Alfie Ayres’s review published on Letterboxd:
I reckon this is an internal insight into the guilt of infantalising the struggled that artists use to make art. Perhaps the shame around bringing light to the dark mental truths being impossibly selfless as they've benefitted him majorly. Elisabet is Bergmann inserting himself into his craft and getting a feel for what it's like, Alma is whoever you want it to be.
Alma is the collective mindset of the every person. She's an over-achiever, attractive, permiscuous and ashamed of what she unconsciously desires. She knows how to handle herself but when she doesn't there's someone there to document the failure she feels she's become.
Only this time the subject has a voice and Alma's given the privilege to talk back. By her acknowledging Elisabet's past I read this as Bergmann reminding us that the films he constructs are made from a niche-minded and inevitably flawed person.
Film reel spins, celluloid burns and slices up, the chronology of the script inverts on itself. At the end of the day this is just a lot of quick pictures played fast on a weird plastic over a light source. You take from it what you take from it. I see it as Bergmann taking one for the team, acknowledging he's not a god but only a person making films, but before the studio heads come in factory-fy his medium, he's gonna show you why he is so important.