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Liv Ullman directs Cate Blanchett in Tennessee Williams at BAM, starting November 27th. Also: Liv Ullmann Film Festival

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streetcarnameddesireStarting Friday, November 27th at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Oscar-winning movie actress Cate Blanchett is appearing on the stage as Blanche in Tennessee Williams’ “Streetcar Named Desire” directed by Liv Ullmann, best known as the extraordinary actress in many of Ingmar Bergman’s films. This sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, yet tickets are as low as $30. Not surprisingly, tickets are said to be completely sold out (You should try anyway).


Update: Read my review, Cate Blanchett Upstaging Marlon Brando? A Streetcar Named Desire Review

Less publicized is the Liv Ullmann film festival that is at the BAM Rose Cinemas of the Brooklyn Academy of Music from now until December 6th, as part of what they call the BAMcinématek. That is not sold out. Liv Ullmann herself will be present at the screening of Cries and Whispers.

Here is the schedule:
Shame
Tue, Nov 24 and Wed, Nov 25 at 4:30, 6:50, 9:15pm
Directed by Ingmar Bergman
With Liv Ullmann, Max von Sydow
(1968) 103min
Shame is Bergman’s take on war and its destructive force. Ullmann and Von Sydow play a married couple who find a civil war erupting brutally in their town. Contrasting the face of blood and death with the pain and torment of the couple’s disintegrating relationship, Bergman crafts a final vision of apocalypse as disturbing as anything ever put on screen.

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Thu, Nov 26 and Fri, Nov 27 at 2, 4:30, 6:50, 9:15pm
irected by Ingmar Bergman
With Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson
(1966) 82min
“Persona is a film we return to over the years, for the beauty of its images and because we hope to understand its mysteries.” —Roger Ebert
One of Bergman’s most influential works (with an endlessly copied final shot), Persona features Liv Ullmann as an actress who simply stops performing and Andersson as the chatty nurse who cares for her. The duo slowly fall into a complex and symbiotic relationship that details one of Bergman’s favorite subjects, the inability to communicat

Hour of the Wolf
Sat, Nov 28 at 2, 4:30, 6:50, 9:15pm
Directed by Ingmar Bergman
With Liv Ullmann, Max von Sydow, Erland Josephson
(1968) 90min
“…handled with typical virtuosity in a dazzling flow of surrealism, expressionism and full-blooded Gothic horror.” —Time Out
Sure, Bergman making a horror movie might sound strange at first, but the fantastic is never far away in his films. Bergman uses the horror framework to examine an artist literally possessed by his own demons, as Max Von Sydow leaves behind a diary full of demonic flashbacks. Truly unsettling and psychologically terrifying.

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Scenes from a Marriage
Sun, Nov 29 at 2, 5:30, 9pm
Sun, Nov 29 at 2, 5:30, 9pm
Directed by Ingmar Bergman
With Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson, Bibi Andersson
(1973) 168min
“…one of the truest, most luminous love stories ever made.” —Roger Ebert
A huge success on Swedish television, Bergman’s exploration of the modern Swedish family is an intelligent, moving, and devastating chronicle of one couple and how their comfortable lives catapult into chaos when infidelities are revealed. Marvelously directed, the film boasts incredibly nuanced performances by Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson.

Saraband
Mon, Nov 30 at 4:30, 6:50, 9:15pm
Directed by Ingmar Bergman
With Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson, Börje Ahlstedt
(2003) 108min
“Bergman has never been an ordinary filmmaker, and what he’s given us is no genial last hurrah but rather an intensely dramatic, at times lacerating examination of life’s conundrums that is exhilarating in its fearlessness and its command.” —LA Times
Bergman’s final, astonishing film is a companion piece to Scenes from a Marriage, with Ullmann and Josephson reprising their roles. Reunited after decades, the estranged couple is forced to confront the painful reality that they have failed both themselves and their children

Faithless (Trolösa)
Thu, Dec 3 at 6:30, 9:30pm
Directed by Liv Ullmann
With Lena Endre, Erland Josephson
(2000) 142min
“Complex, challenging and richly rewarding, it glows with the kind of wrenchingly selfless portrayals that are the hallmark of the Bergman classics.” —LA Times
Ullmann directs this morally ambiguous drama, written by Ingmar Bergman. The film charts the disintegrating relationship between an actress and her husband brought on by an act of infidelity, and the devastating effects it has on their young daughter.

The Passion of Anna (En passion)
Fri, Dec 4 at 2, 4:30, 6:50, 9:15pm
Directed by Ingmar Bergman
With Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson
(1969) 101min
“Here, another bold step forward in Bergman’s analysis of human isolation, the public and private manias of Hour of the Wolf are brought down to earth among middle class intruders in an island community.” —Time Out London
A chance encounter on a secluded island leads to a stormy relationship between a widow (Ullmann) and a reclusive loner (von Sydow). Bergman’s formalist interrogation of the filmmaking process results in one of his most stylistically radical films, set amidst barren, wintry landscapes hauntingly photographed by Sven Nykvist.

Cries and Whispers (Viskningar och rop)
Q&A with Liv Ullmann, moderated by film critic Melissa Anderson following 2pm screening
Sat, Dec 5 at 2, 5, 7:15, 9:30pm
Directed by Ingmar Bergman
With Harriet Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Ingrid Thulin, Kari Sylwan
(1972) 91min
“To see it is to touch the extremes of human feeling.” —Roger Ebert
Striking, blood-red interiors provide an expressionistic backdrop for this harrowing chamber drama. While Ullmann and Thulin keep watch over their dying sister (Andersson), their own tortured pasts are frighteningly bared. The claustrophobic air of dread that pervades the film mounts steadily, reaching unimaginably horrific levels.

The Serpent’s Egg
Sun, Dec 6 at 4:30, 9:15pm
Directed by Ingmar Bergman
With Liv Ullman, David Carradine
(1977) 119min
Bergman’s only Hollywood film is a disturbing psychological thriller set in the decadent Berlin of the 1920s. Carradine is a Jewish trapeze artist and Ullmann a cabaret performer and prostitute who, together, uncover human medical experiments being performed by a sadistic professor. A truly unique entry in Bergman’s canon, The Serpent’s Egg presents a fevered, nightmarish vision of a Germany on the verge of Nazism.

Autumn Sonata (Höstsonaten)
Sun, Dec 6 at 2, 6:50pm
Directed by Ingmar Bergman
With Ingrid Bergman, Liv Ullmann, Lena Nyman
(1978) 99min
“…an austerely beautiful meditation on death and the not-always-realized possibility of reconciliation across generations.” —A.V. Club
In her last major film role, Ingrid Bergman plays an emotionally distant pianist visiting her estranged daughter, Eva (Ullmann). Deeply scarred by her mother’s neglect, Eva lets loose the pent-up frustration she harbors in a stunning, emotionally raw scene of catharsis that ranks among the director’s most searing studies of familial unrest.
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