After the Rehearsal

Despite having announced his retirement from directing after completing Fanny and Alexander, Bergman went on to make this fascinating TV movie (and a second, In the Presence of a Clown, unavailable for this season), which examines the impressions and emotions that linger after the story is over. All of the action takes place on a stage prepared for a production of Strindberg’s A Dream Play, and takes the form of three monologues (an elderly director, a young actress, the director’s alcoholic ex-star and ex-lover) and a concluding duet. The ageing director is reminded of earlier productions of the play, but his reverie is interrupted by his young leading actress, who returns to strike up a conversation. The older actress also returns and wants to know if her career is really over. The ensuing confrontations make for a much darker reflection on Bergman’s life and work than the elegiac Fanny, as the artist at the centre of the drama comes to realise that he has sacrificed many lives for the sake of his art, and now wonders if perhaps one of those lives was his own. (1984. English subtitles. Colour. 74 mins.) Plus Stimulantia: Daniel, a short portrait of the Artist as Parent and Sunday moviemaker, with the master relaxing to show an intimate domestic chronicle of his son Daniel and the age of innocence.
English subtitles.
11 mins.

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