BTLXXXIV 1978: The Making of Autumn Sonata

The Making of Autumn Sonata. Ingmar Bergman. 1978. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.

This bluray showed up in my mailbox the other day, and I was all “wat” because I’ve already seen Autumn Sonata. But after ripping it I recalled that the reason I bought it was that there’s a huge “making of” film included: It’s three and a half hours long! Oh em gee!

So we’re way off the Bergman chronology here (we really only have one film to go before we’re done (and two documentaries) and Bergman is, er, done), but let’s cast our eyes back to the late 70s:

Bergman is in exile because of the tax drama and making a film with Ingrid Bergman and Liv Ullman in Norway, of all places. And this is a fly-on-the-wall documentary about making that film. And the documentary is more than two times as long as the film it’s about.

This is chronologically the first of these documentaries, but it’s the fourth? I’ve watched, and it’s totes fasc. Inating.

Ingrid Bergman is very difficult; it’s wonderful. Every other line she’s going “nobody would say that; can’t I say instead?” And she’s right, of course. Ingmar Bergman’s lines aren’t exactly naturalistic.

Liv Ullmann just performs the lines in every rehearsal, and the performance is bone-shiveringly perfect in every read-through. She’s a machine.

Heh heh. Ullmann pointed out at possibly funny interpretation to the lines that (Ingmar) Bergman just came up with and they all laughed. And then (Ingmar) Bergman said to her (sorta privately, but in this docu) “You’re so stupid.”

She makes all the jokes in this docu.

This post is part of the 87 Bergman Things series.

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