The first half of Ingmar Bergman's script seems to call for an almost comically tight-lipped, stone-faced blankness; the second half calls for at least four different coloratura breakdowns. Ullmann “fought like a lion” in the role, and, just hearing about it, you might imagine her Oscar nomination was a reward for a kind of athletic stamina, a heroic stab at an impossible target.
In Bergman's work, boats tend to function as the escape hatch that is never opened, the getaway car that is never put into drive, the dream that, were it to actually set sail, would capsize under the weight of the gilded burden of escapism.
"I’ve done a lot of other things, but when I look back on my work… [my work with Bergman was] probably what gave me most life. Because I was so alive, and I was trusted so much."
Criterion’s about to release the most complete collection of Bergman films yet. It’s a great opportunity to throw out the clichés and invite new perspectives. Here at Bright Wall, we’re taking the whole month to do just that.