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Ansiktet (The Face, The Magician) (1958)

Original Title : Ansiktet
Director : Ingmar Bergman
Writer : Ingmar Bergman
Genre : Drama
Country : Sweden
Language : Swedish
Producer : Allan Ekelund
Music : Erik Nordgren
Photography : Gunnar Fischer
IMDB ID : 0051365
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poster for "Ansiktet (The Face, The Magician)" by Ingmar Bergman (1958)
Ansiktet (The Face, The Magician) (1958) - Ingmar Bergman
 

Starring

Max von Sydow Albert Emanuel Vogler
Ingrid Thulin Manda Vogler (alias Mr. Aman
Gunnar Björnstrand Dr. Vergerus, Minister of Health
Naima Wifstrand Granny Vogler
Bengt Ekerot Johan Spegel
Bibi Andersson Sara
Gertrud Fridh Ottilia Egerman
Lars Ekborg Simson, the coach driver
Toivo Pawlo Police Superintendant Starbeck
Erland Josephson Consul Egerman
Åke Fridell Tubal
Sif Ruud Sofia Garp
Oscar Ljung Antonsson, burly stableman
Ulla Sjöblom Henrietta Starbeck
Axel Düberg Rustan, young manservant
Birgitta Pettersson Sanna
Frithiof Bjärne Border Officer (uncredited
Tor Borong Border Officer (uncredited
Harry Schein Customs officer (uncredited
 

Plot

When 'Vogler's Magnetic Health Theater' comes to town, there's bound to be a spectacle. Reading reports of a variety of supernatural disturbances at Vogler's prior performances abroad, the leading townspeople (including the police chief and medical examiner) request that their troupe provide them a sample of their act, before allowing them public audiences. The scientific-minded disbelievers try to expose them as charlatans, but Vogler and his crew prove too clever for them.
 

Comments

definitely not bergman's best and a hypocritical message, but still great ingmar bergman is, to me at least, one of the greatest directors of all time, but the ending of this one crushed me.obviously he's trying to make a comment on reality/illusion, as in all his films, but why take a shot at the aesthetic irrationality and maybe uncritical nature of the artist when bergman was himself an artist of first rank?that may sound like categorical complacency on my part, but i couldn't believe that bergman finished the movie by unmasking sydow's character as a money grubbing charlatan and the scientist as 'the wise one', who saw through it (for the most part) the entire time.of course all this is only my interpretation, but i pretty much sense bergman meant something like what i'm saying, and it is both puzzling and frustrating. most great artists may be lacking in the analytical faculty as sydow's 'magician' clearly is (while he is pretending) in this one, but without that passion for the imaginative and the irrational there really can't be art at all.the dissecting scientist is, no matter how much more intellectual integrity or 'noble' skepticism he may have than the artist, the antithesis of inspiring and affirmative (and there is a sense in which even pessimistic and despairing art can be affirmative, as nietzsche said many times)which all art should aspire, in one form or another, to be. the whole thing seems like a pretentious house of cards, considering that the considerable and undeniable appeal of bergman's work lies for the most part in his flair for the unspoken, the unconscious, the *irrational*. don't get me wrong, you might even call me an orthodox 'bergmanian' in that i find most of his work beyond criticism and absolutely masterful, but i just can't get behind 'the magician', although i may be intellectualizing too much. and to the movie's credit,it maintains a strong atmosphere and becomes impossible to stop watching halfway through, like nearly every film bergman made. don't watch it, buy it, but be a *little* wary of the veeeery contradictory message the movie tries to convey.
 
poster for "Ansiktet (The Face, The Magician)"
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Ansiktet (The Face, The Magician) (1958) - Ingmar Bergman
poster for "Ansiktet (The Face, The Magician)"
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Ansiktet (The Face, The Magician) (1958) - Ingmar Bergman
poster for "Ansiktet (The Face, The Magician)"
345 x 507
Ansiktet (The Face, The Magician) (1958) - Ingmar Bergman
poster for "Ansiktet (The Face, The Magician)"
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Ansiktet (The Face, The Magician) (1958) - Ingmar Bergman
poster for "Ansiktet (The Face, The Magician)"
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Ansiktet (The Face, The Magician) (1958) - Ingmar Bergman
poster for "Ansiktet (The Face, The Magician)"
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Ansiktet (The Face, The Magician) (1958) - Ingmar Bergman
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