Scenes from a Marriage (1973) s01e03 Episode Script

Paula

1 SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE Johan and Marianne have been happily married for ten years.
They lead a comfortable life with their two daughters.
One day Marianne declares that she wants to back out of Sunday dinner with the folks.
This spark of defiance is snuffed out.
Eva, a colleague, comes to see Johan in the lab.
She has read Johan's poems, poems he has kept secret.
She pans his poems as kindly as possible, but Johan is devastated.
A woman, Mrs.
Jacobi, comes to see Marianne.
She wants to file for divorce after 20 years of marriage.
She feels her marriage has been devoid of love and that this has caused her emotions to atrophy.
Listening to her tale, Marianne feels inexplicably disturbed.
Marianne and Johan meet for lunch.
They try to reach out to each other but fail.
That evening they begin to discuss their deteriorating sex life.
However, confused and worried about the consequences, they decide to sweep matters under the rug instead.
Just look at this! What a mess! No, you clean it up yourselves.
Lights out in five minutes.
Good night.
It can't be! You're here already? I wasn't expecting you until tomorrow.
What a lovely surprise! Are you hungry? How sweet of you to get here sooner.
The girls are asleep.
We all went to bed early.
There was nothing on TV, so we turned in early.
The girls and I have been dieting today.
Would you like a sandwich? That sounds nice.
Or should I fry some ham and eggs? Or heat up some soup? Sandwiches and beer will be just fine.
By the way, Peter and Katarina are going to call you on Monday.
It's quite an ordeal they're going through.
Are they getting divorced? They don't seem to know what they want.
Is that so strange? I advised them to get separate lawyers, but they refused.
Listen, change into your pajamas and I'll bring a tray up to the bedroom.
Sounds good.
And here I was worried you might be angry with me.
- Why should I be angry? - I was nasty on the phone last night.
Oh, that.
That was nothing.
I called back, but you must have unplugged the phone.
I was pretty tired.
I'd spent the day with that zombie from the ministry.
It makes you wonder about the idiots in charge of our well-being.
I still think I behaved badly.
Let's drop it.
You never want to finish discussions, do you? But this won't take long, dear.
All I wanted to say was that you were right, but so was I.
If you don't want to wear a tuxedo, that's your business.
I agree.
But if I think you should get a new tux, then I have a right to say so.
I don't like tuxedos.
I hate wearing a tuxedo.
It's a ridiculous getup.
I feel like a dressed-up chimpanzee.
Yes, you told me that.
Let's not quarrel.
I love you, even if you won't wear a tux.
It's hardly essential to our marriage.
- It sure seemed that way last night.
- I told you I was wrong.
I'm getting hungry just watching you eat.
I can't help it.
I've got to have a sandwich.
I'm so hungry, I'm dizzy.
I've lost almost five pounds this week.
- Does it show? - No.
I can feel a difference though.
But it seems so pointless at times.
I mean, why should we deny ourselves the good things in life? Why can't we be fat and cheerful? Remember Aunt Miriam and Uncle David? They were big, fat and cheerful.
They slept in that creaky double bed of theirs, holding hands, content with each other, fat and happy.
Why can't we be like them? Brimming with contentment? What's the matter? Are you upset? Has something happened? What's wrong? Tell me.
I came here to tell you something.
I've gone and fallen in love.
It's absurd, and probably a big mistake.
Most probably a big mistake.
I met her at that convention in June.
She was the interpreter and secretary.
Actually, she's studying for her degree.
She's going to teach Slavic languages.
She's nothing much to look at.
You would probably think she's ugly.
I have no idea what this will lead to.
I have no idea about anything.
I'm utterly bewildered.
Of course, I'm happy in one way.
But I do feel damn guilty about you and the children.
We've always gotten along so well.
Things have been no better and no worse than for the average family.
Say something, for Christ's sake.
I don't know what to say.
You probably think it was wrong of me not to tell you sooner.
I didn't know how it would turn out.
I figured I'd get over it.
I didn't want to worry you.
It's funny.
What's funny? That I didn't notice anything.
I didn't suspect a thing.
Everything's been just like usual.
Better, in fact.
You've been so sweet.
I've been a silly, blind fool.
I didn't even notice.
Christ.
No, you never noticed.
But you've never been particularly observant.
Where do we go from here? I don't know.
Do you want a divorce? Are you going to marry her? Why tell me tonight of all times? What's the sudden rush? We're leaving for Paris tomorrow.
I want to get away.
At least for a while.
I was going this fall anyway, to see Grandin and his assistant.
Paula has this study grant and wants to use it this fall.
I want to be with her.
I can't make it without her.
So we're leaving tomorrow.
Now that I'm here, talking to you, I feel like scrapping the whole thing.
