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Bergman back at helm for telepic

'Sarabande' seen as sequel to his 'Scenes From a Marriage'

STOCKHOLM — At 84, helmer Ingmar Bergman continues to defy the odds with a mid-September start of production on a telepic for national pubcaster SVT called “Sarabande.”

Title refers to a slow, dignified Spanish dance and suggests a deliberate but passionate treatment of what is being billed as a sequel to his 1973 movie “Scenes From a Marriage.”

“Sarabande” reunites Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson in the lead roles, and marks the first time that Ullmann has starred in a Bergman project since “Autumn Sonata” in 1978.

Pia Ehrnvall, Bergman’s longtime producer at SVT, told Daily Variety that an eight-week shooting schedule is planned to meet Bergman’s three-day workweek requirement.

Bergman’s perfectionism, she added, was evident in the extensive prep undertaken: Every camera angle was mapped out in advance with extensive drawings submitted to the director well in advance of start date.

“Sarabande” is to be shot in HDTV and is a co-production between four Scandi pubcasters plus Italy’s pubcaster RAI.

Ehrnvall said there also are plans for a theatrical release but nothing is yet firm.