What’s interesting about this “making of” documentary is that, rarely enough, it is actually what it says: it shows in great detail the actual making of the film. It’s not so much bothered about contextualising the production, about where it was made or how long the shoot was (though that sort of comes out in a roundabout way), nor even the preparation or the post-production. This is focused strictly on Bergman himself making the film, with his actors on the sets, with his DoP Sven Nykvist, and just in the flow of eliciting the performances and ensuring that the vision being created by the camera and the lighting matches his. In that sense it can be a little claustrophobic, because you’re just in these houses with him constantly, but it imparts a little sense of how engaged and focused he is on the task, and about some of what it means to be a director: it’s about getting the performances you want to see from your actors, and about having the right people around you to deal with the other stuff.
- This feature was originally accorded its own spine number, but in the Blu-ray re-release of the box set, is essentially just one of the supplements. The others I mention on the page for the box set.
FILM REVIEW: Criterion Collection
Director Ingmar Bergman; Cinematographer Arne Carlsson; Starring Ingmar Bergman; Length 110 minutes.
Seen at home (Blu-ray), London, Monday 19 August 2019.