Huma Rojo

Happy birthday Harriet Andersson

She is 75 today.

She is my favourite (along with Ingrid Thulin) Bergman's actresses.

This is what Bergman wrote about her in his book 'Laterna magica':

"Harriet Andersson and I have worked together all through the years. She is an unusually strong but vulnerable person, with a streak of brilliance in her gifts. Her relationship to the camera is straight and sensual. She is also technically superb and can move like lightning from the most powerful empathy to conveying sober emotions; her humour is astringent but never cynical; she is a lovely person and one of my dearest friends."


Huma Rojo

Ingmar Bergman on his film 'Winter light'.

Hello, I am new to this community. Some time ago I saw the film 'Winter light', now it is one of my personal Bergman's favourites (I also love Cries and Whispers, Autumn Sonata and Wild Strawberries; Persona is the film I liked much less, it is not only strikingly filmed but genuinely profound, just too distant and cerebral in my opinion).

I read some old Bergman's interview where he talks about his 'Faith' trilogy, and he confirms what some people here said - that 'Winter light' is a film about love. I liked the way he expressed it:

Wild Strawberies

Hi, I'm new. I admit, I've only had the privilege of seeing one Bergman film - Wild Strawberries. One of his less known films? I watched it for a class in college and had to write an essay about it. Even now, I find the film and Victor Sjostrom's performance mesmerizing. Sometimes when I'm driving around, a scene from the film would visualize in head as if involuntarily like a ghost.
kate moss

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This community seems pretty dead, but it's worth a shot...

I have decided to write about Sven Nykvist in a paper for my film-class. I really have no idea what is so special about his way of filming. I'd love some help! Just a few comments to get me going, you know... Thanks!
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I've noticed this community is pretty dead, but thought I may attempt to liven it up. This is something I wrote earlier, just to show people why I'm excited about seeing Saraband tomorrow. It kind of explains how I found Bergman and what he means to me. Just thought someone here may be interested. I sure hope so.

My Bergman spielCollapse )

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We've been having a Bergman festival here lately. Some very brief thoughts on those we've seen so far, all of which have been first times for me:

Cries and Whispers:
Incredibly beautiful, obviousl, with obscene death in the middle of it. I've never seen a movie that looked so hard at one death. There's the long death scene at the end of Madame Bovary (the one with Isabelle Huppert) but that's dramatically driven and makes a simple point. This one goes on forever and is as awful as it can be, even worse for slowing down at times and then returning. Then there's the love between the dying woman and the servant in the midst of the poisoned family. That love echoes the death somehow, like the death, too, is one pure thing in this cold, decadant world.

Wild Strawberries:
Piercingly sad, especially at the end, which came as a shock and made us both cry, but what's the deal with the ridiculous "teenagers"? The guys look like they're about 35 and the girl (Bibi) is unbelievably irritating.

The Passion: (I'll stick to the Swedish title too)
This is my favorite of the three. The faces on these actors: Liv Ullman, Bibi Andersson, and Max von Sydow, are just so beautiful, so totally enchanting and deep and gorgeous. And somehow I found it the most narratively engaging, though the story is so vague and disrupted. I do think poliphilo down there is right about the Christ in the background, an tragic, subtle story happening behind the main story. But what to make of the dead animals? I still want the mystery solved! I was betting it was Eva for a while, all twisted up in her unhappiness, but now it seems it isn't anyone, just the vicious background to the arguments and compromises and intolerance that make up our lives.

A Lesson In Love

A Lesson in Love (1954) is Bergman's stab at a sex comedy of the kind that Hollywood was making at the time with actors like Rock Hudson and Doris Day. Of course Bergman wants to add a layer of poetry to the formula. The result is an odd melange of styles, not altogether successful, but still pleasantly entertaining. It's also quite funny in parts.

Harriet Andersson plays the daughter. When she's on screen it's a different movie, deeper, troubling- a foreshadowing of In a Glass Darkly. What a wonderful actress she is!

En Passion aka The Passion of Anna

The Passion of Anna is not the passion of Anna. That title was wished on the movie by American distributors who wanted to suggest it was a Swedish sex romp. The original title is simply En Passion.

We've had the Passion according to Mark, the Passion according to Matthew, Luke and John. Now here's the Passion according to Ingmar.

So it's a religious film. A Christian film. The symbolism is all in place. First thing we hear are sheep bells. First thing we see are sheep.

But if it's a Passion there ought to be a Christ. Is Anna a Christ? Hardly. She's an uptight god-botherer. Is Andreas a Christ? This is slightly more plausible; the first we see of him he's doing carpentry- but he's a carpenter who does a botched job- therefore a false Christ. And is there really anything Christ-like about his anomie and self-contempt?

No, Bergman is playing a game with us. He has hidden his Christ among the supporting cast. The main characters overlook him and because we have been directed/misdirected to concentrate on them, we the audience miss him too.

He is a good man (explicitly a good Samaritan who saves Andreas' life) who is falsely accused, and then commits suicide after being roughed up and humiliated by vigilantes.

They know not what they do.

And that's what the film's about. The foreground figures are so engrossed in their own trivial sufferings that they miss the significance of what is going on in their midst. I've seen medieval and renaissance paintings and carvings that make the same point. Jesus hangs on the cross and at the foot of it a mass of ordinary people carry on with their utterly ordinary lives.

Anna has a dream. A young man is being hustled away to execution. She falls at the feet of the young man's mother and is pushed away. She doesn't get it. Neither do we.

As the hanged man lies on the bed a shaft of sunlight suddenly illuminates his face.

A Passion is a baffling, frustrating experience. Why are we being asked to spend so much time with these infuriatingly self-absorbed characters? It seems hopeless, pointless, the most gratuitously depressing of all Bergman's films. But that's because we share the characters obtuseness. Like them, we're missing what's in plain view.

There is goodness in the world, there is hope. It has taken the form of a bronchitic old man with a history of mental illness.

Remember the Zeffirelli Jesus of Nazareth with Robert Powell? At an early stage in the planning of that project Bergman was approached to direct. He said he'd like to do a modern dress version on Faro. The producers and backers swiftly lost interest.

History records that that movie was never made.

Oh, but it was.

Shame

Any one been in recently? (looks round, sniffs the air) hmm, smells kinda musty.

Just seen Shame for the first time. I was laughing out loud for the first half hour or so. After that the hilarity faded away. Here are some random thoughts....

Wow. A Bergman movie with explosions! Lots of them too.

A Vietnam era film. But the war it looks like is the Balkans war. Prophetic, huh?

There are echoes of Godard's Weekend. I'm thinking that B will have seen Weekend and this is his response. What he's saying is "screw your politics. I want to know about the people."

This is one of the few war films to tell it from the civilian perspective, one of the few war films that's utterly free of machismo.

Liv Ullman is wonderful. It can't be said too often. Liv Ullman is wonderful.