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Scenes From a Marriage
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Ingmar Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage opens with a couple--Marianne (Liv Ullmann) and Johan (Erland Josephson)--being interviewed for a magazine. Every moment seems to teeter on the brink of some rupture; just as they start to get comfortable, the interviewer has them freeze for a photograph. After making some bland general statements, they both start admitting intimate details, confessing that they were brought together by mutual misery, then cheerfully claiming that theirs is a model marriage. The entirety of Scenes from a Marriage, which chronicles their emotional relationship even after their divorce and marriages to other people, continues to have these contradictory moments of honesty and self-deception, cruelty and kindness, concern and self-obsession--all laid bare by the skillful actors and the subtle, constantly shifting screenplay. Every scene is a small movie unto itself; in fact, Scenes from a Marriage was originally a six-episode TV show, which was carefully edited down into a unified film. This is one of Bergman's most immediate and accessible works, concerned more with the facts of human behavior than symbolism or abstract themes. Bergman understands how to balance what could be horrible pain and despair with the characters' earnest efforts to improve their lives. His imitators reduce everything to sheer suffering and alienation; Bergman sees the best in his characters, even when their actions are terrible. This 1973 film won numerous awards, including several acting honors for Ullmann. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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There's just something about Bergman's vision as a director and the camera of Sven Nykvist that brings this film to life. Bergman just throws these characters right into our faces, and we are truly mesmerize by them and their actions.
For those who have never seen this film, it is basically just as it's title may suggest, a look into the life of one couple's marriage. Marianne (Liv Ullman) and Johan (Erland Josephson) are our couple in question. They have been married for a while now, and seem to have a good solid marriage. One wouldn't think anything was wrong, especially when compared to their friends like Katarina (Bibi Andersson) and Peter (Jan Malmsjo) a couple whom act like their about to kill each other at any given moment. The scene is involving them, is one of many sterling moments in this masterpiece.
If I were to go on and talk about more scenes in this film, I would clearly be ruining the entire experience for you. Just rent this movie or even better buy this movie and be prepared to see the power that cinema can convey.
"Scenes From A Marriage" is one of Bergman's best films. And, while yes, there is talk of a sequel, I can only hope, that it all remains a rumor. To make a sequel out of this masterpiece would surely be a mistake. Here's a film that is perfect as it is. Just leave it alone and don't add anything to it. Though, Bergman did make a sequel out of the Katarina and Peter characters and made "From the Life of the Marionettes", which does have it's powerful moments, but doesn't quite build up to what this film has become.Read more ›
And then we have the scene in which Johan tells her that he is in love with a younger woman. Her response is incredible tolerant and "understanding." She is generous and sad instead of wildly jealous. After a bit we see that this is a STRATEGY by Marianne. She is desperately trying to save her marriage. Even though she is faced with Johan's dull, almost absurdist indifference, she asks if she might help him pack his bags. This is a woman at thirty-five, when everything that means anything to her is suddenly threatened, and this is how she responds, with genius. Or, some might say, with madness. Marianne's tolerance of his behavior is stunning while Johan's insufferable arrogance and "worldly" understanding of himself makes us want to scream. Will her strategy work?
What Bergman does that keeps us engrossed for the 170 minutes this film runs (edited from a six-part production made for Swedish TV) is he tells the truth. It's a Bergman truth, but it is a truth so beyond the contrivances and superficialities of most movies that we are fascinated. In this we experience the deep, unsentimental fascination for people that Bergman is famous for.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I know this series has been around for ages and has been fully critiqued by all and sundry in the movie industry and entertainment world. Read morePublished on June 27 2012 by Ian Gordon Malcomson
This contains both the original 6 part TV mini series, and the almost 100 minute shorter theatrical version. Read morePublished on May 9 2012 by K. Gordon
This series was way ahead of it's time in the 1970's. I rediscovered in 2009 when I purchased the dvd's. The acting is nothing short of superb and the script is phenomenal. Read morePublished on Jan. 10 2010 by Zsuzsika
This film is incredible. It is, however, a brutal one to watch (the intense arguments are too intense to watch at times, there is so much PAIN in this film). Read morePublished on April 2 2004 by Yvonne Campbell
This Criterion edition is an absolute must-have for any fan of Ingmar Bergman's work. I have seen the 3-hour film version several times before, and felt it was superb, as most of... Read morePublished on March 21 2004
What a treat for the DVD world! This DVD include teh original 5-hour presentaion of Scenes from a Marriage and the original US version AND an interview with Ingmar Bergman! Read morePublished on March 2 2004 by Cody Keene
I watched Scenes from a marriage twice the very first time i rented it from a local library. And yet so far it is one of the best movies i ever watched in my life. Read morePublished on Dec 23 2003
A departure from the complexity of Persona and The Passion of Anna, Bergman put together a highly accessible and clear portrait of the lives of a stereotypical... Read morePublished on Aug. 11 2003 by Greg T. Smith
'Scenes from a marriage' may seem like a bit of a chore: three hours relentlessly focused on two people falling apart. Read morePublished on Sept. 6 2001 by darragh o'donoghue
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