Sweden / Swedish
After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence.
exceptionally well made
Although I'm not the biggest Ingmar Bergman fan, I have really enjoyed
some of his movies--especially the one that are not so pessimistic.
Although the underlying theme of this movie is aging and impending
death, the movie is NOT all pessimism. If it had been, it would have
lost my interest early on. Instead, I really enjoyed the
film--particularly the fine acting by Victor Sjöström as Professor
The professor is well-respected for his work as a doctor. However,
despite his success in his career, he is a failure in his personal
relationships. His emotional baggage over the years has prevented him
from allowing himself to be close to those he truly loves. This theme
mirrors one of the subplots of Through a Glass Darkly, where a father
is being destroyed inside by his daughter's mental illness but he
CANNOT allow himself to show his anguish--choosing instead to hide in
his room with his tears. It is interesting that the same man playing
Borg's son (Gunnar Björnstrand) plays the father only a few years later
in Through a Glass Darkly.
Fortunately, unlike Through a Glass Darkly, there IS evidence that the
professor is willing to change his persona, as he begins to open up
more through the course of the movie. This appears to be assisted
through extensive soul searching and dreams the professor has
concerning his past and his own mortality--along with experiences he
has during a long drive down the coast of Sweden. Because of this, even
his extremely strained relationship with his son appears to hold some
hope of improvement by the film's end. This hope for change lifts this
movie above some Bergman films that only wallow in hopelessness.
FYI--The Criterion version of this DVD is nice due to its running
commentary as well as the accompanying documentary. Get this version if
you have the chance.
Also FYI--After watching many Bergman films and reading about his life,
I detect quite a bit of autobiography in this film and his own stuggles
|Nr of disks/tapes:||1|
|Storage device:||Divx 4|