Ansiktet (The Magician / The Face), 1958
Ingmar Bergman, Dir.
A Bergman film underrated? Yes.
Ansiketet is atmospheric and close to traditional in its approach to horror – oddly enough – though it’s not a conventional horror film by any means. I could easily claim it as a comedy. A film about humiliation. The role of the artist. I could go on.
The mood and tone, as the viewer would expect, has Bergman’s thumbprint – but it’s never depressing. Notions of myth are present – though they are more subtle in execution than, say, The Virgin Spring or The Seventh Seal. The play with light and shade – connecting the physical, emotional, and psychological – is as vital as any of his more significant films. Strong performances that deserve a wider audience.