Ingmar Bergman William S. Pechter - Essay

William S. Pechter

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Ansiktet or The Magician] is the film in which Bergman has been able to expose all of his most dominant themes, and the multiplicity of their presence gives the film its complex, yet curiously uncomplicated texture, its finished, definitive character. In Ansiktet, the dialectical clangor of faith and reason, which rings through such a film as The Seventh Seal and echos resonantly throughout his other work, combines harmoniously with Bergman's preoccupation with the artist and his audience. Vogler, the mesmerist, looks both like a charlatan and a Christ, and this resemblance seems to be at the heart of what Bergman is saying: that the most salient cause of the artist's inevitable failing of...

(The entire section is 1247 words.)