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Director:Ingmar Bergman
Cast:Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson, Börje Ahlstedt, Julia Dufvenius
Release Date:2005
Genre:Drama, Foreign

By Eric Allen Hatch | Posted 9/21/2005

From the Movies We Never Would Have Thought Would Have a Sequel Department comes Saraband, cinema legend Ingmar Bergman’s follow-up to one of his most devastating works, 1973’s Scenes From A Marriage. Saraband opens with Marianne (Liv Ullmann) visiting her former husband Johan (Erland Josephson), now wealthy—and a miserable prick—for the first time in 30 years. The movie soon shifts to the unhealthy co-dependence between Karin (Julia Dufvenius) and her father Henrik (Börje Ahlstedt), Johan’s senior-aged son by another marriage. Bergman makes many missteps here, foremost being the many scenes in which Marianne addresses the camera directly—a device that rarely works well in a drama—and his casting of the stagey, labored Dufvenius as Karin. One or two scenes, however, deliver classic, electrifying Bergman—notably a tense confrontation between Henrik and Johan in the latter’s library. For the director, who has announced and renounced his retirement several times over now, Saraband stands as an oddity; Bergman apparently felt he needed to bring back Marianne and Johan to tell another story, but it’s a story that ultimately has little to do with them.

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