Scenes from a marriage

Scenes from a marriage

DVD - 2004 | Swedish
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An inside look at the events leading to the disintegration of what everyone considered to be a perfect marriage.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Criterion Collection, 2004.
Edition: Full screen, Special ed.
ISBN: 9781604654271
Characteristics: 3 videodiscs (approximately 466 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.


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Jul 19, 2018

This contains both the original 6 part TV mini series, and the almost 100 minute shorter theatrical version.

In either guise, this is an amazing exploration of the decline and fall of a marriage, and the change, regressions and
growth of the two people in it. While a few other characters appear briefly, this is almost entirely a 2 actor piece, taking
place in small rooms, shot mostly in close ups. Brutally honest about its characters' considerable shortcomings, it also
extends to them a generosity and grace.

The two central performances by Liv Ullman and Erland Josephson are uncompromising and uncompromised, completely
honest and truthful, as if we were eavesdropping on a real couple. Astonishing work by both.

It's also an interesting portrait of a social moment - the early 70s - when women were finding their voice as equal partners
in marriage and society through the women's liberation movement. The piece feels dated, but only in an interesting way as
a look back, and yet seems to have paradoxically lost none of it's relevance. Styles and social customs may evolve, different
countries may deal with sex or affairs with somewhat different attitudes, but the desperately complex mix of needs, wants,
hurts, resentments and true love that make up a marriage seem to transcend time and place.

A very few moments feels forced or untrue, and another very few feel extraneous, but this is a remarkable film.

It also ushers in a new phase in Bergman's career, as the ever evolving artist moves into a kind of simple, naturalistic reality
that marked much of the work from this point on in his career. Gone are the heavy (if often tremendously effective) symbols
and surrealistic touches. This is life; raw, painful, rich and uncompromising.

Oct 21, 2017

This has got to be one of the most realistic, honest, truthful and incisive studies of human relationships ever commited to film. Ingmar Bergman really makes his case here that all you need for a movie are skilled actors and an interesting script. This has got to be one of the best screenplays ever. The level of depth, complexity and nuance to these characters is astonishing, and the performances of Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson more than match the script.

Jan 24, 2015

excellent - and still relevant 40 years later.

Jan 17, 2012

Has there ever been more honest dialogue written for tv or film?

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