Ingmar Bergman

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The word angst is what threw me off though. I would also interject that it's moreso regarding mankind; religion's place in it comes after. The time period is also relevant because it probably marked a major period where people involved in religion started to think about it.

Also it could be not funny because you went into it thinking it's not a comedy. Very possible.
That could be. And as you said, the time period could be important- I didn't think of that. But if it's not angst, what would you call it?
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It's a comedy-drama. If you watch it for the story, without any bogus preconceptions, it's simply a shakespearean style comedy-drama. It isn't really so much "doom-and-gloom". It's actually often playful, with witty dialogue and lively characters, considering its medieval setting and theme of mortality. It's a great film. Not my favorite from Bergman, but still very good.
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Through a Glass Darkly (1961)



The first part of Bergman's Faith Trilogy is one of his slower films, and also one of his simplest- four family members go to a vacation cottage, but the mental disorder of one of the women (played brilliantly by Harriet Andersson) causes some serious emotional dysfunction among the four. Through a Glass Darkly was the first of Bergman's chamber dramas, and for me it was his toughest to get into. But the island of Faro, which Bergman would go on to shoot many of his finest films on, is displayed beautifully, and it has a surprisingly hopeful ending.






After the part with the spider-god, it seemed like it would end on a low note. But then the the final scene with David talking to Minus felt more optimistic, at least to me.



Persona

Summer with Monika

The Seventh Seal

Smiles of Summer Night

Wild Strawberries

The Magician

The Silence

The Virgin Spring

Hour of the Wolf


Hour of the Wolf is my favorite. his only surrealist film and i can't forget this part of film
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i think the magician his another masterwork. it has a lot of contrast like science-superstition, life- death, wealth-poverty (and film black and white, at those time has color film)... indeed, the Magician's original name Ansiktet(Face). It's like being unmask and seeing the truth,real face.
When I was watch the magician, I just trust to science so i find something for me in this film.
and.. Bergman can tell everything with wonderful narration. (sorry for my English )



Ratings out of 4:

The Seventh Seal -
Wild Strawberries -
Through a Glass Darkly -
Winter Light -
The Silence -
Persona -
Cries and Whispers -
Fanny and Alexander -


Bergman is king.



Note: I've edited my ratings to account for Fanny and Alexander, which is my new favorite Bergman.

The Silence (1963)



One of Bergman's most mysterious films from what I've seen. I ought to watch The Silence again before writing about it, because I don't feel like I have a very good idea of what it's about. Still, something draws me in to it on a subconscious level; one thing that I did get out of the movie was its striking similarities with Persona. The battle of wills between two women, and especially the appearance of a young boy who looks just like the one found in Persona, all suggest the prelude to Bergman's masterpiece.

To me, though, the vague mysteries of The Silence are never less than captivating. The lead performances by Gunnel Lindblom and Ingrid Thulin (in what would not be her last portrayal of female madness) are both great. Bergman creates a world on the edge of destruction, and seems to say that everything will end when we stop trying to communicate with one another.






Persona (1966)



Certainly Ingmar Bergman's masterpiece up to that point, Persona may very well be my favorite experimental film ever. I've had a tumultuous relationship with this movie; when I first saw it about a year ago, I found it loathsome and frustratingly impenetrable. Having revisited it a few more times since, I've acknowledged it as one of the great mysteries of the cinema.

The plot is deceptively simple. An actress, played by the great Liv Ullmann, goes mute on stage and is taken to a seaside cottage with a nurse, played by Bibi Andersson. Yet Bergman infuses the film with various ambiguities and groundbreaking sequences that make it difficult for the audience to discern what is real and what is not. Are the two women in the film one and the same? Lately, I have started to believe that Nurse Alma may be the real one, and Ullmann's character represents her desire to cut away from society. Or is it the other way around; is Elisabet the real one, and the nurse (whose profession it is to help) represents her urge to help others through her art?

Persona is a movie which people will naturally interpret differently, but the most brilliant thing about it is the sly way in which it can be seen as a metaphor for film itself. It is about the difficulties of human communication, specifically the challenges an artist faces in transmitting their vision. It speaks about the masks we all wear, and the manner in which we hide aspects of ourselves to the rest of the world. Few films say more about humanity, and no film says more about it under such an aura of vagueness which continues to unravel with each repeated viewing.






Winter Light (1962)



This is throwing off the chronology of my posts, but I saw Winter Light recently so I guess I'll post about it now. This tale of a rural priest's religious crisis is probably Bergman's iciest film; not just because of its wintry setting but also due to the coldness of the emotions presented in it. Bergman has called this film his final valediction to his strict Lutheran upbringing, and it's easy to see why. Winter Light is, after all, quite brilliant in the way it portrays the emotional isolation that can result from religion, something I'm sure Bergman experienced in his own childhood. Like the other two films in the Silence of God Trilogy, it can get a bit slow at times, but Gunnar Bjornstrand gives the best performance that I've seen from him. Both a portrait of misery and one of the master director's most solidly crafted works.





We could use some more discussion in this thread, so share your thoughts!



^ One of the stand-out scenes is the letter reading where the camera just focused onto the the faces of the individual. Such an intense scene
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Winter Light is imo the second best film of the trilogy. Through The Glass Darkly is the best.



^That was a great scene, very captivating. I don't think there's a single character in that film that I didn't feel great pity for.



Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
It would be something like this:

1. Fanny and Alexander
2. The Seventh Seal
3. Autumn Sonata
4. The Passion of Anna
5. Persona
6. Winter Light
7. Through a Glass Darkly
8. The Silence
9. Wild Strawberries
10. Shame
11. Hour of the Wolf
12. The Magician
13. Sawdust and Tinsel
14. Saraband
15. After the Rehearsal
16. Cries and Whispers
17. Face to Face
18. The Ritual
19. The Virgin Spring
20. Scenes from a Marriage

No ratings, but I've rated first 13 of them 10/10.



^I knew we had some major Bergmaniacs in here

Hour of the Wolf (1968)



Bergman's only horror film and, from what I've seen, his strangest movie, Hour of the Wolf tells the story of an artist's disappearance and descent into madness. I've only seen it once, and being one of Bergman's most experimental works, I feel I have a limited understanding of it.

I guess Hour of the Wolf can be summed up as Persona on steroids. I don't think it's nearly as coherent or captivating as the previous film, but it does share the same avant-garde qualities and similar themes. It, too, is about the difficulties of artistic expression, but Hour of the Wolf gets these ideas across in a much more disturbing manner, right up to the shocking finale.