Oct 15 | 6:00 pm
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Oct 21 | 8:30 pm

Bergman Island

Director Mia Hansen-Løve
Country France
Year 2021
Rating Not Rated, but probably PG (mature Theme)
Running Time 112
Trailer Link

From The Booth

For legendary Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, cinema served as a stage for hauntings of the soul and battles against psychological and spiritual demons. The latest film by prolific French filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve tackles adjacent themes of memory and inspiration in a decidedly lighter register.

Bergman Island is a melancholic meditation on love and artistic creation, starring a phenomenal Vicky Krieps and Tim Roth as Chris and Tony. The film begins as the couple — both filmmakers — arrive at Fårö, the Baltic island where Bergman lived and shot some of his greatest films and which has, unsurprisingly, evolved into a kind of cinephile theme park (“Don’t miss the Bergman safari!”). Tony’s work is fêted at their artist residency while Chris struggles with her screenplay. Despite having a tender rapport, the two seem to be at an unspoken impasse, navigating romantic malaise and subtle professional enmity under the spell of the stunning island and Bergman’s legacy.

A film at once personal, intimate, and expansive, with shades of autofiction, Bergman Island sets up a number of parallels as life and art begin to blend in a nested narrative that lays bare the vulnerabilities of desire. Namely, we see Chris’s in-development script come to life: a bittersweet love story starring Mia Wasikowska as Amy, a young filmmaker who is reunited with her first love, Joseph (Anders Danielsen Lie), at a mutual friend’s wedding on the same remote island... Bergman Island is buoyed by a superb cast, its breezy tone, and Hansen-Løve’s lyrical and assured direction in one of her finest films to date." - Official Selection, 2021 Toronto International Film Festival.

There is recognition of the artist's great work here and as much as I have studied and enjoyed the films of Ingmar Bergman this film filled me with healthy guffaws as the sacred cow gets saluted to and skewered. Highly Recommended. - ph