Saturday, 21 February 2009

Bergman's Saraband

Ingmar Bergman’s Saraband is the sequel to Scenes of a Marriage and my brilliant provider sent the DVD's so that I could view them sequentially, or perhaps it was an act of coincidence.
The openings sequence of Saraband, a prologue sees Marianne, Liv Ulman aged 63 looking on her life through a table covered in black and white photographs although this film is in colour made in 1983 when he was 86 and when in the film former husband Johan of Marianne is also 86. (I liked the use of black and white photos says he who has printed a work 101 in Black and White!)
The next aspect of the film is uncanny as shortly after the couple meet again, after an absence of thirty two years, the husband says that he is undertaking a prolonged view of his life, a pre judgement day, just as I have been doing as an integral part of the work project. Marianne asks about his conclusions and he describes his life as idiotic shit (a significant difference here because I know I have made positives differences in outcomes at several times although whether this outweighs the rest, is another question, probably impossible for me to assess, or for others to judge without the cataloguing and weighing up of everything that has been, and it multiplicity and complexity of causes.
He also devalues the relationship describing their marriage as hell, stating that a priest previously told him that marriages worked if there was a good relationship and unshakeable eroticism.
They lacked the latter which she admits in Scenes from a marriage was the consequence of the relationship with her mother, and a father pushing her to become a lawyer against her wish to become an actor, (the rebelliousness, curiosity. adventure taken from her but which she finds in her next relationship)
The film discovers what has happened to the couple since they broke up and went their separate ways.
Their relationship past and present becomes secondary to that of his son and grand daughter, and we enter another familiar Bergman territory, after the mother daughter harrowing experience of "Autumn Sonata, "and "Through a glass darkly," between father daughter and son and the relationship between the aging professor and his son in "Wild Strawberries."
When father and son meet unexpectedly they both express hate and loathing in their mutual disappointment about the relationship... Father admits never to have taken to his child, while son had becomes inconsolable when he loses the love of his life to cancer and he now makes a life with his daughter something which his wife warned him not to do from the unstated fear that such a relationship would destroy them both.
The son is an associate professor, runs a chamber orchestra, and plays the organ which was the instrument of his musical degree but now concentrates on the cello which he teaches his daughter. She has potential but is locked into what her father has taught, and pushing her to the local conservatoire so she will remain living with him
The Grandfather fixes for her to go to a friend in Russia to work with an outstanding artist. At the conclusion she decides on a solution which takes her away from her father, and does not become dependent on the string pulling of her grandfather. But is this the conclusion?
An aspect which struck me is that the after remarriage and going to America the father returns to his homeland and then isolates himself away amongst beauty and a significantly larger library than my own. (I must get back to reading and rereading and to learning Spanish and to daily walks and use of the exercise bike)
The films makes me think more of biological gene cloning than cycles of behaviour repetition, and that we share experiences of thought and feelings more generally than recognised and accepted although I believe this is a more focussed occurrence among creatives of intellectual ability.
The relationship between parents and their children is more brutal in these films than others, with Marianne being disappointed with the mental illness of her daughter shut away in an institution and another daughter who has gone to live at opposite ends of the earth.
The inevitable occurs between the elderly man and his younger former wife in one of the most touching and caring scenes of the whole of film. (I must do that that play about old old age). The inevitable is also that their relationship is momentary and it is their destiny to go separate ways until the permanent physical parting of the death of one.
There is also inevitability about the ending both between his son and daughter and his former wife and her psychotic daughter.
Some people only wish to experience film and have to wish to learn how it was made. On this DVD those of us who like to understand the perspectives and something of the process will enjoy the 30 mins film in which Bergman describes something of the making of the film together with interviews from Liv Ulman and others.
"There is more of this film in his head than in the script," he says.
"The film has a life of its own after I have created it and then I cannot bear to watch it."
Ah ha, just as well I wrote about the ideas in this morning's piece on Creativity three to four years ago but still after the piece written at the end of second millennium after the birth of J .C. which I discovered only earlier in the night. The significant thing for me is that I also recalled the contents of this piece on Saraband first written last October. My memory is getting better.
It is 9.20 I awoke around 8 for the first time after going to bed at four and without a get up. I tried to return to sleep but around 8.30 was forced up by a parcel post delivery of ink cartridges which had been promised for Monday or Tuesday. The correction were made after I had made up the first two of Ikea Black boxes, which I decided was necessary before acquiring £100 worth later this morning. Someone has subscribed to my writing, so who are the other readers? Why do I need to Know? Do I need to know? No and Yes

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