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Nordic films screening at the Bergamo Film Meeting 2018

This year’s edition of the Bergamo Film Meeting has been announced, with a special focus on Liv Ullmann making up a large portion of the films screening.

The Bergamo Film Meeting aims to research and create connections between trends in contemporary cinema and authors from the past. Tributes, retrospectives, and restorations of classic masterpieces counterpoint the works of “new authors” which, as usual, are featured in the Competition- Exhibition and the sections of the festival dedicated to documentaries, animation, and previews.

The festival takes place over nine days from the 10th until the 18th of March in Bergamo, Italy.

Visit the festival website here. 

Liv Ullmann Retrospective

LIV & INGMAR (Norway, Sweden, UK, 2012)

Directed by Dheeraj Akolkar

The 42 year long relationship between legendary actress Liv Ullmann and master filmmaker Ingmar Bergman.

SARABAND (Sweden, 2003)

Directed by Ingmar Bergman

Marianne, some thirty years after divorcing Johan, decides to visit her ex-husband at his summer home. She arrives in the middle of a family drama between Johan’s son from another marriage and his granddaughter.

FAITHLESS (Sweden, 2000)

Directed by Liv Ullmann

Marianne is a theatre actress married to an orchestra conductor, Markus. She becomes involved in an affair with their director friend, David, which leads to a painful divorce and battle for custody of their daughter, Isabelle. Although all of them are merely fictional characters created by Bergman, their experiences become very real and traumatic for him.

PRIVATE CONFESSIONS (Sweden, 1996)

Directed by Liv Ullmann

Five conversations frame a flawed marriage in this film written by Ingmar Bergman about his parents. Guilt-ridden wife Anna (Pernilla August) divulges an extramarital affair to a priest, her uncle Jacob (Max von Sydow). He presses her to confess her sins to her husband, Henrik. As the film moves back and forth in time, the notion of truth is tested. Tomas, the lover, and Henrik will find that Anna’s confessions do not absolve anyone, and have the power to inflict more pain.

LUMIÈRE ET COMPAGNIE (France, 1995)

Directed by Liv Ullmann

40 international directors were asked to make a short film using the original Cinematographe invented by the Lumière Brothers, working under conditions similar to those of 1895. There were three rules: (1) The film could be no longer than 52 seconds, (2) no synchronized sound was permitted, and (3) no more than three takes. The results run the gamut from Zhang Yimou’s convention-thwarting joke to David Lynch’s bizarre miniature epic.

KRISTIN LAVRANSDATTER (Norway, 1995)

Directed by Liv Ullmann

Kristin is the daughter of a prominent landowner in medieval Norway. She grows up in total harmony with the ideals of the time: strong family ties, social pride and devout Christianity. She accepts the fact that her father has arranged for her to marry the son of another landowner. Kristin’s beauty and purity create violent emotions around her. There are envy and attempted rape, murder and revenge. She seeks refuge from the world in a convent, awaiting the time for her marriage. Here the passion of her life strikes, the knight Erlend Nikulaussonn. He, an accomplished seducer, also falls hopelessly in love. They have to cross not only convent walls to meet, but social boundaries as well. Their love cannot be kept secret, and suddenly the innocent Kristin is the centre of a scandal. Her fiance withdraws from their engagement, her father rages, and Erlend’s former mistress tries to poison her. The affair grows into a political issue, and finally some of the country’s most dignified …

SOFIE (Denmark, 1992)

Directed by Liv Ullmann

From 1886 to 1907 in the life of Sofie, a Jew in Copenhagen who is nearly 29, with no marital prospects, living with her loving parents. An artist, Hans Hojby, meets Sofie and is entranced, asking to paint her parents and also sketching her. She’s responds, but he’s not Jewish, and the family reacts by encouraging a marriage to Jonas, a homely draper. Sofie accepts this plan, accompanying her new husband to his town and bearing a son. As he withdraws in mental illness, Sofie begins an affair with his brother, and later returns to live with her parents. A confrontation with Hojby is inevitable as is her son’s growing into adulthood and forming his own ideas about religion.

AUTUMN SONATA (Sweden, 1972)

Directed by Ingmar Bergman

A married daughter who longs for her mother’s love is visited by the latter, a successful concert pianist.

THE SERPENT’S EGG (USA, 1977)

Directed by Ingmar Bergman

Following the suicide of his beloved brother and deaths of even the most distant acquaintances, Abel Rosenberg attempts to discover the truth while facing depression, alcoholism, and anti-semitism.

FACE TO FACE (Sweden, 1976)

Directed by Ingmar Bergman

A sensitive exploration of the tragic irony of the psychiatrist suffering with mental illness. Dr. Jenny Isaksson is a psychiatrist married to another psychiatrist; both are successful in their jobs but slowly, agonizingly, she succumbs to a breakdown. Jenny is haunted by images and emotions from her past and eventually cannot function, either as a wife, a doctor or as an individual.

SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE (Sweden, 1973)

Directed by Ingmar Bergman

Ten years of Marianne and Johan’s relationship are presented. We first meet them ten years into their marriage. He is a college professor, she a divorce lawyer. They say that they are happily married – unlike their friends Katarina and Peter who openly fight, especially when under the influence of alcohol – but there is a certain detached aloofness in the way they treat each other. In the next ten years, as they contemplate or embark upon divorce and/or known extramarital affairs, they come to differing understandings at each phase of their relationship of what they truly mean to each other. Regardless of if it’s love or hate – between which there is a fine line – they also come to certain understandings of how they can best relate to each other, whether that be as husband and wife, friends, lovers or none of the above.

CRIES AND WHISPERS (Sweden, 1972)

Directed by Ingmar Bergman

When a woman dying of cancer in early twentieth-century Sweden is visited by her two sisters, long-repressed feelings between the siblings rise to the surface.

THE EMIGRANTS (Sweden, 1972)

Directed by Jan Troell

In the middle of the 19th century, Kristina and Karl-Oskar live in a small rural village in Smaaland (southern Sweden). They get married and try to make a living on a small spot of land. However, the small size of their land, the infertile soil, and some bad harvests make it tough. One of their children even starves to death. Thus, they decide to emigrate to the U.S. They meet a group of farmers with their families planning the emigration under the leadership of a banned priest. They sell everything and embark for the U.S. The journey on the sailing ship is long and tedious. Some of the emigrants will never reach the New World.

AN-MAGRITTE (Norway, 1969)

Directed by Arne Skouen

In Norway in the 1600s, An-Magritt is born as the result of a rape.

THE PASSION OF ANNA (Sweden, 1969)

Directed by Ingmar Bergman

Andreas, a man struggling with the recent demise of his marriage and his own emotional isolation, befriends a married couple also in the midst of psychological turmoil. In turn he meets Anna, who is grieving the recent deaths of her husband and son. She appears zealous in her faith and steadfast in her search for truth, but gradually her delusions surface. Andreas and Anna pursue a love affair, but he is unable to overcome his feelings of deep humiliation and remains disconnected. Meanwhile, the island community is victimized by an unknown person committing acts of animal cruelty.

SHAME (Sweden, 1968)

Directed by Ingmar Bergman

HOUR OF THE WOLF (Sweden, 1968)

Directed by Ingmar Bergman

While vacationing on a remote Scandanavian island with his younger pregnant wife, an artist has an emotional breakdown while confronting his repressed desires.

PERSONA (Sweden, 1966)

Directed by Ingmar Bergman

A young nurse, Alma, is put in charge of Elisabeth Vogler: an actress who is seemingly healthy in all respects, but will not talk. As they spend time together, Alma speaks to Elisabeth constantly, never receiving any answer. Alma eventually confesses her secrets to a seemingly sympathetic Elisabeth and finds that her own personality is being submerged into Elisabeth’s persona.

Other films screening

BATHHOUSE (Sweden, 2014)

Directed by Niki Lindroth von Bahr

Six animals meet at the swimming pool. The horse the pools manager is a dedicated, conscientious friend of order. Over the years the premises have become her whole world. Two wolves come to the pool to bathe. Their relationship is hard to define but one wolf constantly wields power over the other. Three mice also visit the pool, but they have a different agenda altogether.

THE TRAP (Finland, 2008)

Directed by Mikko Korhonen, Janne Kukkonen, Joni Männistö, JP Saari Katiska

RETURN OF A PRESIDENT: AFTER THE COUP IN MADAGASCAR (Denmark, 2017)

Directed by Lotte Mik-Meyer

Meet exiled President and yogurt mogul Ravalomanana ousted by a military coup while he was trying to pull Madagascar out of poverty. In the film, director Lotte Mik Meyer tries to make sense of an increasingly weird deadlock situation, as the exiled president and his team are fighting to put him back in office. Behind the curtains the French neo-colonial powers seems to be pulling every string to obstruct his return. After 5 years and many failed attempts for his legitimate return Ravalomanana realizes that he and only he must take action himself – no matter what he will go back to his homeland Madagascar …

CHEER UP (Finland, Canada, 2016)

Directed by Christy Garland

Cheer Up takes us into the teenage lives of a team of losing cheerleaders in the Arctic Circle, Finland. They try their best to get better and look perfect doing it, while really, life just sucks. For Patricia, Aino and Miia, finding out who they are, where they belong and what family means is much more important than any trophy.

LIDA (Sweden, 2017)

Directed by Anna Eborn

Anna Eborn’s portrait of an octogenarian Swedish woman in Ukraine LIDA is a modern, poetic, cinematic experience. It is not a conceptual movie nor meant to be consumable in a straight way. By blending time and places – a narrative painting is created about a family love that only exists in memories.

 

Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.