Scenes From a Marriage [VHS]

ISBN 13: 9786303968636

Scenes From a Marriage [VHS]

9786303968636: Scenes From a Marriage [VHS]
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Ingmar Bergman's astonishing portrayal of the disintegration of a marriage ranks with the greatest films of his late period. Liv Ullmann stars as a "happily" married lawyer whose husband suddenly leaves her for another woman. Bergman skillfully edited the story's original six television episodes into a feature-length film that cuts to the heart of human relationships.

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Ingmar Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage opens with a couple--Marianne (Liv Ullmann) and Johan (Erland Josephson)--being interviewed for a magazine. Every moment seems to teeter on the brink of some rupture; just as they start to get comfortable, the interviewer has them freeze for a photograph. After making some bland general statements, they both start admitting intimate details, confessing that they were brought together by mutual misery, then cheerfully claiming that theirs is a model marriage. The entirety of Scenes from a Marriage, which chronicles their emotional relationship even after their divorce and marriages to other people, continues to have these contradictory moments of honesty and self-deception, cruelty and kindness, concern and self-obsession--all laid bare by the skillful actors and the subtle, constantly shifting screenplay. Every scene is a small movie unto itself; in fact, Scenes from a Marriage was originally a six-episode TV show, which was carefully edited down into a unified film. This is one of Bergman's most immediate and accessible works, concerned more with the facts of human behavior than symbolism or abstract themes. Bergman understands how to balance what could be horrible pain and despair with the characters' earnest efforts to improve their lives. His imitators reduce everything to sheer suffering and alienation; Bergman sees the best in his characters, even when their actions are terrible. This 1973 film won numerous awards, including several acting honors for Ullmann. --Bret Fetzer

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