Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ingmar Bergman



One of the greatest artists of the 20th century.

One of the six greatest filmakers of all time. Artist of alienation and the pain of the mind body schizm in modern times. Transcendent camera as with all six great ones.

From his greatest work IMO, "The Silence" - genius of cinema, a still contemplative witnessing camera - poet of mid-20th century modernist alienation: mind divorced from body.

A landmark film - pure breakthrough cinema from Bergman - not just depicting, but living inside the existential dread-abyss of Modernity and its loss of mythic meaning. Two sisters' polarized answers to that dread - one deadens herself - the other seeks escape in mindless sensuality - while the son is abandoned to wander in an empty hotel with only absurd characters to play with, all in a stifling, gray, nameless, tank-ridden, Soviet-Kafkaesque-Eastern block industrial- waste, oppressive city. (I'd be very surprised if this film wasn't a seminal influence on David Lynch.) Brilliant performance by Ingrid Thulin as the cerebral, repressed sister. Startling and beautiful imagery and montage (visual and aural), brilliantly depicting the alienated inner and outer worlds.

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