SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE was originally conceived as a six-part TV mini-series. Since the film features only two principal actors, a limited number of indoor locales, and no musical score (nor any other atmosphere-enhancing devices), the success of this intense drama stems largely from the interaction between leads Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson, who play Marianne and Josef, an upper-middle-class married couple. At first glance, their lives appear to be devoid of marital conflict, but soon after the opening sequence, it becomes clear that tension is mounting just below the surface. The movie consists almost entirely of dramatic exchanges between Marianne and Josef and eventually evolves into an agonising account of the deterioration of their marriage. But throughout it all, a deep, underlying love keeps the couple from breaking off all ties--in spite of the mutual aggression, cruelty, and even violence that forms part of their relationship. Ingmar Bergman anticipated that SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE would baffle, if not antagonise, viewers who had come to expect more stylistically groundbreaking and aesthetically polished work from him. In fact, however, as a result of his unflinching, straightforward approach, the film proves to be one of the director's most insightful and accessible works.