9/10
Really intriguing and undervalued
3 January 2013
Perhaps I'm biased as I am a great admirer of Ingmar Bergman, but I found myself both fascinated and impressed by From the Life of the Marionettes. Excepting All These Women, the only film(of those I've seen, which is a little over two-thirds) that I didn't care for, Bergman's films have ranged to solid to outstanding. From the Life of the Marionettes is not one his very finest, but it is one of the films of his that is close to outstanding. Apart from the I agree underdeveloped homosexual subplot, there is very little of the film to criticise. The production values could be seen as stark, but still sublime and even haunting and shot beautifully. Bergman directs superbly with his usual control and discipline, while the speeches are thoughtful and the structure consisting of drama, documentary, character study, flashback and dream sequences is constantly attention-grabbing and I didn't find myself confused by it. The characters could be seen as cold, but purposefully and there is the trademark compelling realism of Bergman's films here. There aren't Sweden's finest ever actors on board, but the acting is still very good. All in all, very undervalued Bergman with lots of interest value. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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