A professor in the Department of Scandinavian at UC Berkeley, Linda H. Rugg has written extensively on Ingmar Bergman.
Maj-Britt Nilsson, Birger Malmsten, Alf Kjellin, Georg Funkquist,
A dancer, Marie (Maj-Britt Nilsson), who is at the height (and thus foresees the end) of her powers as a prima ballerina, under the dreamlike pull of memory impulsively revisits the island of her youth and, in flashbacks, her first and only love. Bergman’s breakthrough masterpiece is an almost magical fusion of sunstruck elegiac love poem and dark suggestion. The latter looks ahead to The Seventh Seal and its games with death; and to Sawdust and Tinsel in its depiction of a performer struggling to see her life clearly through a mirror of humiliation. But Marie, an early Bergman heroine suffused (like the film itself) with music and dance, finally will have none of that.