Sawdust and Tinsel / Gycklarnas afton

(Fiction, Sweden, 1953, 93’, BW, Fr ST)

by Ingmar Bergman

with Åke Grönberg, Harriet Andersson, Gunnar Björnstrand

Sawdust and Tinsel


1900. A troupe of carnies travels up and down Sweden’s towns and countryside. Their manager, Albert Johansson, is on the verge of a breakup. He wants to leave the circus, which is accumulating failures, and his mistress Anna, hoping to recover the security of the family home he abandoned three years earlier.


Sawdust and Tinsel is a relatively sincere and shamelessly personal film, there are a certain number of variations in which eroticism and humiliation combine in several ways.” Sven Nykvist

“My encounter with Ingmar Bergman on Sawdust and Tinsel was one of the most important events in my life. … We are both obsessed with light, as an expression of feelings and atmosphere. What we started together was very interesting… The film was very difficult, but I learned a lot about light. I began to work with indirect lighting because I hate bright lights on faces and dark shadows in the background and everywhere else. I never later stopped using that technique, which also works very well for color.”  Sven Nykvist, interview with Hubert Niogret, Positif, février 1988, n°324

Film Author :

Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman

Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007) was born in Sweden into the family of a pastor. He developed a precocious passion for cinema.  He studied literature and history, but his true passion was for the theater, to which he devoted himself as early as 1938. In 1945, he directed his first feature film, Crisis, adapted from a Danish radio play, thereby launching his very prolific career. He first evoked the mysteries of couples’ lives of couple in 1949 with Thirst and then with Summer with Monika (1953). Smiles of a Summer Night (1955) and The Seventh Seal (1957) brought him international recognition. In 1958, he won the Golden Bear in Berlin for Wild Strawberries. Persona (1966) marked his encounter with Liv Ullmann, whom he would direct in many films, among which Cries and Whispers (1972) or Scenes from a Marriage (1973). He made Fanny and Alexander in 1982. He was distinguished with the “Palme des Palmes” at the 50th edition of the Cannes Film Festival. In 2003, he directed Sarabande, his last feature film, for television.

Other movies: THEMA : Black & White

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