Dir/Wri: Ingmar Bergman | Cast: Doris Svedlund, Birger Malmsten, Eva Henning, Hasse Ekman | Sweden Drama 79′
Fängelse, like För att inte tala om alla dessa kvinnor fifteen years later, is a fascinating film that throbs with energy and enthusiasm but came a cropper when it opened and was later disowned by Bergman; although it’s by no means a car wreck of the order of the later catastrophe, and was actually acclaimed as “a masterpiece” by Variety’s reviewer on its first appearance. But even on the tiny budget Bergman had to play with it was a commercial flop, and he made far more coherent use of the non-linear narrative techniques flamboyantly used in his attempt to dazzle us with here in his next superficially less ambitious film, Törst.
Fängelse remains an experience to be savoured, superbly shot by Göran Strindberg and punctuated by virtuoso sequences such as the silent movie and the heroine’s dream. The extraordinary face of Doris Svedlund – on display in a whole range of angles and lighting styles – also lingers in the memory. And all packed into less than 80 minutes! @Richard Chatten