Next film:
Previous film:

To Joy

(Till glädje)
Sweden 1950. Dir: Ingmar Bergman. 98 min. DCP

Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” provides the title and central musical motif of Bergman’s semi-autobiographical eighth feature, which begins with a concert violinist (Stig Olin) learning of the tragic death of his wife (Maj-Britt Nilsson), also a musician. In flashback, the protagonist recalls the ups and downs of their troubled relationship, and confronts his shortcomings as a musician and a husband. Bergman based this drama of creative life, domestic strife, and the consolations of art on the failure of his own second marriage. Filmmaker Victor Sjöström, later the star of Bergman’s 1957 masterpiece Wild Strawberries, plays the orchestra conductor (Sjöström's only other onscreen role for Bergman). “Bergman is beginning to formulate what will later emerge as his overriding philosophy: that there are brief instances in life which are of such exquisite beauty that they compensate for all the misery and unhappiness” (Peter Cowie).