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As Time Goes By: Love Stories, like One Day, that Endure the Test of Time
Posted June 29, 2011 to photo album "As Time Goes By: Love Stories, like One Day, that Endure the Test of Time"
One Day tells the two-decade story of Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dex (Jim Sturgess). Like other films, from When Harry Met Sally to Brokeback Mountain, One Day recognizes how our relationships change and deepen over time. We look at 10 other great films of loves that go on.
Scenes From a Marriage (1973)
Ingmar Bergman was never one to shy away from big questions, nor did he balk at plundering his own life for personal details to put in a movie. When he made Scenes From a Marriage, he had recently wed his fifth wife, Ingrid von Rosen, and was pondering what it takes for a marriage to work, how two people can continue to love one another and sustain a functioning relationship together. He was discouraged from embarking on the project by von Rosen, who allegedly felt it would not be successful; however, she was wrong. Made as a five-hour TV miniseries and then released theatrically as a three-hour film, Scenes from a Marriage was an enormous success, and found a very receptive audience. (The story goes that the streets were deserted when Scenes first aired in Sweden.) In six episodic chapters, with titles like “The Art of Sweeping Things Under the Rug,” Bergman presents discrete incidents in the lives of a married couple – lawyer Marianne (Liv Ullman) and academic Johan (Erland Josephson) – after which the pair then discuss and analyze what happened in intense detail. (To add a little context, Ullmann was not only an actress but also Bergman's former lover and the mother of one of his children.) In the first segment, Marianne and Johan have been married 10 years, and look down somewhat on two friends of theirs who are having marital difficulties, saying, “That will never happen to us.” By the end of Scenes from a Marriage, it's a decade later, and the couple has divorced and are having an affair with each other, despite both being married to other people. In the final moment of the film, Johan declares, “I think I love you in my imperfect and rather selfish way. And I think you love me in your stormy, emotional way. In fact, I think that you and I love one another. In an earthly and imperfect way." In his excellent essay written for the Criterion Collection, Philip Lopate writes that “after twenty years, the two have reached an accommodation, a wry understanding. Only at the end do we fully grasp that Scenes from a Marriage is one of Bergman’s sunniest and most hopeful constructions.” Despite Lopate's perspective, the impact of Scenes of a Marriage on Scandinavian life was startling: in the year after it aired, divorce rates almost doubled. Ironically, Bergman's marriage was not one of the ones to suffer; he stayed married to von Rosen until her death in 1995.