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Passion of Anna

Liv Ullmann , Bibi Andersson , Ingmar Bergman    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Bergman growing and evolving yet again May 3 2012
By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER
This film represents some remarkable changes for Bergman; using color
in as careful and striking away as had been using black and white, and
a looser, less astringent feel to the story telling (indeed, this was
the first film where he experimented with letting his actors
improvise). The film feels more human, the edges softer. On the other
hands, the themes are classic middle period Bergman ' lies vs., truth,
hope vs. despair, etc. And on a plot level there are some interesting
echoes of 'Persona' in both its confused identities and Godard like
interruptions, but in a much subtler more smoothly integrated style.

I found the wonderful acting and fascinating film-making choices
overrode the problem of distance I feel with some of Bergman's early
and middle work. I always admire the films; the bravery, the acting,
the style, the deepness of their ideas, the complete lack of
compromise. But sometimes I just don't feel as drawn in on a visceral

The story; four people on an island; an ex'criminal hiding from
society, an architect with disdain for humanity and his fragile,
insomniac wife, and their friend Anna whose husband and child died in a
car wreck which left her with a limp all end up having their lives
intertwine, leading to revelations and the stripping away of

The title 'The Passion of Anna' was an invention of the US distributor,
over Bergman's favored 'A Passion'. This is a case where a wrong title
can seriously effect one's perception of a film, since Anna is really a
supporting character.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Yet anoyher flaw with the bergman collection??? Feb. 18 2004
By A Customer
The movie itself is fascinating but the transfer is so-so. I don't know if it's a problem with my copy but the image is not
centered (I had to rotate the image).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Genius at work... June 20 2003
I am amongst those Bergman fans who prefer his post-Persona work best. I find many of his late 40's-50's films too calculated & highly pretentious (especially films like The Silence & Winter Light). One of the best Bergman films of the 70's
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5.0 out of 5 stars A movie full of 'Passion'. Nov. 17 2001
After having seen Woody Allen's INTERIORS I was so impressed by the direction. I found out that Allen was paying homage to Bergman and at the time I was just finding out about all sorts of different movies, I was 14 at the time so this was so amazing to me and still is. Afterwards I sought out movies by Bergman but I was always a little afraid of being dissappointed (I had recorded THE SEVENTH SEAL on TV but I thought I ought to take baby steps in terms of getting to know Bergman so I did not see it). But finally I decided to start with THE PASSION OF ANNA and now every week I rent at least two Bergman movies from my library. The direction is genius! I love the way Bergman doesn't try to hype up events. He just lets everything unravel in a natural way. Whenever someone in this movie is saying something regarding their emotional state or past experiences, etc. Bergman lets their emotions shine through and he presents us with intimate close ups of their faces so that we can observe every bit of the emotions that the character is going through. Other directors prefer to use music and other methods which I am not condemning, I actually like some of the other methods that other directors use but I had never seen a movie in which the director let everything happen so naturally, as if it weren't even a movie but a documentery though the look of the movie is not realistic, it looks like a movie but it doesn't feel like one. Bergman gives us a stark and compelling movie about these 4 people who are going through the motions and how they affect each other's lives. Max von Sydow plays a widower who lives a very mechanical life until he gets in involved in the lives of three other people and they are played by Bibi Anderson, Erland Josephson and finally Liv Ullmann as Anna. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Apocalyptic Bergman. Sept. 6 2001
'The Passion of Anna' sometimes feels like a compendium of Bergman films, such as 'The Seventh Seal' (Max Von Sydow struggling to find meaning in an apocalyptic environment), 'Persona' (Liv Ullmann and Bibi Andersson as two women suffering on a remote island) and 'Hour of the Wolf' (Von Sydow, living with Ullmann on a remote island, tempted by sophisticated strangers led by Erland Josephson).
But though the film deals with the many of those films' themes - emotional violence, power mind-games, dissatisfaction, ennui, exile - it somehow seems lighter, less like spending two hours on a (nerve) rack. This may be because though the title refers to two kinds of passion - an overwhelming love for or interest in something, and a journey of trials and sufferings leading to some kind of redemption - it features a hero who is removed from either.
A gruesome mystery element soon intrudes, as an unknown figure starts slaughtering all the animals on the island. This element performs at least two functions - by asking the question, who is this madman, it forces us to look more closely at our characters; and it creates an apocalyptic feel that is an appropriate backdrop to the characters' mental deterioraton or fatigue, while also suggesting a wider, largely unseen social framework against which these isolated figures exist.
It also contributes to the film's bleak colour scheme - though in colour, the film's winter setting is all brown and grey, with big black bare trees, swathes of mud and stone, dirty smudges of snow. This has obvious symbolic value - just as we first meet Von Sydow repairing his roof, as if trying to paper the cracks in his mind; so we see him alone, sometimes drunk, in this huge, empty landscape, peopled only by dead animals, elusive madmen and an unseen mob.
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