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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Ansikte Mot Ansikte (aka Face To Face) (1976)

Having sold her house, a seeming successful psychiatrist (Liv Ullmann) moves in with her grandparents (Aino Taube, Gunnar Bjornstrand) until her new home is completed. However, haunted by images and repressed emotions from her past, she begins to unravel and struggles to maintain her sanity. Directed by Ingmar Bergman, we're in familiar territory here and the film suffers from Bergman fatigue in that it seems we've seen it all before. It's not a bad film at all, far from it but in the Bergman canon, I'd call it middling Bergman. But there is genuine greatness in the film ..... Liv Ullmann. It's a remarkable performance, perhaps Ullmann's greatest and one of the greatest performances by an actress you'll ever see. It's raw, visceral and at times painful to watch as if we're seeing something terribly private that we're not supposed to see. The film was originally made for Swedish television and the TV version is some 40 minutes longer but the theatrical cut was released before it played on television. With Erland Josephson, Helene Friberg, Sven Lindberg and Kari Sylwan.

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