“Saraband”

by F.

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This movie kicks ass.

The plot? Marianne, a 63 year old lawyer, is reminiscing over some old photographs and thinks about her former husband of 16 years, Johan. On a whim, she goes to see him and becomes entwined in his strained relationship with his son, a failed musician who is trying to prevent his daughter—a surrogate for his dead wife—from leaving home to pursue her musical career. The story is broken into 10 scenes with an epilogue and a prologue. There are no happy endings, no Hollywood character arcs, no neat and tidy “theme” that you can write down on a Post-It Note. It’s messy and painful and confusing, and yet not to be missed.

A steady diet of Bergman would be hard to take, but it’s so nice to get a blast of Bergman’s honesty. I think this is better than his earlier films, actually. Bergman is in his 80’s and, as you can see by watching the “making of” feature on the disc, is still vital.

Here’s the link to Netflix.

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