I just feel frightened and tired.
Nothing could be more absurd or clichéd.
I know just what you're thinking.
I have no excuse.
How can you know what I'm thinking? I'm trying not to feel guilty.
That would just be an act.
This is how it is, and nothing can be done about it.
Let's go to bed.
It's late.
I guess you'll be leaving early tomorrow.
I have an appointment at 9:00.
Then I suggest we go to bed.
Aren't you going to change? - You have marks on your chest.
- I know.
How tactless of you both.
Do you know if my gray suit is here or in town? - It's at the dry cleaners.
- What a nuisance.
- Did you want to take it with you? - Of course.
I have the receipt, if you'd like to pick it up.
I won't have time.
I'll be busy until 3:00.
And then we leave.
If you like, I could pick it up.
I'll do your packing too.
You're not very good at it.
No, thank you.
Now you're being silly.
I'm quite conventional.
Besides the suit, I think you have everything you'll need.
There are clean shirts and underwear, so you can take those with you.
Why don't you travel in your jacket and flannels? - They make you look youthful.
- Whatever you say.
How long will you be gone? It all depends.
What do you mean? I've been granted a leave of absence for six months, and I'm bringing a month's worth of work with me.
So I guess I'll be away for at least seven or eight months.
I want to make a clean break.
- And if I'm not here when - I don't give a damn.
Do you know how long I've had this in mind? Not the affair with Paula, but how long I've wanted to leave? Don't say it.
I've wanted to be rid of you for four years.
- No more.
- You're right.
Words don't mean much.
What are you going to live on? I mean, during your leave of absence.
You'll have to pay child support.
Don't worry.
I'll manage.
You must have assets I'm not aware of.
Indeed I do.
How is that possible? Shut up and listen! Even though it's none of your damn business.
I've sold the boat and taken out a loan.
The bank will pay you and the girls 1,600 kronor a month.
We'll make other arrangements when I get back.
I suggest you ask one of your lawyer colleagues for advice.
I don't give a damn.
You can name your price! I'm not taking a thing, apart from my books, if that's all right with you.
I'll vanish.
I'll dematerialize.
I'll pay all I can to support you and the children.
My needs are minimal.
All that interests me is to end this.
Guess what I'm fed up with most of all.
All this harping about what we're expected to do and what we must take into consideration.
"What will your mother think?" "What will the children say?" "How shall we arrange the dinner party, and shouldn't we invite my father?" "We must go to the coast, to the mountains, to St.
Moritz.
" "We must celebrate Christmas, Easter, birthdays, name days" Every single goddamn occasion! I know I'm being unfair.
I know I'm way out of line.
I know we've had a good life together.
And I think I still love you.
In fact, I think I love you more now that I've met Paula.
Can you understand this bitterness? I can't think of a better word than bitterness.
No one can explain it to me, since I have no one to talk to, except Erik Bromeus, and he's an intellectual illiterate with little to offer beyond his money, though that does come in handy.
I don't understand any of this.
I don't understand this bitterness that just keeps on growing.
I don't understand.
How come you haven't said anything? How can you discuss what you can't find words for? How do you say that sex is boring even when, technically, everything's fine? I feel like hitting you, looking all prim while eating your breakfast.
And the girls acting all silly and pretentious.
Why have we turned them into spoiled brats? It's not your fault, Marianne.
Everything's gone down the tubes, and no one knows why.
- I must have done something wrong.
- Would you stop it? Blaming yourself is an easy way out! Lets you feel noble and humble.
Neither of us is to blame.
There's no point in wallowing in guilt.
Though God knows I feel so guilty I can barely breathe.
It's the luck of the draw.
A cruel fluke.
Why should we be exempt from humiliation and disaster? It's perfectly logical, so why cloud the issue? - My poor darling - I don't want your sympathy! All these words I'm spouting are just empty talk.
I don't imagine for one minute that I've touched on the truth about us.
I don't think there is such a thing as the truth.
No matter what we say or do, it will hurt.
Don't go.
That's impossible.
- What if I beg? - It's no use, and it's embarrassing.
Couldn't you postpone your trip for a month or two? I believe we can save our marriage.
We could make a fresh start.
Allow me that much.
Maybe Paula would understand me.
Maybe I should meet her and talk to her.
Let's face this together.
You're presenting me with a fait accompli.
You're putting me in a ridiculous and intolerable situation.
I know exactly what you mean.
What will our parents say? What will your sister think? What will our friends think? Lord, think of all the gossip! How will it affect the girls, and their friends' mothers? What about the dinner parties we're already scheduled to attend? And what will you tell Peter and Katarina? To hell with all that! It feels good to act like a cad.
- That wasn't what I meant.
- Then what did you mean? Nothing.
I forgot to set the alarm.
