Dreyer's last film was adapted from a 1919 play by Hjalmar Söderberg, but it remains one of the most purely cinematic discourses of the 1960s. Its forty-ish protagonist rejects the compromise of her marriage, but suffers disappointment in her younger lover and retreats into a serene isolation. Dreyer directs his actors into performances that are understated to the point of stillness, and composes shots with a daring economy of decor and design; he also slows the overall pace to a contemplative minimum. At the same time, though, he explodes the film's syntax (consecutive shots that don't quite match; camera movements that are never quite resolved), so that the placid surface is undermined by a quarry of tiny fissures. Similarly, the spiritual serenity of the subject is built upon an aching sense of emotional pain - and the fact that it's only half-articulated makes it all the more shattering.