Ingmar Bergman Collection

19/02/2007
  |  Buy to Own: 19/02/2007
  |  403 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC

Synopsis

Four popular movies from acclaimed Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. In 'The Passion of Anna' (1969), four lost souls attempt to seek solace in each other and outlive their damaged pasts. Andreas Winkelman (Max von Sydow) lives a simple, solitary life on a barren and windswept island. When he meets Anna (Liv Ullmann), a beautiful widow who has been crippled in an accident in which her husband and son died, he finds out more about her past in their first meeting than she realises. The two form a relationship and, at first, see much that they might enjoy together in the lives of their mutual friends, bourgeois married couple Ellis and Evan Vergerus (Bibi Andersson and Erland Josephson). However, Ellis and Evan are themselves living in a world of delusions and psychological turmoil, and Andreas's relationship with Anna soon takes a devastatingly destructive turn when he uses his knowledge about her past against her. 'The Serpent's Egg' (1977) is set in Berlin in 1923. Germany has fallen into deep post-war depression. The story centres on two out-of-work circus performers who, after their third partner commits suicide, find themselves at the mercy of their current employer. In 'Hour of the Wolf' (1968), von Sydow plays Johan Borg, a brilliant painter who, while spending the summer on a remote, windy island with his pregnant wife Alma (Liv Ullmann), starts to experience terrifying nightmares and hallucinations. Alma is desperate to help her afflicted husband, and in 'the hour of the wolf', between midnight and dawn, listens as he outpours his painful stories and memories. Before long she too is experiencing the violent hallucinations, and is 'visited' by a faceless old woman who advises her to read her husband's diary - with devastating consequences. 'Shame' (1968) documents the struggle of a young married couple, Jan (von Sydow) and Eva Rosenberg (Liv Ullmann) to remain apolitical and keep out of the war that rages around them. Retreating to a remote island, they manage to scrape together a living growing berries on their farm. But their tranquil existence is shattered when soldiers from both sides of the conflict arrive on their island and fighting breaks out. Their neighbour, Colonel Jacobi (Gunnar Björnstrand), who is in charge of the army defending the island, agrees to protect the couple if Eva will sleep with him, which in desperation she does. Jan finds out about Eva's betrayal just as the rebel forces gain the upper ground, and willingly complies with the rebels' orders to execute Jacobi. These two acts leave the couple estranged from each other, devoid of hope and morally bankrupt.