The one work in Bergman’s entire output for which hardly a voice has ever been heard in praise, Now About These Women is an exceedingly difficult film to like, although there are aspects of it which are quite enchanting. To start with, it makes a delightful introduction of colour into Bergman’s work. It is also interesting as another exploration of the role of the artist. Jarl Kulle plays a music critic who is compiling the biography of a world-famous cellist, Felix, who has invited him to his summer residence, thickly populated by the women in his life (and, one might guess, in Bergman’s). The critic, of course, is a pretentious ass, treated with suitable scorn by the cellist’s entourage: but Felix, whom we never see face-to-face, is slowly corrupted by the images his admirers have of him until his reality as an artist is threatened. Bergman may have been determined to enjoy himself with some harmless nonsense when he set out to create Now About These Women, taking advantage of the event to surround himself with an enviable flock of charming actresses, but the predicament he illustrates turns out unavoidably to possess an authentic agony.
1964.English subtitles.Colour.80 mins.