The shadow of Ingmar Bergman hangs over fiction in 2021! After the arrival of many films of the Swedish director on Netflix, the tribute of “Moments in love” in season 3 of Master of None and the wink of Mia Hansen-Løve in her latest film Bergman Island, Hagai Levi propose Scenes From a Marriage. This miniseries for HBO broadcast in US + 24 from this Monday at 8:40 p.m. on OCS City, is an adaptation of the director’s cult series, Scenes of married life, broadcast on Swedish television in 1973 and condensed into a film, released in theaters in 1974, an intimate chronicle of a married couple who love and tear each other apart. Why this American rereading by Hagai Levi, brilliantly carried by Oscar Isaac (Show Me a Hero) and Jessica Chastain (Oscar nominee for Zero Dark Thirty), is it as relevant as it is confusing in terms of modernity?
“The most striking work of art of my life”
In Treatment, In therapy, etc. We no longer count the adaptations of BeTipul. Why has Hagai Levi, the creator of the World’s Most Adapted Series, embarked on a remake himself? It all started “seven or eight years ago” when Ingmar Bergman’s son asked him to adapt his father’s masterpiece. “He really liked BeTipul… And he had heard me speak to the Swedish press about how this series had inspired mine, remembers Hagai Levi, that 20 Minutes met during a roundtable at Series Mania. I’m not sure why he chose me, but I can’t thank him enough for his incredible confidence. “
And to entrust: “I think that I will not make any other remake of all my life. Corn Scenes of married life is arguably the most memorable work of art of my life, like the book you read as a child and which changes your entire life. “
“With this idea of role reversal, I knew what to do”
If Hagai Levi waited several years before embarking on this adaptation, it is because he had to find the right approach to attack this monument. “I didn’t want to do a new series. I had just done The Affair, another series on the couple and the betrayal. But it was about finding a way to adapt, while remaining faithful, ”he says.
And the click came when he had the idea to reverse the roles of the couple from Bergman. In Scenes From a MarriageJonathan, an academic, spends most of his time at home looking after his little girl, while Mira, who earns more, will eventually cheat on him. “When I had this idea of role reversal, I knew what to do,” he says.
“Understanding the mechanism of separation”
“What makes a couple work? This is the question asked in the very first minutes of Scenes From a Marriage by a student who came to interview Mira and Jonathan, the couple played by Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain, for her memory. If Hagai Levi keeps the original question asked by Bergman, his answer, not far from fifty years later, is not exactly the same.
“Bergman wanted to talk about the price of marriage, as an institution, how it kills love and other things,” he analyzes. In Sweden, divorce rates hit record highs after the series aired. “I end up saying almost the opposite. I wanted to understand the mechanism of separation, which is becoming so easy these days. Culture encourages people to move forward, to have a better life, to seek freedom. But it comes at a price too. How can a romantic relationship suddenly end? How painful is it? », Explains Hagai Levi, who delivers a resolutely modern camera on the couple, love and desire. An overwhelming work, from which the viewer does not come out unscathed, as it questions in depth the essence of our intimate relationships.