By José Luis Muñoz , August 5, 2022
Disappointing in all its narrative sections, the latest work by the brilliant French director after her last three extraordinary films (Eden: Lost in Music, Future Y Maya). Cinema within the cinema and on a stage for Ingmar Bergman’s mythomaniacs, the island of Faro where he lived and filmed a large part of his works, an excuse that serves Mia Hansen-Love so that its protagonists Chris (Vicky Krieps), a screenwriter, and her husband Tony Sanders (Tim Roth), a famous director of horror films, present their opinions about the Swedish teacher, his life, not always exemplary (bad or no relationship with one of his children: can geniuses be good fathers or husbands?) and his cinema ( anguished and tormented except for some luminous exception such as Fanny and Alexander either Smiles of a summer night).
A first part, that of the discovery of the island and its settings, the films that are going to be seen in that monothematic film library where only films by the director are projected, Chris’s walk through the house where Bergman lived and died in the company of the scholar Hampus (Hampus Norden), may have a certain interest until the film that Chris herself is writing enters the scene and tells her husband in detail while they go for a walk. That other story within the main film is a kind of narrative patch starring two young men, Joseph (Anders Danielsen) and Amy (Mia Wasikowska), which are known as a result of the wedding of a mutual friend on the island of Faro, which is embedded in the main plot as empty filler, to lengthen the footage, makes no sense. And as a finishing touch, the last pirouette: everything seen, including that inserted film, is nothing more than the shooting of Bergmann’s Island. Fiction and reality are confused to the point of not knowing what one or the other is.
And a side note. I do not think that from the afterlife of him to the great Ingmar Bergmann It amuses him to see his island turned into a kind of theme park for his fans who can even get on a bus, the Safari Bergman, and tour the island with a tour guide who reveals the settings of all his films one by one. Bergman was the opposite of Disneyland and his ghost may give a good scare to some of those tourists of the seventh art who look around its corners. Director of Person without a doubt he did not deserve this poor tribute and Mia Hansen-Love it seems lost at all times in a chaotic script that expands like chewing gum until it breaks.
Original Title: Bergman Island
Duration: 112 min.
Direction: Mia Hansen-Løve
Screenplay: Mia Hansen-Løve
Music: Raphael Hamburger
Cinematography: Denis Lenoir
Cast: Vicky Krieps, Tim Roth, Mia Wasikowska, Anders Danielsen Lie, Joel Spira, Oscar Reis, Jonas Larsson Grönström, Clara Strauch, Wouter Hendrickx, Gabe Klinger, Teodor Abreu, Felix Berg, Grace Delrue, Matthew Lessner, Kerstin Brunnberg, Jordi Coast
Genre: Drama | cinema within the cinema