Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Ansiktet
Sweden, 1958. Svensk Filmindustri. Screenplay by Ingmar Bergman. Cinematography by Gunnar Fischer. Produced by Allan Ekelund. Music by Erik Nordgren. Production Design by P.A. Lundgren. Costume Design by Greta Johansson, Manne Lindholm. Film Editing by Oscar Rosander.
Max von Sydow is excellent as a conjurer who travels the countryside performing for villagers to make his living. He and his troupe arrive in a small town hoping to set up their spectacle, but the townsfolk have heard of their reputation for causing trouble and so request a sample of their show before allowing them to stay. The meticulously-designed sets and lush black-and-white photography makes it among Bergman’s most beautiful films, but the story isn’t as heavy as his usual fare and therefore isn’t as effective as it should be.
The Criterion Collection: #537
Venice Film Festival Award: Special Jury Prize