Ingmar Bergman's Face to Face

Michael Tapper

Wallflower Press

Ingmar Bergman's Face to Face

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Pub Date: October 2017

ISBN: 9780231176538

216 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $30.00£24.95

Pub Date: October 2017

ISBN: 9780231176521

216 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $90.00£74.95

Pub Date: October 2017

ISBN: 9780231851213

216 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $29.99£24.95

Ingmar Bergman's Face to Face

Michael Tapper

Wallflower Press

The 1976 premiere of Face to Face came at the height of director-screenwriter Ingmar Bergman's career. Prestigious awards and critical acclaim had made him into a leading name in European art cinema, yet today Face to Face is a largely overlooked and dismissed work.

This book tells the story of its rise and fall. It presents a new portrait of Bergman as a political artist exploring a new medium with huge public impact: television. Inspired by Henrik Ibsen, feminism, and alternative psychotherapy, he made a series of portraits of the modern bourgeois family focusing on the plight of women; Face to Face followed in the tracks of The Lie (1970) and Scenes from a Marriage (1973). By his workbooks, engagement planners, and other archival material, we can trace his investigation into the heart of repressive family structures to eventually glimpse a way out. This volume culminates in an extensive study of the two-year process from the first outlines of the screenplay to the reception and aftermath of Face to Face. It thus offers a unique insight into Bergman's world, his ideas and artistry during a turbulent time in cinema history.
Ingmar Bergman’s Face to Face seems to be one of those films that dwell in the shadows, as if patiently waiting to be found by a discerning eye. Enter Swedish critic and scholar Michael Tapper, who in throwing his sharp torchlight virtually revives this film, which for so long has remained a blind spot neglected by critics and scholarship alike. Most of all Tapper succeeds in delineating how Face to Face lends itself to a rich contextualization of the sort not generally found in mainstream Bergman studies, be it the sexual revolution of the 1970s, second-wave feminism, the growing importance of television as producer of feature film, or the (in)famous ’primal scream’ therapy promoted by Arthur Janov. Face to Face superbly mirrors the times in which it was made, yet is saturated with issues that remain relevant today. An added feature of this book is that it includes never before published material, for instance the director’s diaries in the Ingmar Bergman Foundation Archive, which would otherwise not have seen the light of day. Maaret Koskinen, Stockholm University
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Part I. Prelude: The 1960s
Under Fire
Crisis
Part II. Bergman Goes TV
Out of the Ivory Tower
Mass-Market Bergman
The TV Medium and Bergman’s Style
Part III. Bergman’s Modernism
Attack of Second-Wave Feminism
The Strindberg-Ibsen-Bergman Connection
Persona: War on Idealism
The Making of Ingmar Bergman
One Man, Four Women
Part IV. The Djursholm Trilogy Plus One
The Lie: A Tragi-Comedy of Banality
Scenes from a Marriage
Life in the Beige Lane
Cries and Whispers: Into the Belly of the Idealism Beast
Part V. Face to Face
To the Orgasm and Beyond: Ingmar Bergman and the Sexual Revolution
Arthur Janov Conquers Sweden – and Bergman
Workbook No. 29, Part I: Everything is a Dream
Traum and Trauma
Workbook No. 29, Part II: Jenny the Psychiatrist
Workbook No. 29, Part III: The Primal Scream
The Screenplay
The Production
The TV Series
The Film
Overture to the Release
Reception
A Success and a Failure
Coda: The End of Art?
References
Index

About the Author

Michael Tapper is an affiliated researcher in film studies at Lund University, Sweden, and a film critic at the daily papers Sydsvenska Dagbladet and Helsingborgs Dagblad. His previous books include Swedish Cops: From Sjöwall and Wahlöö to Stieg Larsson (2014) and he has contributed to several anthologies and journals.