SUNDAY'S CHILDREN
DIRECTOR:                     DANIEL BERGMAN
COUNTRY:                     SWEDEN 1992
CINEMATOGRAPHY:   TONY FORSBERG
CAST:                             Thommy Berggren, Lena Enlhe, Henrik Linnros
SUPER FEATURES:       Excellent Film about Ingmar Bergman's life.



The sad thing about this film, for Americans, is that it is slow. It is a film, like Daniel's father Ingmar, that is given to detail, and the minute nuances that are still taught at many acting schools. It is an outstanding film, probably a bit more "open" than the father's pictures, which tend to be mired in the emotional upheaval of the characters. Unlike his father, Daniel stands back, and allows them to look sheepish, and at times selfish, until the realization hits them, that while they meant well, they did not do very well.

This is a story, written by Ingmar Bergman himself, about his own growing up in a religious family, whose motives were not questioned, and whose desires were very idealistic. Pu, has an admiration for his father, but it isn't very clear whether it is because of the rather stern exterior
and belief system, or if it is because the father is right. The father is not always right, and as Pu gets older, and now famous, facing his father, the elder Bergman is having problems coming to grips with his own idealism. Ingmar (Pu), has been expressing all of his idealism on film and studying it. The father has taken it all in, and is now suffering some terrible delusions, most of them from feeling like he failed as a father, since the mother asked for a divorce and left.

The great thing about this, is to watch, in the end, Ingmar's own stern conduct, in dealing with his father, just when he has reached a level of fame in the world cinema. The father has not succeeded, or if he did he does not feel this way. And Ingmar is not interested in wallowing in the garbage, as is not Daniel, in doing this film. It is a bit brutal, in many ways, but it does force a sort of therapy on the old man, that is working, however slowly.

Daniel Bergman is showing that he is also a fabulous director, like his own dad, whose legacy is without question one of the great accomplishments in the history of film. Daniel, unlike his father, has the ability of allowing the camera to move a little more than his own father, thus making the film a little more bearable for an audience that is used to fast paced films... but it is STILL painfully slow, and difficult to appreciate, unless we make a commitment to do so.

Like Sven Nykvist, with Ingmar so many times, Tony Forsberg comes off as a visual dynamo that makes this film alive. It is visually striking,
and colorful. It helps the film live. With Sven's "quiet" camera, this film would have been exactly like the father's material... stoic, but effective.

With excellent acting, and a very well written script, covering some thirty to forty years, this film can only signify that the younger Bergman is on the way to try and outdo his own father. And it helps to have the father provide a script of his own experience to help lead the way... similar to the story, isn't it...???

I suppose that the funny thing was to see an actor playing the older Bergman confronting his own father in 1968.... I think it would have been a bit "selfish" not to, but it would have added another dimension to the film..... the Bergman's of today are involved in a religious offering called film.... the Bergman's of yesterday were involved in the good book.... and there is a difference in the end... you must see the film to catch it.

4 1/2 GIBLOONS

 

   

      

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