Sparks - The Seduction Of Ingmar Bergman

Works of art can also work

Only Sparks could do this. A
64-minute 24-song cycle
commissioned for Swedish radio
about Ingmar Bergman. It’s
about an imaginary time when
the legendary director was
courted by Hollywood in 1956, a
tale of the battle for artistic
integrity against the demands of
commerce that every great artist
has to face at some juncture in
their career.

Obscure, of course –
delightfully warm, naturally; it
underlines Sparks’ greatness
and importance. With a vocal
cast of 13, and their touring
band of the past few years, it
has all the craft and tension of a
recent Sparks work, coming alive
when Russell, as the studio
chief, sings. Swedish actor
Jonas Malmsjö plays Bergman
with all the appropriate detached
paranoia, while Ron Mael makes
his vocal debut as the limo
driver and Hollywood tour driver.
It will be the only pop record this
year with the lines “Smiles Of A
Summer Night / Sommartnattens
leende / Hope I got the title right /
Hoppas jag fick titeln ratt”.

The Seduction Of Ingmar
Bergman manages to avoid
camp, and even has hummable
melodies. This review could read
like one of those YES/NO flow
diagrams. Did you love
Lil’Beethoven? If YES, you will
love this. If NO, return to Kimono
My House.

5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars

Lil’ Beethoven | LBRV 4

Reviewed by Daryl Easlea
<< Back to Issue 369