Cinema: Cabaret Act

THE SERPENT'S EGG

Directed and Written by Ingmar Bergman

In Hollywood it is called "working the set." It happens when a producer has ordered up some costly and elaborate make-believe edifice that he wants on the screen constantly, shot from as many angles as possible, in order to justify its expense. Far from resisting this demand, the director will typically respond with bursts of enthusiastic inventiveness—a kid playing happily with a splendid new toy.

This is not the sort of creativity one expects to find preoccupying an austere and sober artist like Ingmar Bergman....

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