Monday, January 07, 2013

More Film Fun!

Such a simple image, but it has influenced many generations of filmmakers.
The Seventh Seal

Ingmar Bergman doesn't make films, he makes profound existential observations. Every frame is a perfect still, conveying the complex and mystifying contradictory nature of the human condition.

He reaches the desert places, the lonely isolated wastelands of the psyche. His films are not easy to watch. Sometimes they are almost unbearable.

His work has been copied by countless directors because the images are so strong, they leave an indelible impression. It's almost as if he has captured every imaginable archetype. And the faces. Glorious faces with a thousand stories told in a glance. How does he do it? I have no idea.

Bergman's The Seventh Seal is a masterwork that deals with the unanswered questions of existence: Who am I? What is my purpose? What is the purpose of life? And why does God seem so silent and absent from our lives?

From the opening scene where a knight (played by the glorious Max von Sydow) makes a deal with Death by engaging him in a game of chess to the iconic "danse macabre," final scene, this film shows the power of film in one of it's purest forms. No special effects, no annoying soundtrack, just dialogue and a thick, almost unbearable silence.

Bergman wrote about the silence of God and use of silence and space
in his films draws us into an almost breathless state of being.
Fanny and Alexander
Wild Strawberries
and I believe I saw Cries and Whispers. This might be the one that was brutal.

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