the film snob

A cyberspace journal about my experiences as an NYU film school grad student, reviews of current and classic films, film and TV news, and the rants and raves of an admitted (and unapologetic) film snob.

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Esse Quam Videri -- To be, rather than to appear

Friday, May 05, 2006


For the past year or so, I have been writing film and TV reviews at Here are synopsis' and links to those reviews.

When Saraband was released, 87 year-old Ingmar Bergman declared it would be his final film. He said the same thing when his 1986 Fanny and Alexander debuted. Let’s hope he is as mistaken this time as he was then.

In Saraband, his quasi-sequel to his 1973 film, Scenes from a Marriage, Bergman revisits familiar characters, now old and foul-tempered. Johan and Marianne’s marriage disintegrated not because there was anger or hate or pain or even infidelity. It disintegrated because there was no love. They simply existed beside each other. Only after their implosion, affairs and other marriages did they find themselves drawn together again and again—for love.

Now decades after the last time they saw each other, Bergman reunites them to tell the story of boundless love separated by death, transmuted incestuous affection, and dreams at constant war with duty. Bergman continues to wrestle with his demons, concerned with spiritual conflict and the fragility of the psyche, revealed in a way that absolutely no other filmmaker alive or dead can. I know of no one in cinema who can so penetrate the skin of humanity to bare the tortured inner souls and angst we all share. No one.

Saraband is intensely dramatic, a lacerating examination of life's challenges, acted with laser precision by one of the greatest directors to ever pick up a camera. So many great directors seem to go out with a whimper. Ingmar Bergman has gone out with a bang. This is as tough a film as he has ever made.

To read the full review, click here.


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