Ansikte mot ansikte

I went off to work in the cold morning. I didn’t want to talk about sports, but people still mentioned the Raiders and Warriors games to me. I did my laundry and then sat down to watch the third and fourth episodes of “Face to Face.” I had never seen the TV version of the film before, and it’s been a long time since I saw the theatrical version. It felt like the TV version had more intensity. I did notice some minor differences, like a missing shot of the exterior of a building. One of the details I always remember about this movie is that it was light outside at 2 AM. There are quite a few devastating scenes, like the men threatening Jenny in the house, the casket scene, and the encounter with the daughter. Tomas is one odd character. He never seems to do anything work, but he has failed love affairs, a lot of time to hang around Jenny, and the money to pick up and leave for Jamaica. In one shot, Liv Ullmann’s face looked like one of the masks in the classic Twilight Zone episode “The Masks.” My impression was that this version was deeper. I kept noticing the ticking of a clock. I had the feeling that Bergman must have driven anyone who got close to him crazy. It seemed that the characters kept talking about going to the movies but never going. I wondered if this was some kind of comment about the quality of movies in the 1970s. They were also drinking coffee and liquor a lot. Tomas took a lot of pills. After Jenny took the pills to get some sleep, I knew that she was in trouble. It’s funny how you can tell that this is a Bergman film from the way the interiors are shot. There were some consistencies with “Cries and Whispers” and “Fanny and Alexander.” I kept thinking about the impressive films Liv Ullmann made with Bergman, from “Persona” through “Autumn Sonata.” Ullmann received an Oscar nomination for her performance in “Face to Face,” although I would say that she was not flawless. Some of her hysteria near the end wasn’t completely convincing to me. I kept thinking about her hair, which could have been styled for different effects. I wondered if Bergman thought about women’s hair at all. I was always struck by the fact that Jenny’s daughter in this movie was the same girl we saw in the audience in “The Magic Flute.” She was awfully cold for a young girl. All of the characters have unexplained and untold facts about them. I wonder if everyone in Sweden has deep and devastating secrets. That is the impression you get from watching Bergman films. How many different cuts of this film exist? It seems that there are three. I can’t imagine being able to fit everything into a cut that is less than two hours. Like “Scenes from a Marriage,” the longest cut feels like the best because we’re not missing out on important moments. Even so, there’s a lot that’s missing from the relationship between Jenny and Tomas. It’s just like Bergman to end the film on a down note that dwells on aging and death. Jenny endures a physical attack, job difficulties, and relationship pressures, all to be reminded at the end that she will grow old and die. She sounds numb at the end talking on the phone. I had to think of Bergman himself taking refuge in his work, trying to escape all those oppressive thoughts. It seemed that everyone who should be strong in this movie was actually weak. Tomas seemed contradictory and not a real friend to Jenny. It seemed that all of Sweden was empty and not worth living for. I still thought that this was a strong work from Bergman. I came away with a higher opinion of this movie after seeing this television version. It was probably a better experience watching it over four nights than during two hours in a theatre. I associate “Face to Face” with Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall,” of course. I’m not sure that there would have been much of a line of people waiting to see it, though. I wanted to see the script to read it over and see what I missed. I didn’t notice Lena Olin. I fell asleep with the television set on. I awoke to the news of the Star Wars premiere, and Warriors fans putting together lunches for the disadvantaged. They were giving them a lot of candy canes. A shipment of bread sank into the waters locally. Someone’s hoverboard exploded and started a house fire. The Giants signed a new, expensive pitcher. Dennis O’Donnell commented that he thought the Pete Rose had been punished enough for his offenses. When I saw Match Game, I saw that Richard Dawson was sneaking some puffs of a cigarette when he thought he wasn’t on camera. Some of the people who died on December 15 include Jan Vermeer (1675), Sitting Bull (1890), Fats Waller (1943), Glenn Miller (1944), Charles Laughton (1962), Walt Disney (1966), Chill Wills (1978), William Proxmire (2005), and Blake Edwards (2010). Today is a birthday for Helen Slater (52), Paul Simonon (60), Don Johnson (66), and Tim Conway (82). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for December 15, “Thunderbirds Are Go” was released in 1966. In 1982, the Clint Eastwood movie “Honkytonk Man” was released. In 1997, the Spice Girls movie “Spice World” had its premiere.

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One Response to Ansikte mot ansikte

  1. Arne says:

    Don’t know if it’s possible to link pictures here. If it doesn’t work Lena Olin is about 19 minutes in.

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