When do you need to leave? Please set it for 5:30.
I need to pack, and I have to be at work by 9:00.
I've been meaning to get a new alarm clock.
This one is so noisy.
And it's not very reliable either.
There.
It's set for 5:30.
I'll wake up on my own anyway, so you don't have to worry.
- Tell me about Paula.
- For the love of - What's the point? - I want you to.
Why torment yourself? It's not self-torment.
I want to know what she's like.
It's much worse to try to picture someone you know nothing about.
Do you have a picture of her? Could we not do this? Please do it for me.
You asked for it.
Now, where did I put my wallet? I guess it's in my coat pocket.
Here are two pictures of her.
That one was taken two years ago, when she was on vacation.
The passport picture was taken two weeks ago.
It's a good likeness.
She has a lovely figure.
And lovely breasts.
Right? Yes, she has lovely breasts.
- Does she dye her hair? - It's possible.
- What a nice smile.
How old is she? - Twenty-three.
She hasn't been very lucky in love.
She's been engaged twice.
In that respect, I think she's made a muddle of her life with all kinds of men.
Does that bother you? It sure does.
Her frankness can be quite unpleasant.
I would prefer not to know anything, but she insists on giving me the details of her erotic past.
Which is trying, since I suffer from retrospective jealousy.
She has no illusions.
She says she has no great hopes for the two of us.
She's convinced I'll go back to you, that she doesn't have a chance against you.
Sometimes it sounds like lines from some old hackneyed melodrama.
She tries to protect herself from every kind of failure, a somehow rather touching trait.
There's something childlike about her, in spite of her intelligence and general competence.
She's insanely jealous, but then again, so am I.
She's terribly afraid of you, and I can understand that.
But she's also afraid of my secretary and of other women I associate with.
She's unsure of herself, but I do help her as much as I can.
It's all pretty strange and bewildering.
Are you good together in bed? Yes, we are, actually.
At first it was awful.
I wasn't used to it.
Being with other women, I mean.
I guess you and I have spoiled each other.
We took a trip together.
You went away together? I gave some lectures in Copenhagen in April, remember? Back in April We fought so much that they asked us to check out.
I told you I changed my hotel because the traffic was so noisy.
We ended up in a squalid place on a back street, and suddenly we clicked.
We made love around the clock.
It was better than anything she'd ever experienced before, she said which was extremely flattering.
I know what you're thinking, and it's true.
Things between the two of us improved after Copenhagen too.
Did you tell Paula that? I didn't dare.
I told her you and I had stopped sleeping together long ago.
I said I was impotent.
Since I had been impotent with her, I claimed it happened with you too.
The problem with Paula is that she's so damn intuitive.
Or maybe I'm just a lousy liar.
She can tell when I'm lying.
She can see straight through me.
But that'll probably do me good.
It keeps me on my toes.
I've always been so gullible.
Not just gullible.
You and I have taken refuge in a hermetically sealed existence.
Everything's been orderly, and it's all gone like clockwork.
But the lack of oxygen has smothered us.
And now your little Paula will revive you? I don't possess much self-knowledge, and I know very little about reality, in spite of all the books I've read.
But I believe that this catastrophe is the chance of a lifetime.
Has Paula filled your head with garbage like that? How naïve can you get? This conversation can do without your taunts and sarcastic remarks.
You're right.
I'm sorry.
I'm trying.
I'm trying to be as honest as I can, and it's not exactly easy.
We've never talked like this before.
Is it any wonder we're naïve, insecure and childish? What else could we expect? This affair with Paula is a disaster for you and me both.
I've tried to break free over and over again, but it's impossible.
She won't let me go.
And I'm obsessed with her somehow.
It sounds so damn melodramatic to say you're obsessed by anyone, but it's the only word that fits the bill.
At first I resisted, but now I've let everything go straight to hell.
And that suits me just fine.
You're in a tight spot.
I just don't know.
I don't know anything.
Come and lie beside me.
Please.
I want you to make love to me.
Please? For old times' sake.
Lie here in my arms.
We'll fall asleep together.
I don't think I can sleep.
The best thing would be to pack my things and leave.
Lie down and close your eyes.
You'll doze off.
We need rest.
Tomorrow will be a tough day.
I'm so goddamn ashamed of myself.
We'll talk about that later.
Right now it's just you and me.
We have a few hours left together.
Would you like to pack or have breakfast first? You decide.
- Tea or coffee? - Tea, please.
Could you help me with this fingernail? It's split.
Go over to the window.
Have you started biting your nails again? Have you seen my book of Speer's memoirs? I'm sure I put it on the nightstand.
I thought you were done, so I lent it to Mother.
Nice of you.
Christ! It's split, so I have to trim it down.
I'll put a bandage on it.
