After the Rehearsal | Chicago Reader

After the Rehearsal

Ingmar Bergman's 70-minute TV film (1984) is an afterword to Fanny and Alexander, an examination of the impressions and emotions that linger after the story is over, taking the form of three monologues (an elderly director, a young actress, the director's alcoholic ex-star and ex-lover) and a concluding duet. The film is awful where Bergman has always been awful—in trying to turn his philosophical conceits into viable drama—but there is something liberating in the very schematism of the project: he no longer needs to pretend that his mouthpieces are real people. As in Fanny, Bergman is self-consciously regathering the themes and situations that are his artistic property, though the perspective is no longer one of childhood and commencement, but of old age and exhaustion. With Erland Josephson, Ingrid Thulin, and Lena Olin.

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