had earlier divorced (after his affair) but remained attached. Well, thirty years later, after no contact for decades, Marianne (Ullmann) decides to visit Johan (Josephson) at his country retreat (paid for with a fortune inherited from a rich aunt). Marianne introduces this journey by speaking directly to the camera and giving us a rundown of what has happened to both of them in the intervening years â" but it is hard not to look at Ullmann (and then Josephson) and think about aging and the effects it has on the body and soul. (David Lynch worked this same magic with his most recent series of Twin Peaks). Of course, viewers watching the films in the new blu-ray boxset in the order intended will have just watched the 1973 film/series and will be sensitive to any variations in Marianne and Johanâ(TM)s behaviour. If anything, his insensitivity and cruelty has intensified, but it is still hard to get a read on her. She maintains her centered confidence (scored at the end of 1973) but is her attendance to others and advice to them part of a continued avoidance of self-scrutiny? At any rate, much less devotion is paid to Marianne than to Johan in this film (given that Johan is a Bergman surrogate but also here perhaps a surrogate for Bergmanâ(TM)s own father?). In actuality, however, the plot of Saraband (broken into ten duets between players) focuses more on Johanâ(TM)s granddaughter Karin (Julia Dufvenius) and her relationship with her parents, Johanâ(TM)s son Henrik (Börje Ahlstedt) and her deceased mother, Anna. In the two years since Annaâ(TM)s death, Henrik has retreated from his work as a musician scholar to take an (unhealthy) interest in training Karin to become a cellist. The real crime here is that he has also treated her as a wife surrogate (reinforced by a couple of startling moments). His weakness and inability to cope are not tolerated by Johan nor Marianne who both seek to free Karin from his grasp. But ultimately it is her decision to make. On the surface, then, Saraband seemed similar to other Bergman chamber dramas, but with the initial expectation of âreturn/retreadâ?, I was prepared to be underwhelmed. However, he had not lost his punch and the tensions in the relationships here â" and their frankness â" reverberated with me the next day. Bergmanâ(TM)s experience may not be our own but his self-analysis and skill at dramatization combine for some powerful theatre (I mean TV). His final statement echoes his earlier emphasis on the sins of the father and subsequent liberation from them, a story of his life.

  • Mar 14, 2016

    Saraband is full of unbelievably real dialogue and complex characters, while being yet another Bergman study of humanity through the themes of love, death, and human interaction.

    Saraband is full of unbelievably real dialogue and complex characters, while being yet another Bergman study of humanity through the themes of love, death, and human interaction.

  • Dec 15, 2014

    master director ingmar bergman's final film is a character study that almost doesn't disappoint except there is no resolution to why she needs 2 see her ex again after 30 years

    master director ingmar bergman's final film is a character study that almost doesn't disappoint except there is no resolution to why she needs 2 see her ex again after 30 years

  • Oct 08, 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.

    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.

  • Jul 09, 2014

    "Saraband" is no minor work by any measure

    "Saraband" is no minor work by any measure

  • Jun 09, 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.

    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.

  • Sep 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.

    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.

  • Mar 20, 2013

    This is absolutely great movie, but the trailer on this website is completely wrong. Here is the real trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2hyg4FyUcM&playnext=1&list=PLEC0FFC4D46CC1062&feature=results_video Unfortunately it (the trailer) is quite bad and will not attract to the movie at all. Very unfortunate.

    This is absolutely great movie, but the trailer on this website is completely wrong. Here is the real trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2hyg4FyUcM&playnext=1&list=PLEC0FFC4D46CC1062&feature=results_video Unfortunately it (the trailer) is quite bad and will not attract to the movie at all. Very unfortunate.

  • Feb 03, 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.

    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.