Sunday, 18 September 2011
Autumn Sonata 
In the same way that Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives was a reinterpretation of Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage, so was the case with Rituparno Ghosh’s Unishey April and Bergman’s Autumn Sonata – thus clearly illustrating the kind of inspiration the Swedish maestro exerted on filmmakers from all around the globe. Yet another masterpiece belonging to his vaunted oeuvre, this remains a deeply intimate, immensely personal and layered tale of a complex mother-daughter relationship. Ingrid Bergman, the Swedish expat who became a darling of American cinema both through her acting and her classical beauty, gave a startling turn as a renowned but ageing concert pianist; as a result of her successful career she has never been close to her daughter, who’s now a mild-mannered woman – played absolutely brilliantly (as always) by Liv Ullman – married to a loving pastor. The mother is visiting her daughter for the first time in many years; however, before long their veneers of agreeableness towards each other collapse resulting in a night-long emotionally charged dialogue which provides catharsis to both in term of their various personal turmoil, repressed memories, frustrations, anger and guilt. Exquisitely shot by Sven Nykvist, this somber and powerful “chamber drama” wasn’t just Ingrid’s first movie with her legendary surname-sake, but also her last theatrically released film. The movie, by the way, bears a strong resemblance to his earlier Cries and Whispers.
Director: Ingmar Bergman
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Family Drama