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Bergman, Ingmar (Translated by Alan Blair). AUTUMN SONATA: A FILM. New York City, NY: Pantheon, 1978. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 194 pages. Fine/Fine.

Screenplay of the author's film. One of the greatest films of the 20th century. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a very small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now very scarce. Presents the complete screenplay of "Autumn Sonata", Ingmar Bergman's first and only collaboration with the great Swedish-turned-American actress Ingrid Bergman, who left her native land to find fame and fortune in Hollywood. Unlike most filmscripts, "Autumn Sonata" is available in book form because it is a literary, not just cinematic, achievement. The text is beautifully interspersed with film stills throughout the book. Both artists had wanted to work together, but the opportunity did not come until 1977, late in their respective careers, in what turned out to be Ingrid Bergman's very last film. Pitted against the volcanic Liv Ullmann (who plays her daughter Eva), Ingrid Bergman's performance as the cold, self-absorbed yet vulnerable Charlotte Andergrast is regarded by film critics as the finest performance of her career, the role of a lifetime for a great performer: Charlotte, one of the greatest living concert pianists, rich, beautiful, glamorous, and sexually irresistible even in her maturity, comes to visit her painfully shy, timid, bitter, and sexually repressed daughter for a much-needed holiday/break. She ends up staying for exactly one night, forced to leave the following morning after a lacerating, horrific, and heartbreaking confrontation between mother and daughter, which keeps threatening to end in physical violence before finally turning into something much worse. For sheer dramatic genius, the film deserves to be compared with Shakespeare. By the end of the film, the two characters realize and come to terms with the emptiness of their lives in a way that is unsentimental and healing, as only Ingmar Bergman could make us see and believe it. "Autumn Sonata" is quintessential Bergman in his Late Period, and has influenced so many other films (the most recent being "Notes On A Scandal", where the violent sparring between Dame Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett vividly recalls the film). Criterion issued a Blu-ray Edition of the film in 2013, and its spectacular quality, particularly its clarity, must be seen to be believed. Ingmar Bergman died on July 30, 2007 at the age of 89, an irreplaceable loss to world culture. Given the abysmal state and irreversible decline of contemporary cinema, there are no words to describe the loss of its single greatest figure. "The greatest film artist since the invention of the motion picture camera" (Woody Allen). An absolute "must-have" title for Ingmar Bergman collectors. This title is a modern classic. This is one of very few copies of the First American Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. It is the single most beautiful copy of the book we have ever seen. Most copies available online have serious flaws. A very scarce copy thus. The greatest film director of the 20th century. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER INGMAR BERGMAN TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0394500881. $70.00

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