best film: There is quite a bit to choose from here as Bibi Andersson was a frequent player in the world of the great Ingmar Bergman. Wild Strawberries and Scenes from a Marriage deserve some consideration – but in the long run it comes down to either The Seventh Seal or Persona with 1966’s bold masterpiece ultimately earning the top honor. This category is most definitely a strength for Andersson – both Persona and The Seventh Seal are easy top 100 of all-time films.
best performance: Though her work in the same film may fall short of Liv Ullmann’s, Bibi Andersson’s performance in Persona should not be overlooked. There is no shame in losing out to Ullmann. Andersson plays Alma, and her monologue – a sort of erotic confession to Ullmann’s Elisabet Vogler – is one of the highlights of this masterpiece.
stylistic innovations/traits: Bibi Andersson is the third actor from the talented troupe of Bergman players to make this list after Ullmann and Ingrid Thulin. Chronologically, Bibi started working with Bergman after Harriet Andersson (no relation) but before Liv Ullmann. Both Andersson’s are in Smiles of a Summer Night – one of Bergman’s breakthrough films and successes. Harriet was the more known quantity at the time in 1955 and this is Bibi’s first archiveable film. Bibi would surpass Harriet here in Bergman’s eyes for the next few years- similar to how Liv Ullmann would surpass Bibi in the late 1960s. That transition is certainly on display in the four person chamber drama The Passion of Anna in 1969 (where Ullmann is Anna). Bibi never really excelled outside of her collaborations with Bergman (like say Ingrid Thulin in The Damned) and she missed out on Cries & Whispers (it is almost tragic for that Bibi did not land a role in this particular Bergman film especially with room enough for four great female roles in it). Yet, Bibi is in all three films: Wild Strawberries, The Seventh Seal and Persona– just like Gunnar Björnstrand.
directors worked with: Ingmar Bergman (8)
top five performances:
- Wild Strawberries
- The Passion of Anna
- The Seventh Seal
- The Magician
|1955- Smiles of a Summer Night|
|1957- The Seventh Seal|
|1957- Wild Strawberries|
|1958- The Magician|
|1964- All These Women|
|1966- Duel at Diablo|
|1969- The Passion of Anna|
|1973- Scenes from a Marriage|
|1978- An Enemy of the People|
|1987- Babette’s Feast|
I honestly think of their performances as a dual achievement. One compliments and enhances the other. Bibi’s work is quite outstanding though and shouldn’t be overlooked
What grade does All These Women get?
@Harry- have you had a chance to catch it? HR/MS was the grade I gave it.
@Drake – not yet, I want to rewatch some of the Bergman films I’m lower on than the consensus before getting to more from him (only seen 11 so far). I’ve heard people call All These Women one of the worst Bergman films but you’ve made me excited to get to it
@Harry- I mean there are other Bergman films to get to first- but this one is such an odd duck- in some ways it resembles a Greenaway film more than a Bergman film. It is bold, ambitious, flawed for sure- send up a flare when you get to it.