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Ingmar Bergman

The Face (aka The Magician)


This excellent ensemble piece concerns a 19th-century mesmerist and a scientist and police chief out to discredit him.

Image from The Face (aka The Magician)

Sweden 1958
Dir Ingmar Berman
With Max von Sydow, Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bibi Andersson
English subtitles
Certificate PG

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.


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