In Front of the Camera, Behind the Camera: Ullmann Directs Bergman
Abstract:Faithless, which centers on themes of fidelity and infidelity, was scripted by Ingmar Bergman and directed by Liv Ullmann, his muse and former lover. The film crosscuts between the ongoing dialogues of an aging director, named Bergman, and his created character, based on a woman with whom he has had a previous relationship, and flashbacks from the story they piece together. Just as the female figure emerges from the shadows of the director's workroom to spark his creativity and counter his loneliness by describing the major characters in his new screen play, so does Ullmann, through her direction, bring the real Bergman “face-to-face” with a dissociated, unformulated aspect of his own experience. The filmic characters, a mix of the autobiographical and the imagined, are used by Bergman to illuminate and articulate the transformations in internal objects and one's relation to them that occur in the processes of loss and reparation, as well as the reparative function of the creative process itself. Having characters emerge to take form as the narrative unfolds illuminates the power of the erotic imagination to represent, sustain, and restore the inner world. The intertextuality between Faithless and a number of previous Bergman films highlights the way that the film is a homage to Bergman and a reflection on the creative process itself.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 1, 2011
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Projections is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal that explores the ways in which recent advancements in fields such as psychoanalysis, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, genetics and evolution help to increase our understanding of film, and how film itself facilitates investigations into the nature and function of the mind. The journal incorporates articles on the visual arts and new technologies related to film. The aims of the journal are to explore these subjects, facilitate a dialogue between people in the sciences and the humanities, and bring the study of film to the forefront of contemporary intellectual debate.
Published on behalf of The Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image and The Forum for Movies and Mind
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