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Sawdust and Tinsel [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [Swedish] [1953]

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$29.99
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Overview

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer of the film, featuring five minutes of material not included in previous US releases
  • Audio commentary by Bergman scholar Peter Cowie
  • Video introduction by Bergman from 2003
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • A new essay by critic John Simon and an appreciation by filmmaker Catherine Breillat

Synopsis

Gycklarnas Afton
This rich, powerful Ingmar Bergman film charts the frustrations and humiliations of several circus performers. The circus's portly owner, Albert (Ake Gronberg), recalls a humiliating incident involving the company's clown, Frost (Anders Ek), who discovered his wife, Alma (Gudrun Brost), swimming nude before a band of cheering soldiers. Having concluded his recollection, Albert visits his estranged wife, Agda (Annika Tretow), who realizes that he has made little money with his circus endeavor. While Albert endures the humiliating encounter with his wife, his jealous mistress, Anne (Harriet Andersson), retaliates by yielding to a seductive local actor, Frans (Hasse Ekman), then realizes that she has been exploited and debased. Later, the drunken Frost informs Albert of Anne's sexual indiscretion, whereupon Albert determines to thrash Anne's cynical lover. In the ensuing altercation, however, Frans manages to thwart Albert's bullish attacks and deliver a series of punishing blows. Beaten and degraded, Albert ponders suicide, then decides to avenge himself on unfaithful women by killing the company's bear, beloved by the provocative Alma, whose betrayal of Frost has so haunted Albert. Following the bear's demise, the company departs to another town. Gycklarnas Afton is full of powerful performances and staggering sequences, including the legendary flashback in which Frost finds his wife cavorting nude before the soldiers. In this scene, played with almost hysterical intensity, Frost, dressed as a clown, tearfully carries his nude wife from the water, past the soldiers, and back to the circus tent. The soundtrack's jarring contrast between sheer silence and a blaring brass band, coupled with the black-and-white cinematography's emphasis on glaring sunlight, generate a mood of considerable tension and unease. This extraordinary scene ranks among Ingmar Bergman's greatest feats and readily establishes Gycklarnas Afton as an unflinching examination of the human condition. ~ Les Stone, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Harriet Andersson
    Harriet Andersson - Anne
  • Åke Grönberg
    Åke Grönberg - Albert Johansson
  • Image coming soon
    Anders Ek - Teodor Frost
  • Image coming soon
    Gudrun Brost - Alma Frost
  • Image coming soon
    Hakke Ekman - Frans
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.