CLIENT: Bris Soap
In 1951, Ingmar Bergman was a 33-year-old director with more than a dozen credits under his belt — though his breakout films Smiles of a Summer Knight and The Seventh Seal were still four and six years away. Facing some financial uncertainty during the middle of a film-industry strike, Bergman agreed to shoot a series of commercials for the makers of an anti-bacterial soap called Bris (or “breeze”).
ON A SCALE OF 1 (LOW) TO 10 (HIGH), HOW WELL DOES THIS SPOT REFLECT THE DIRECTOR’S STYLE OR SENSIBILITY? (5) This clip is the first of seven commercials Bergman wrote and directed. It may be hard to believe, but it’s the most conventional of the bunch, as successive “episodes” become increasingly strange and oblique. It’s strange to see such light-hearted fare from a director long (and unfairly) associated with death and existential despair, but careful observers can may spot such Bergman tropes as mirrors and the multi-plane arrangement of his actors.
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