Höstsonaten (1978) (Autumn sonata)

Who among you has seen Casablanca? “I have I have” – hm, I do not like to speak for my generation, neither like to generalize nor take a stand just lightly, but I bet not that many actually really have. Who played Rick’s (Bogart’s) love interest? Who’s “here’s looking at you, kid”? Indeed, Ingrid Bergman.

Last night I saw her in an a movie by Ingmar Bergman of 1978 called Autumn sonata with Liv Ullman playing her daughter. I was intreaged to see Ingrid play in her native tongue (though she did speak English a little bit in some scenes). I was a bit disappointed by this movie. Though I knew before I went that it would be a drama with the focus on a mother and daughter who had been estranged for 7 years and end up confessing how they really felt about each other… I didn’t expect this: I didn’t really like this movie. Shocking, I know – me, who has a nice thing to say about anything!

For one: all you really saw in the movie were heads. In the sense that close-ups were plentiful. I get that the focus was on the expressions, the pain, the pretend, the lying and outbursts of truths. It could have been less. Really.

One I did like was the opening shot: where the husband tells the camera what he loves doing most; watching his wife when she doesn’t see it – why he fell for her and who she is in his eyes. That he wants to be the one that makes her able to love, a love she has yet to find and feels will never experience… he talked straight to the camera. I just liked that shot because it was a man laying bare his feelings for a woman he loves so much, but she does not seem able to return it or knows how to… Sadly enough, the movie did not lift off to somewhere or get me more interested.

I had seen Vargtimmen (The Hour of the Wolf) not so long ago and was so enthralled by what I saw in that movie by Ingmar… that this was a bit of a letdown. But I’m not going to let me hold back on other Ingmar experiences. Next on the agenda: Persona!

So coming back to Casablanca – which has in no way anything to do with the Autumn sonata other that Ingrid played beautifully as Rick’s love – I know, I am making no sense what so ever on this – I just think that it’s a far better movie than the one I saw. But then, it’s up for debate.

My quest for fine movies goes on – and naturally, some will be less fine along the way. It happens.


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