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Sawdust and Tinsel

aka The Naked Night (Gycklarnas afton)
Sweden 1953. Dir: Ingmar Bergman. 92 min. DCP

The circus serves as the arena for a savage dissection of male-female sexual relations in the dark, fantastical Sawdust and Tinsel, another standout among Bergman’s early works. Setting the stage is a dream-like flashback — one of Bergman’s most extraordinary sequences — in which a clown is humiliated by his wife. The film then relates the mutually-destructive relationship between Albert (Åke Grönberg), aging owner of a turn-of-the-century travelling circus, and Anne (Summer with Monika’s Harriet Andersson), his young mistress, a bareback rider. The highly-stylized images derive from German Expressionism (especially E. A. Dupont’s 1925 circus drama Variety, with Emil Jannings). Sven Nykvist, in his first film for Bergman, was one of the two credited DOPs. “A landmark in Bergman’s development ... A film that reveals the director’s maturation as a visual stylist as well as a philosophical artist” (Ephraim Katz).



"Uniquely Bergman, it’s a masterpiece that encapsulates much that was to come."

Criterion Current | full review


Bergman Triple Bill!
Monday, May 21 (Victoria Day)
The Seventh Seal + Summer with Monika + Sawdust and Tinsel

Triple Bill Price: $24 Adults / $22 Students & Seniors
Regular single and double bill prices otherwise in effect.
Annual $3 membership required.

Purchase tickets for May 21 Triple Bill here.