The Rite (Riten). Ingmar Bergman. 1969. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★.
Bergman had done a handful of things for TV before, but up until this one, they had all been theatre plays adapted for TV. This is his first “real” film for TV, and he apparently made it because he was fed up with how much time and effort cinematic films are.
So this one is very scaled down: Just four actors in a couple of rooms.
I’m not sure, but I think Bergman is basically making fun of himself and his own tics (especially as the tortured artiste Fisher). But besides making fun of himself, it’s also a somewhat petulant attack on an unappreciative public.
I thought the final scene was pretty powerful, but overall it’s got problems.
This post is part of the 87 Bergman Things series.