- What do you do to your nails? - That's fine, thank you.
Should I pack this razor, or will you take the one from town? I've got to go to the apartment anyway, so leave this one and I'll grab the other.
Do you want the dry-cleaning receipt? Yes, I might make it after all.
Where is it located? In Storgatan, across from the church.
I know the one.
I don't want to bring these.
They'll come in handy in winter.
Which pajamas are you taking? Go make breakfast while I finish packing.
- Does this bother you? - Yes.
It seems indecent somehow.
I don't know why.
- What are you staring at? - Nothing.
What about your mail? I'll send you my address.
You can forward the important letters and pay the bills in the usual way.
The plumber was supposed to repair the bathroom in town.
Have you called him, or should I do it? I figured it might have slipped your mind.
Should I take care of it so we get it done? The guy is never in when I call.
I hadn't forgotten about it.
What about your car? Will you leave it in the garage? I've asked Paula's sister to take care of it.
No point letting it sit around, and she's just moved out of town.
I understand.
Could you please cancel my dentist's appointment? What are we going to do about your father's birthday dinner? Please call him and explain.
Would you, please? That's almost the worst part.
Maybe I could write him a letter? Do whatever you like.
Just don't forget.
Dealing with our parents will be rough.
What should I tell Miss Andersson? I don't give a damn what the cleaning lady thinks! Why are you so angry? She's been with us for ten years.
She's loyal and we can't do without her.
Well, I might as well tell you.
She caught me and Paula red-handed one morning.
I didn't know you had changed her day, and she walked in on us.
It was awfully embarrassing.
That was about a month ago.
My car had broken down and we'd had dinner at a restaurant nearby, and I figured it wouldn't matter if we spent the night there.
I asked the old girl to keep her mouth shut.
But she was nearly rabid with indignation and loyalty to you.
Then she made us breakfast and was her usual bossy self.
She treated Paula as if she was an innocent victim of my brutal lusts.
Why don't you say anything? What a relief that I won't have to tell Miss Andersson.
What is it, Marianne? Oh, it'll pass.
- What should I tell the girls? - Say whatever you like.
That you fell in love with someone else and walked out on us? That about covers it.
It also has the advantage of being true.
I don't expect them to understand.
I have to leave now to avoid traffic.
- Good-bye, Marianne.
Take care.
- Good-bye.
- I might be back in a week.
- If only you were! We'd make a fresh start.
We'd throw out our stale old routines.
We'd talk about the past.
Figure out where we went wrong.
You'd hear no accusations from me.
Johan this all seems so unreal.
I don't know what to do.
You're shutting me out.
Any solution would be better than this.
Couldn't you promise to come back? That would tide me over.
Then you wouldn't be leaving me without hope.
Even if you have no intention of returning, you could say you do.
I have to go now.
Fredrik? It's me, Marianne.
Sorry to wake you.
Is Birgit there? No, let her sleep.
So, how are things? Oh, so you like quiet mornings on your own.
Well, I won't keep you.
It's cloudy here.
How nice for you.
Fredrik, there's something I need to talk to you about.
I really need to talk.
You and Birgit are our friends.
I have to It's all so unreal, Fredrik.
You see I'm about to burst into tears, but crying only makes things worse.
You see Johan has fallen in love with another woman.
Her name is Paula, and they're leaving for Paris today.
Couldn't you talk to him and ask him to wait a bit? Tell him he shouldn't rush off like this.
What? You have talked to him? I see.
I see.
So, the two of you have known all along.
You knew, but you never told me? And you call yourselves friends? How could you be so goddamned disloyal to me? I don't care what you say! All those times we've gotten together, and neither of you said a word! Damn you! What kind of friends are you anyway? To hell with your reasons! How many others already know? I'd really like to know that! Lots of people.
I see.
That's good to know! This was the third episode of Scenes From A Marriage.
It was called "Paula.
" And while you look at this footage of FÃ¥rÃ, here are the credits.
The actors were Liv Ullman and Erland Josephson.
Sven Nyqvist and his assistant Lars Karlsson manned the cameras.
Wardrobe, Inger Pehrsson.
Props, Gunilla Hagberg.
Makeup supervisor, Cecilia Drott.
Audio and mix, Owe Svensson and his assistant Arne Carlsson.
Editing, Siv Lundgren.
Script supervisor, Ulla Stattin.
Other contributors were Anders Bergkvist, Stefan Gustafsson, Lars Hagberg, Adolf KarlstrÃm, Kent NystrÃm, Bo-Erik Olsson and Siri Werkelin.
Lars-Owe Carlberg was the production supervisor, and the lab was Film Teknik.
Nils Melander designed the lighting effects on Eastman Color film.
The series was produced on Fårà by Cinematograph.
The year is 1973.