A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
Adultery was the great subject of many of Ingmar Bergman's films and much of his life. He was married five times, and not very faithfully, because he also had fairly public relationships with the actresses Harriet Andersson, Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann, and was married during all of those affairs. He was far from a libertine, experienced a great deal of guilt during his liaisons and returned to the subject repeatedly in his films. He wrote "Sunday's Children" (1994) directed by his son Daniel about how Bergman's clergyman father created a household where public piety was joined with private anguish "Private Confessions" (1996) his screenplay was about his mother's moral struggles.
It is necessary to conclude that both films draw directly from a personal history that Ullmann experienced at first hand. The idea of commitment, marriage, betrayal and guilt formed for Bergman a moral circle, and indeed in 2000, when he was 82 and felt he was too old to direct, he enlisted Ullmann to direct "Faithless" from his final screenplay. They remained close friends before, during and after their romantic involvement, and had a daughter together, the actress Linn Ullmann. Perhaps it was the closeness and trust he felt with Ullmann that acted as a muse, because in so many of his films there is a need to confess guilt and seek redemption.
"Faithless" was the final chapter of his moral autobiography. It tells the story of an old man who evokes an imaginary actress (played by Lena Endre) to help him recreate scenes from his life which puzzle and shame him. He asks her to help him recreate her past. As she does, flashbacks show her cheating on her husband with a character named David, who is "Bergman" as a young man. Wheels within wheels. The old man wants to see her adultery through her own eyes. Did he lead her into sin? Did he lie to her? Did he lie to himself? The film was perhaps as autobiographical for her as for him.
"I've known him as long as anyone except my sister," she told me one afternoon at Cannes. "We worked so closely together and then we were friends so much longer; we did two films when we loved and now this and then we have a daughter together and we are still friends. You lose and you love and then lose again and this has been a relationship where we never lost.