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Saraband [DVD] [2005]

Liv Ullmann , Erland Josephson , Ingmar Bergman    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: £18.28 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Saraband [DVD] [2005] + Scenes From A Marriage [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson, Börje Ahlstedt, Julia Dufvenius, Gunnel Fred
  • Directors: Ingmar Bergman
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Swedish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Tartan
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Mar 2006
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000C05YIQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,064 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Sequel to director Ingmar Bergman's earlier 'Scenes From a Marriage' (1973). After 30 years without contact, Marianne (Liv Ullmann) suddenly decides that she needs to see her ex-husband Johan (Erland Josephson) one more time. She arrives at his summer house in Dalarna, where Johan is living with his son Henrik (Borje Ahlstedt) and his grand-daughter Karin (Julia Dufvenius) while he mourns the passing of his wife Anna. Marianne finds herself in the middle of a tense and unspoken power struggle between father and son, in a home where the presence of Anna has not quite passed. Despite her best efforts though, Marianne is gradually drawn into the complicated relationship between Henrik and Johan.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Ingmar Bergman's directed his final film and a sequel to the wonderful 1973 "Scenes from a Marriage" in 2002 aged 84.

"Saraband" stands alone as a drama but acquaintance with the earlier film brings out the full meaning and poignancy. Thirty years have past since Marianne (Liv Ullman) and Johan (Erland Josephson) last met and on an impulse Marianne visits him.

Thirty years have passed dramatically, thirty years separate the making of the two films and the stars are thirty years older; "Scenes from a Marriage" is one of my all time great movies and the aging of the stars gives this film especial poignancy. The fine photography and Ingmar Bergman's belief that the most beautiful picture in the world is a close up of the human head against a plain background provides us with extreme close ups cruelly exposing the aging process.

Old age is at the heart of this film, looking back on what might have been, pragmatically acknowledging the present, the gulf between the old and the young, the need for the young to escape the influence of the old.

Ullman and Josephson reprise their roles superbly, and are joined by Johan's son from another marriage Henrik (Borge Ahlstedt) and his granddaughter Karin (Julia Dufvenius). Karin has developed a close bond with her father Henrik following her mothers death also Henrik is teaching her the cello. This obsessive relationship is fascinating, contrasting Henrik's dual personality as devoted, sensitive and loving husband and father with the vengeful hatred of his grandfather.

As usual with Bergman all the characters are fully rounded human beings in traumatic situations.

The "making of" feature is devoted to Bergman's directing "Saraband", providing historic evidence of his deep concentration and the quiet calm of the studio during filming.

A very fine film and a wonderful ending to Bergman's directing career.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The end of the road 21 Nov 2007
One of the things that truly impressed me with this film is the meticulous attention that Bergman paid to small details. His selection of music is a case in point.

The second movement of Bach's Fifth Cello Suite (Sarabande), whose excerpts we hear in this film, is intimate and very sorrowful (almost like a piece of funeral music), as if to signal the end of the road. The non-chordal nature of this movement (it consists of a single melodic line) was a great way to subtly remind us of the existential loneliness of the four main characters, as well as our own.

Or, take for example Bruckner's Ninth Symphony, which Johan (one of the four main characters) was listening to very loudly in one scene. Bruckner spent the last nine years of his life composing this symphony (and actually never finishing it). Its Adagio is contended, at least by some Brucknerites, to be a farewell to life.

This very last of Bergman's films feels like his own requiem. It can make us sad, that's for sure. But the music of his cinematography is still heavenly beautiful.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beauty and stillness 18 April 2006
By peter
This is a great film from Bergman. It is filled with a great silence. The silence of lost and last opportunity. The silent realisation that life without love is meaningless. All the actors are magnificent. It was great seeing the two actors from Scenes from a Marriage reunited after all these years. A great feeling of closure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is Johan Bergman? 20 Nov 2007
This chamber piece concludes Bergman's exploration of the pathology of human relationships. Johan (Erland Josephson) is a reclusive millionnaire who lives in a remote place surrounded by forest and lakes. His son, Henrik (Börje Ahlstedt) lives in a smaller house in his father's grounds with his daughter, Karin (Julia Dufvenius). Karin is a promising cellist and her father is teaching her to play a difficult Bach saraband (a saraband is a slow dance in a certain rhythm). He presses her too far on occasions, even using physical force to stop her leaving a lesson. Johan's wife and Karin's mother, Anna, died a few years before from what sounds like cancer.

This trio is the emotional engine of the film, in particular the hatred between Johan and his son. Lying over all three, like a shroud, is the absence of Anna and her love. When Anna is mentioned in a significant way, her black and white photograph is seen, the camera tracking slowly towards it. I gather that the lovely woman is Bergman's late wife and this fact gives her ghostly presence an autobiographical poignancy. Her death was a devastating blow to her emotionally inadequate husband and son.

Henrik teaches music but makes a poor living. Though not obviously a spend thrift, he cannot live on his income and repeatedly asks his father for money. This keeps him in Johan's orbit despite their mutual hatred for each other. Johan hated Henrik almost from the start - overweight and wheedling - and in one powerful scene he tells his son how, when Henrik was 18, he made an apology of sorts and was rebuffed. It seems Henrick is like he is because of Johan. What emotional damage would be done by a father who was repulsed by you and hated you? Yet Johan does not appear to be a cruel man in other ways.
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