Susanne (Eva Dahlbeck) owns a modeling agency in Stockholm, and Doris (Harriet Andersson) is one of her most successful models. They’re headed off to Gothenburg for a shoot when Doris gets in a terrible argument with her fiance.
Romantic drama and internal strife follow the women to Gothenburg, as Doris is wooed by an older man and Susanne reunited with an ex-lover.
Ingmar Bergman writes and directs 1955’s Dreams.
I won’t pretend to be a Bergman expert as I’ve only seen a few of his films. (For shame, I know!) However, I do know that Dreams is considered one of Bergman’s lesser films. That fact just goes to show how immensely talented he was; I watched a lot of great films last year, but this one came extremely close to landing on my favorite discoveries list.
This film offers contemplative, close portraits of its leading characters, both of whom are female. I’ll admit I have a bit of a bias toward woman-led films, but I don’t give undue praise based on who stars in or made a picture; this one is very well-made. It feels very intimate — a fly-on-the-wall look at these women’s lives, which held my attention entirely.
Opening on the set of a fashion shoot, with practically no sound but a pervy suit’s finger-tapping for the first five minutes, I was instantly captivated. From there, the film has a moderate but steady pace, and strong performances. Set in the world of fashion, it also has appropriately gorgeous costumes.
If you’ve been putting off watching Dreams because you’re a devotee of Bergman’s more well-loved films, put aside your doubts and pre-conceptions and give this one a shot. I hope you’ll enjoy it as I did! Dreams is available on home video from the Criterion Collection.
I’m like you…I haven’t seen many Ingmar Bergman films, either. Looking at his list of directorial output on IMDb, it looks like just three: The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, and The Virgin Spring. If you’ve never seen that third one, I’d say definitely give it a look; one of my favorite foreign film of all time.