LIV ULLMAN’s new film as a director brings a fresh perspective to the work of mentor Ingmar Bergman, upon whose script Faithless is based. Words: Steve Cramer

You know how it is. beautiful people have it easy for the first half of their lives. but as age tells upon them. those of us who aren‘t children of Aphrodite at last get to call the shots. It seems unfair then. that Liv Ullman. now well into her fifties. radiates a kind of grace. beauty and well. yes. sexiness that still disarms. Perhaps the incisive analytical mind helps. but let‘s face it, she's still got it in all departments. Even the way that she sips her coffee makes Rou h cuts

Lights, gmera, act/on . . . 73rd ceremony

Getting into the spirit of the


Martin is compering this. the

Ullman is furious with a world without faith

me look like a cave man with his head submerged in a water hole by comparison.

She's with me to discuss her new film. Faithless. scripted by Ullman's former mentor Ingmar Bergman. which posits the breakdown of a marriage after a thirtysomething wife leaves her husband. an orchestra conductor. for his friend. a theatre director who has generally defined dysfunctional relationships with women. The destructive progress of this affair is charted retrospectively by the woman. played by the veteran Bergman actor Erland Josephson. The most profound impact of all this is visited upon the child born to the married couple.

‘l've talked to a lot of men about the

‘I want people to be furious with this film, because it tells them they can’t do just what they want to’ Liv Ullman

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character of the child.’ says L'llman. ‘and it's young men like you who see how important she is.‘ At this point it dawns on me that L'llman's eyes aren't what they were. but the rest of her is perfect. Her comment seems to lead its to the idea of differences between generations in attitudes to children. and this issue seems to derive from creative conflicts between scriptwriter and director. 'lnginar was 82 when he wrote the script] she says. ‘l‘or him the child is important to the story. but she doesn‘t really exist. She didn't appear in the script. I thought she was crucial. and when l was storyboarding I put her into every sequence I could. (‘hildren are different for this generation of men. When 1 leave my house in Oslo and walk around. I see young fathers out playing with their children everywhere. I wish l'd had that when l was young. Fathers are different now.‘

Bergman's script seems radically different from much of his earlier work. Whereas films like The Virgin Spring. The Rite and (Wes .‘illd ll’lii's/n'rs. in fact virtually his entire oeuvre. dealt with the need of individuals to escape the repressions. religious. sexual and social. placed upon them by society. this film addresses the responsibilities of people to those around them. L'llman comments on this change of attitude: ‘We have no faith in anything today. We don't feel looked at and judged. so we do whatever we want to as if it doesn‘t matter. But the child makes it more important. The adults have choices. but she doesn't. I want people to be furious with this film. because it tells them they can’t do just what they want to.’

L’llman began directing in 1992. and can by now ptit some perspective on a long and distinguished acting career. ‘l admire actors tremendously.‘ she says. ‘I didn't when l was an actor. but now i can see what a wonderful creative process it is. When I was an actor I worked with many directors who I‘d go home hating. l don‘t want to he that kind of director. With my actors. I‘m like a lover. [just sit there loving them. l don‘t give them a lot of guilt or fear. and i think that helps performances} I began to contemplate giving upjourtuilism for acting . . .

Faithless opens at Filmhouse, Edinburgh on Fri 23 Mar. See review, page 30.

rear of Bette Davis’ spouse Harmon Oscar Nelson, or was named after the vaudeville tradition of

upon us once again. On Sunday 25 March all the Hollywood VIPs will gather to congratulate each other on being famous and glamorous. Sounds sickening? Hey. that's showbiz. Actually, it's a lot of fun to watch, especially when actors are forced to give career-best performances to disguise their disgust at not winning the golden statuette affectionately known as Oscar. And bonus: funny man Steve

26 THE LIST 15-29 Mar 2001

event (take with a pinch of salt) is the key to enJOying the Oscars. YOU c0uld do worse than watch them broadcast live from Tinseltown via satellite (on Sky for those staying at home) to Edinburgh's Filmhouse. Sponsored by The List. the event kicks off at 9.30pm and runs all night. The Filmhouse is previewing one of the nominated films. Amores Perros (pictured). the ‘Mexican Pulp Fiction', running a film quiz and keeping the bar open

till the birds start singing. Tickets are £15 and all profits go to the Waverley Care Trust. IF YOU FANCY BRUSHING up on the Academy Awards,

try Pocket Essentials’ book The Oscars (£3.99), which includes such titbits as how Oscar got his name: either the statue resembled the

comedians asking the orchestra leader, ‘Will you have a cigar, Oscar?’

STOP PRESS! HORROR film fest Dead By Dawn has annOunced its closing film, and it's a coupe. being the UK premiere of Brian 'ReanimatOr' Yu2na's Faust. adapted frOm the gruesome graphic novel of the same name. Yuzna Will introduce his film at Edinburgh's FilthuSe on Sunday 1 April.