M is for Movies
In June 2007 I watched 11 films by Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. I was addicted and it showed; I only wore black (as a tribute to his high contrast black& white films), I delved in deep to my personal human condition and was convinced everyone else was working hard trying to hide theirs, I thought I understood Swedish. I had never experienced a director who portrayed deep personal angst and anxiety as well as he did hope and determination. There is a finite tension in all his films, dramas and comedies, that is artfully enhanced with genius cinematography, dialogue and sound. I was going to Sweden in August 2007 and I was ready for my close-up, on July 30th 2007 , Bergman died.
It must be the season, all I want to do is watch Bergman films again. Trouble is I am too broke to rent the collection available at Video Difference, woe. I was looking for a clip from Wild Strawberries to reference when ....! I discovered some of my favorite Bergman films exist , for free, on the internet! Now I thought I was not one to promote illegal viewing of films via Youtube or other engines, but I feel like these films are very important and not always accessible (I have not seen a Bergman on PEI) so I am promoting and I'm proud!
The three films I've listed here are definitely on my top 5 films by Bergman:
Wild Strawberries was my introductory, it is a revelation story of an old man, Isak, who realizes the cyclical nature of cynicism and comes to terms with his past, present and upcoming death.
In The Seventh Seal one of the main characters is Death, who is invited to play a game of chess with Crusader Antonius Block. The game of chess pauses and resumes throughout the film, Death lets Antonius and his "army" continue to grow but is always waiting in the wings. Antonius, home from the Crusades to be welcomed by a Black Plague, is understandably having an existential crisis and having doubts about God.
Persona is one of the few truly experimental films of Bergman's. You can tell there is freedom in the production of the film and Bergman admits that this work saved him as he didn't care if it made any money. Persona takes a few viewings to grasp, it is magnificent. Two women are stationed in a secluded beach house, one an actress who has voluntarily muted herself , the other her nurse who can't stop talking.
If anyone wants to have coffee and talk Bergman for the rest of our lives please contact me!