Saraband, probably the last film from the legendary Ingmar Bergman, re-unites us with Johan and Marianne, whose divorce we watched unfold 30 years ago in 1973‘s Scenes from a Marriage. The film plays out in the form of ten extended two-handed dialogues. Bergman is able to wring an amazing amount of drama out of this deceptively simple structure.
If I may grossly over-simplify the Ingmar Bergman worldview: we’re born, we die and in between, we treat each other like shit. The legendary Swedish filmmaker is a sheer master at pointing a camera at people and wringing buckets of genuine, truthful misery from them.
Scenes from a Marriage is a three-hour distillation of a six-part mini-series he did for Swedish television. Despite its significant length and the fact that most of the film is comprised of extended dialogues between two people, the film holds your attention in an iron grip.