‘Liv & Ingmar’ delves into an intense relationship

 

In "Liv & Ingmar," Liv Ullmann (right) reflects on her relationship with Ingmar Bergman (left).
In “Liv & Ingmar,” Liv Ullmann (right) reflects on her relationship with Ingmar Bergman (left).

‘Liv & Ingmar’
Director: Dheeraj Akolkar
Genre: Documentary
Rating: NR
3 (out of 5) Globes

The story of legendary director Ingmar Bergman and his sometime actress, sometime muse, sometime lover (and even sometime adapter) Liv Ullman has already, in a sense, been filmed. The movies he made with her — starting with 1966’s “Persona” — are at least quasi-autobiographical. The two met when she was 25 and he 46. Thus began an intense relationship that ran, in various forms, until his 2007 death. Even after they split up, they remained close and continued to work together. When she wasn’t appearing in his films, she was directing his scripts (including “Private Confessions” and “Faithless”). He was the man she couldn’t quit.

“Liv & Ingmar” is not the last word on their relationship. Bergman is no longer around, leaving only Ullmann, still rambunctious in her 70s, to recount what happened. Theirs was a rocky, often unpleasant union, no less because she sometimes found herself recreating aspects of her life on his sets. But time has abated much of the pain. Her tone is meditative and bittersweet, with Ullman looking back fondly on someone who could be accused of being needy, manipulative and cruel.

There’s a much more insightful film that could be made from their relationship, which is not to say that “Liv & Ingmar” is useless. It’s more interesting as a celebration of Ullmann. It lightly delves into her international stardom in the ‘70s, when, thanks to Berman’s films and the Swedish hit “The Emigrants,” she made the rounds in American films, even flirting with an eager Johnny Carson. (It only alludes to the disastrous musical remake of “Lost Horizon,” which caused Bette Midler to quip, “I never miss a Liv Ullmann musical.”)

The film could stand another perspective, or even delve further into the notion of a love so intense that one party could forgive acts that many would find distasteful. (It could also stand less twinkly piano music and attempts at cheesy visual poetry that would make Bergman retch.) But it’s always great to see Ullmann, a figure who often turns down chances to be seen by the public, or to be thought of outside the context of the filmmaker who made her huge.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

National

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf…

By Jennifer SabaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As,…

Local

New York joins accord to strengthen popular vote…

New York State joined a nationwide effort that would gives the state's 29 electoral votes for president to the candidate who wins the national popular vote.

Entertainment

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Accomplice Tour: New York (Spoiler Alert)

When I signed up for the Accomplice show tour, I had no idea what I was in for. But every grimy job comes with a great reward.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

NBA

Nets miss chance to clinch No. 5 seed…

Nets head coach Jason Kidd expressed little concern after a 109-98 loss to the Knicks, but others seemed to disagree.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.