Reviews

Saraband

4

Ingmar Bergman still isn't dead. Does that irk the Swedish master? Fuelled by savage confession, the 87-year-old's belated sorta-sequel to marital-meltdown stunner Scenes From A Marriage (1973) is an anti-date-movie of lacerating bitterness. Thirty years on, Marianne (Liv Ullmann) visits ex-husband Johan (Erland Josephson) and finds herself skewered on a hate triangle: Johan despises himself and his son Henrik (Börje Ahlstedt), who matches him while throttling his own child (Julia Dufvenius) with incestuous obsession. Cue head-on emotional warfare, as the poisonous alchemy of their relationships boil across 10 interior dialogues. It's a minor career requiem and, in its way, as cerebral and self-satisfied as the characters. But Saraband's pure ruthlessness is thrilling - it's as raw a film as Bergman's ever made and, in an era of brain-raping blockbusters, truly something to cherish. Should we brace for a trilogy?

 

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