Autumn Sonata(1978) UPDATED
Heady stuff--and maybe alittle ripe if not for the intensely committed performances byUllmann and Bergman and the extraordinary cinematography by Sven Nykvist, whocaptures, in that scene of great cruelty and tragedy described above, such anintensity of blue in Ullmann's eyes that the moment becomes an indelible,almost supernatural part of the Bergman filmography. The first sections of AutumnSonata are lit brightly and mostly evenly, melding the autumnal dirtygreens and light browns in Inger Pehrsson's costumes and Anna Asp's productiondesign in a unified palette with the pinkish skin tones. In the latter half, asthe story turns darker, the lighting grows more dramatic and painterly, withfaces falling partly into shadow as the frequent close-ups become moreunsparing of the actresses' emotionally naked faces.
The colour palette is particularlyeye-opening, diverging dramatically from previous transfers thatnow seem to have been pushed hard into the red to emphasize the deliberatelyautumnal tones of the sets and costumes. This version of the film was cooled way down, presumably under the supervision of Svensk Filmindustri (whichwill have to do since neither Ingmar Bergman nor Sven Nykvist are around tocall the shots), and I have to say that I found it leagues morestriking--and more clearly representative of Nykvist's work in the mid-1970s--than the crimson-toned image home viewers had known previously. Mutedgreens now come to the fore and previously-unseen blues are clearly visible,including Ullmann's piercing irises, jabbing out of the dark. Whether this moreclosely resembles the theatrical prints is another question, but I like tothink that it does. (I've never seen it on the big screen.) Though some dirt on the negative isoccasionally visible, for the most part dust and scratches have beendigitally eradicated. In all, it's a mighty fine presentation.
The warm autumnal hues of a house on a lake give a false, perhaps wished-for sense of security to the setting, the home of a pastor and his wife, Eva (Liv Ullmann). Very soon the steely tone of love avoided, attempted, and denied overrides all hope.The arrival of Eva's mother (Ingrid Bergman, in her only film with Ingmar Bergman), a world-traveling concert pianist, for their first meeting in seven years occasions a near-complete opening out of feelings by daughter and mother. Near complete, for Ingrid Bergman subtly portrays the mother's love, grief, and guilt as mercurial posturings of a virtuoso performer. The better for our understanding of Eva's sense of abandonment and loss, conveyed in Ullmann's bruising honesty and echoed in the utterings of Eva's disabled sister, Helena. Bergman uses a formal combination of flashback tableau and piercing close-up to answer the daughter's worst fear-that her grief is her mother's secret pleasure-with the reality of indifference.
I recommend the following films that beam the utter complexion of fall. Ranging from 1971 to 2021, and created by filmmakers of various backgrounds, they all share a common ground of collective nostalgia. With visuals showcasing the changing of seasons, a lust for memories and seasonal spirit, these movies give off the singular ambience which only autumn can emit. 041b061a72