From the Life of the Marionettes
(Aus dem Leben der Marionetten)
Robert Atzorn, Christine Buchegger, Martin Benrath, Rita Russek,
One of Bergman’s most daring experiments, this bleakly explicit tale of a feuding couple was controversial on its release, but the director said “it belongs to my best films.” Opening with a rare act of physical violence (Bergman’s characters usually prefer to inflict their traumas emotionally), the film tracks backwards along the stab wound that is the protagonists’ marriage. The director’s second film during his German exile, Marionettes has a raw energy seemingly influenced by Fassbinder and the rising New German Cinema, yet its portrait of obsession, psychosis, and marriage-as-vise is all Bergman’s own.