- Ingmar Bergman’s Dreams opens with a bold formal choice- there is a five-minute shot that is without dialogue- it is just silence and sound design. One can almost see Bergman sketching here for his later work, the superior 1963 The Silence – which on top of being about God’s silence, is, largely without dialogue. In Dreams, Susanne (Eva Dahlbeck) is a photographer and Doris (Harriet Andersson) is a model. Dreams is the story of these two women over the period of just one day.
- Susanne has a lover (he is married) and she daydreams and follows him. There is a strong composition at the 18-minute mark as she is framed by the trees in a nearby park. Bergman’s storytelling flips to switch to follow the story of a wealthy older man (Gunnar Björnstrand) trying to seduce Doris. In one of Björnstrand’s scenes, his daughter (around the age of Doris) interrupts the seduction in process- and in true Bergman fashion says, “I find you ridiculous and repulsive.”
- The story then swings back to Susanne again after a long absence- this comes across with confidence- more of a narrative choice than a lack of focus.
- At the 70-minute mark the faces are staged perfectly to cut them in half with Dahlbeck background center with Henrik (played by Ulf Palme) foreground left in profile- this is a brilliant shot.
- Bergman’s recurring themes: domestic strife, infidelity, discontentment.
- After spending over an hour of the film’s running time apart, Susanne and Doris are back together in the same scene again- first in the hotel room and then at the photoshoot (coming full circle from the opening).
- Dahlbeck is not remembered as one of the key members of Bergman’s acting trope like Björnstrand or Harriet Andersson. Dahlbeck never had a Summer with Monika- but during this stretch she is in Waiting Women, A Lesson in Love, Smiles of a Summer Night and this film, Dreams.
- Highly Recommend
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