Toward the end of Saraband, the uneven new film from legendary director Ingmar Bergman, a character sits down with his daughter, a taut girl who is obviously in emotional distress. "I have the feeling that some sort of discussion is coming on," he says. Indeed it is as it has been for the previous hour and a half. On the porch, in the study, down at the cottage: Every scene is set for two people engaged in intense discussion, either about their relationship or about their relationships with others. "I have a feeling that some sort of discussion is coming on" that should be the film's epigraph. A series of ten dialogues, Saraband is assembled like movements of a concerto in particular, like selections from the Bach cello suites, gorgeous and keening music for the solo cello. (The film's title comes from the suites, which contain several sarabands, or stately dances for two.) It opens with Marianne (Liv Ullmann) and Johan (Erland Josephson), the same actors from Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage (1973), in the same roles. Here they are, 30 years later, reunited for the first time.
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Now playing at select local theaters