Thoughts on The Magician (Ansiktet 1958, aka The Face)

Editor’s note: This piece is part of a series on the Golden Horse Bergman Centennial Retrospective.


Considered to be a lesser Bergman work, The Magician (Ansiktet 1958, aka The Face) is still a masterful, if slightly sprawling, entry in Bergman’s long-running fascination with what it means to be an artist, a cinematic artist in particular. Tim Brayton’s review makes it clear that, far from just a navel-gazing exercise, this film also drags the viewer into the ordeal, making her a collaborator in both the positive and negative senses of the word.

It is, quite literally at times, a romp.

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