Saraband | Chicago Reader

Saraband

By now Ingmar Bergman has concocted many a postscript to his illustrious career. What makes this masterful if sprawling 2003 sequel to Scenes From a Marriage (1973) remarkable is that at the director's insistence it was shot and is being shown on digital video. This matters because, in spite of Bergman's consummate skill with his actors (chiefly Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson), he makes no attempt whatever to hide his contempt for the medium apart from its usefulness as a recording device. The lack of stylistic finesse, whether deliberate or inadvertent, becomes a kind of shocking honesty about the creepiness of Bergman's sensibility: solipsistically self-pitying, spiritually constipated, and utterly without interest in overcoming these flaws. In Swedish with subtitles. R, 120 min.

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