The castle dinner hosted by the rich family is a great favourite of mine. With the camera panning in arc like swishes, Johan drinks and suffers, Alma sees him drink and suffer, and later, he defends the creed of the true artist. Back home, Johan tries to kill Alma and Alma flees. Johan is at the castle again where he tries making love to Veronica's corpse, who wakes up and breaks into hysterical laughter. Johan is then attacked by the castle occupants, and in true horror style, nibbled at. Alma later on faces the camera and wonders if she could have done more. Johan runs away from the castle, and vanishes on the way. Alma helps construct the events leading to Johan' disintegration.
One of the most erotic and abiding images in this movie personally for me is when Johan, sitting on his own trying to paint feels a presence. From the left side of the screen we see a figure approach. Then we see legs, a feminine figure and as she gets closer, we see feet, as they approach and she sits down near Johan, and then bares her breast to him. It is Veronica Vogler, played by the hauntingly beautiful Ingrid Thulin. There are some beautiful scenes on this windswept island and the castle scenes are enacted with a lot of Hollywood panache and perhaps a parody of the genre. Max Von Sydow plays the tormented artist. I saw him recently in a Di Caprio movie and thought he still is magnificent. Ullman plays the wife and tormented soul par excellence as usual. She bares lets you on to her though there are moments of understanding. Her seductive charms seemed to be lost on Johan who was lost in a different world.