THE RITE
RITEN
1969, Janus Films, 72 min, Sweden, Dir: Ingmar Bergman

In one of Ingmar Bergman’s most stylized and political films, three traveling actors are accused of taking part in a performance deemed pornographic by the state’s authorities. Before an intractable judge, they are forced to defend themselves and their art, but their own personal flaws and scandals also are brought to the fore. Taking place in a shadowy bureaucratic netherworld, the film confronts artistic censorship while also investigating such Bergman-esque themes as sexual violence and the nature of performance.


THE PASSION OF ANNA
EN PASSION
1969, Janus Films, 101 min, Sweden, Dir: Ingmar Bergman

The fifth drama that Bergman shot on his beloved Fårö describes a mood of fear and spiritual guilt. Not long after the dissolution of his marriage, and a fleeting liaison with a neighbor (Bibi Andersson), the reclusive Andreas (Max von Sydow) begins an ultimately disastrous affair with the mysterious, beguiling Anna (Liv Ullmann), who has recently lost her own husband and son. The film, which incorporates documentary-style interviews with the actors, blurs the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction, dream and reality, identity and anonymity.


FACE TO FACE
ANSIKTE MOT ANSIKTE
1976, Paramount, 136 min, Sweden/USA, Dir: Ingmar Bergman

After a prolonged stint in television, Bergman returned to the big screen with a decidedly dark film even by his standards, fusing such familiar themes as the troubles of marriage, mental illness and death. This intense drama tells the story of two psychiatrists (Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson) bound by the institution of marriage and nothing more, as Ullmann’s tormented psyche gradually envelopes the film’s material reality to reveal a desperately lonely inner world. Featuring what Roger Ebert called “one of the greatest performances in an Ingmar Bergman film,” FACE TO FACE takes the legendary collaboration with Ullmann to bold new heights.


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