Magazine December 31, 2018, Issue

Ingmar Bergman, Entertainer

Ingmar Bergman attends a press conference at the Amstel Hotel in Amsterdam, October 10, 1966. (Joost Evers via Wikimedia Commons)

At one point in Ingmar Bergman’s 1977 film The Serpent’s Egg, a Jewish acrobat named Abel Rosenberg (David Carradine) sits alone at the edge of a cobblestone street in Berlin late in 1923. Having lost his brother under mysterious circumstances in the film’s first scene, and having since been targeted by anti-Semitic forces, Abel is in a despondent state of mind.

Bergman, for whom no line of dialogue is incidental, then gives us the most revealing and memorable exchange in the film. When a prostitute offers her services to Abel, he snaps back at her: “Go to hell!” But the woman

Peter Tonguette — Mr. Tonguette is the author of Picturing Peter Bogdanovich: My Conversations with the New Hollywood Director.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners




Readers weigh in on Allen C. Guelzo’s “The Great War’s Great Price” and Kevin D. Williamson’s “Pillars of Fire.”
The Week

The Week

The worst part about getting coal in your stocking isn’t the indignity; it’s the notice of violation from the EPA.
The Long View

Holiday Revisions

From “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” words and music by Frank Loesser, with revisions and amendments by the women’s-studies department at Bard College...


“Though slave to him I plan to kill, From here on in I mean to do the things I will...”


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