From the Life of the Marionettes

THE WOMAN HE’S ABOUT TO TOUCH IS A DREAM. THE MURDER HE’S ABOUT TO COMMIT IS NOT.

A TV movie from those days when Ingmar Bergman was in West Germany as a tax exile. Conceived as sort of a spin-off to Scenes From a Marriage (1973), the story focuses on a constantly quarreling couple, begins with the husband murdering a prostitute and then follows up with the aftermath and flashbacks to what happened before the horrifying event. Other characters, such as a psychologist and the husband’s mother help flesh out the story. An unpleasant and stark film with an excellent cast (Walter Schmidinger stands out in a supporting role as the gay friend of the wife), but it requires a lot of patience to put up with these people.

1980-West Germany-Sweden. Made for TV. 104 min. Color-B/W. Written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. Cast: Robert Atzorn (Peter Egermann), Christine Buchegger, (Katarina Egermann), Heinz Bennent (Arthur Brenner), Martin Benrath, Walter Schmidinger, Lola Müthel.

Trivia: Original title: Aus dem Leben der Marionetten. Co-produced by Bergman. Released theatrically in several countries.

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