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Sawdust and Tinsel (rewatch)

Posted by martinteller on September 11, 2009

Another break from GTA4 because the movies are definitely piling up, and I need to get to my weekly Bergman.  I feel a little silly giving so many of Bergman films such high marks, but hey, he gave us so many awesome ones to choose from.  There’s a reason he’s my favorite.  Here he burrows deep in the human soul to explore one of his favorite topics: humiliation.  The humiliations on display here are both minor and earth-shattering, and profoundly genuine.  And no one does arguments like Bergman: the give and take, the changing of the upper hand, the low blows and painful admissions.  If I had to pick out a particular flaw, it would be Anders Ek.  Although his expressionistic scene in the beginning is one of the film’s finest moments, his facial acting is sometimes jarringly odd and exaggerated… even for a clown.  And to nitpick a little more, some of the punches in the fist fight clearly don’t connect.  But these are obviously minor quibbles and the movie is harrowing and brilliant (with such fine photography… Nykvist’s first collaboration with Bergman).  Rating: 9


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