In Front of the Camera, Behind the Camera: Ullmann Directs Bergman

Author: Diamond, Diana

Source: Projections, Volume 5, Number 2, Winter 2011 , pp. 51-74(24)

Publisher: Berghahn Journals

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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.

Keywords: DIFFERENTIATION-RELATEDNESS; EROTIC IMAGINATION; IMMORTAL OBJECT; LOSS AND REPARATION; SCOPTOPHILIA

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/proj.2011.050204

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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