To Joy

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Year Released: 1950
Rating: 3.0

Two young musicians (Maj-Britt Nilsson and Stig Olin) fall in love and experience life's ups and downs in one of Bergman's minor but worthwhile efforts, more about art being a jealous mistress than any major spiritual crisis - plus, the plot is structured so as to alert you in the beginning of Nilsson's early death and avert a completely melodramatic ending. Despite being the work of a relatively young man (he was in his early 30's when he wrote this), there's complexity in the core relationship, mostly in Nilsson's contentment with being an orchestra player and Olin's insistence that he's better at the violin than he really is (and the self-hate that follows) - perhaps this reflects a concern by the director that he didn't have the makings to be a great filmmaker (as it turns out, he was quite mistaken). Keeping with the autobiographical interpretation, this line speaks volumes: "I'll tell you the secret of real art. It's created when you're unhappy. I prefer being unhappy." Bergman's World, it's safe to say, was rarely a happy place.