starring Vicky Krieps, Tim Roth, Mia Wasikowska, Anders Danielsen Lie
written and directed by Mia Hansen-Løve
by Walter Chaw Eric Rohmer made some snoozers, too. So it is with Mia Hansen-Løve, the inheritor of Rohmer's cinema of intimate behavioural observation and obsession, and her Bergman Island, which lands midway between pointlessly clever and fatally self-obsessed. It follows married filmmakers Tony (Tim Roth) and Chris (Vicky Krieps) as they retreat to Ingmar Bergman's compound on Fårö Island in the Baltic to finish their respective screenplays. Tony's having a much easier time of it, and it's revealed they've been invited to this unusual writer's retreat at least in part so Tony can screen and conduct a Q&A for one of his films. From what we see of it, it's possibly a horror film; whatever it is, it's clear that Tony's work is very different from Chris's. Bergman shot a few of his film and TV productions on Fårö--in fact, Fårö was for him like Yoknapatawpha County was for Faulkner: an entire world unto itself that functioned as the canvas and backdrop for his working-through of major themes. There's a tour of sites that Tony goes on and Chris does not, since she meets an earnest young graduate student, Hampus (Hampus Nordenson), studying Bergman, of course, and decides to spend the day with him instead. You think this will be a source of conflict in Bergman Island, particularly as Chris comments that the couple will be sleeping in the same bedroom where Scenes from a Marriage was shot, but it's not.