Monday, May 14, 2012

Scenes from a Marriage

Marianne and Johan are two middle aged successful people residing in Stockholm with two daughters and seemingly content marriage. However, when Johan reveals his affair with another woman, Marianne begins divorce proceedings as hidden layers of disdain and contempt are revealed from their still loving relationship. "Scenes from Marriage" is a Swedish television series which was written and directed by legendary filmmaker Ingmar Bergman and remains one of the most regarded and successful works of his considerate. I viewed the 6 part, 6 hour television version (the one most have seen in the U.S. is a feature length and with a slightly different tone) which is an intimate, beautiful, and often harsh work, shot in closeups and consisting almost exclusively of its two stars, Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson as they enact as the various scenes of their partnership with great power and emotion. "Scenes from a Marriage" is an insightful and difficult character study to the greatest degree from a master filmmaker, his loyal cinematographer Sven Nykvist, and featuring two great performances from his longtime collaborators.