In agreement with SIC (Scène Indépendante Contemporaine)
SCÈNES DE LA VIE CONJUGALE
Author: Ingmar Bergman
Adaptation: Jacques Fieschi and Safy Nebbou
Film Director: Safy Nebbou
Assistant Film Director: Natalie Beder
Scenography and artistic collaboration: Cyril Gomez-Mathieu
« I wrote this movie to tidy up my closet filled with a huge variety of experiences.» In 1973, Liv Ullmann and Ingmar Bergman were separated, after years of living together. Ingmar then spent several months writing the chronicles of the life of a couple, over a period of about twenty years: « Scenes from a Marriage.» Bergman thus shared with us the flamboyant heart of his amazing career.
First filmed for television, « Scenes from a Marriage » was in six episodes, each of which lasted about fifty minutes. When it came out as a movie, Bergman kept this six-fold structure, while deleting almost two hours from the original series. These cuts enhanced the sense of being kept behind closed doors.
At a time when people’s love lives are constantly conflicting against their need for individualization, Bergman’s words seem even more relevant in our modern day and age.
The story does not only ask why, but how. We witness a never-ending separation, and what it’s modalities create and destroy. There is no hindsight, no aftermath, just the present moment. The conversations are surgical, the plot condensed.
The idea was to focus on a theater of intimacy, on organic, animal life, stripped from any kind of superfluous embellishment. Bodies attract and repel each other, desire and disgust, sex in the face of treason, lies and compromise, solitude and despair. In a single location, a man and a woman confront each other with “naked words”. This is how these scenes from a marriage arose, truly human situations, where each protagonist exercised his or her right to free speech, as various masks fell off, and as they hurt and re-built each other.
And so, a single location for two actors. The playground is the arena in which they are stripped naked, and life springs up, with all of its palpitations, all of its power and contradictions. The perspective is truly the experience of being human, without any kind of judgement, or voyeurism, each of us projecting his or her own experience onto the screen, pushing the cathartic function of theater to its paroxysm.
Behind the masks of Marianne and Johan, Laetitia Casta and Raphaël Personnaz, very close to their own true selves, act as if they were not acting. In a very conniving relationship, the two actors go to where each of them can pretend he is the leader, put the other at his mercy and bring him or her back into the field of his or her own desire. Living alone seems unbearable, but living together is not any easier!
The actor’s play is inseparable here from the how the scenes are staged. The characters were born out of how each actor merged into his or her own role, beyond words, the emphasis being placed on the brutal physicality of the human body. Wild, injured, fragile and powerful bodies adventuring boldly in a search for absolute, restless, breathless love.