The Face (aka The Magician)
This excellent ensemble piece concerns a 19th-century mesmerist and a scientist and police chief out to discredit him.
Dir Ingmar Berman
With Max von Sydow, Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bibi Andersson
Underrated (perhaps due to its sly comedy and a chilling climactic scene that uses horror tropes), this excellent ensemble piece concerns the hostile encounter between a 19th-century mesmerist (von Sydow) and the bourgeois authorities – a scientist and a police chief – bent on discrediting him. The film summarises Bergman’s preoccupations to date, while offering further wry reflections on the illusionistic aspects of art and entertainment.