BTXLVII 1968: Shame

Shame (Skammen). Ingmar Bergman. 1968. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.

Bergman goes political.

It’s an incredible film, but Bergman was dissatisfied himself:

In other words, we are talking about poorly constructed manuscript. The first half of the film is really nothing more than an endlessly drawn-out prologue that ought to have been over and done within ten minutes. What happens later could have been built upon, fleshed out, and developed as much as was needed. I didn’t ever see that.

I think I know what he’s getting at, but the film is unbearable to watch as it is, so I’m really happy that the first half of the film is there. Many of Bergman’s films are “difficult”, but there’s usually an artifice to them that gives distance. This one is so unvarnished that I had to take some pauses to give myself some breathing room.

Ullmann and Von Sydow are brilliant, of course, but let’s give a shout-out to Gunnar Björnstrand, who is totes amazeballs as the incredibly (and realistically) scary major.

To nitpick this DVD: Bergman ends his films deliberately and suddenly (without any end titles). Having the MGM lion pop up at the end here is really disconcerting. Shame!

This post is part of the 87 Bergman Things series.

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