Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ingmar Bergman, RIP: In honor of Bergman's death, I watched The Seventh Seal again tonight. It's theme of death seemed fitting. I watched and admired most of his movies in my 20s, but have not seen any in many years. With all my additional experience and development into a pro-religion conservative, I had planned to mount an attack on the film, but now the desire is not there. The Seventh Seal is simply a masterpiece. The tragedy, terror, and beauty of life and death; the ache for meaning and God; seeing only emptiness. But look beyond the textbook stuff: this movie, of all movies, is often funny and light and hopeful. And it shows Biblical verse as the poetry that it is.

So thank you Mr. Bergman for making life a little more interesting, and I for one hope that someone more pleasant than a man in a black cloak was waiting for you.

4 comments:

tommy said...

I've hadn't seen the Seventh Seal or any other work by Ingmar Bergman, but since you spoke so highly of it, I decided to check it out. I think it's a fantastic movie and I have to admit that the scenes portraying the corrupt, sinister clergy were especially effective. I wasn't expecting such a good movie from the 50's, a decade I tend to associate with especially bad cinema ─ unlike the two decades prior. Maybe that's because it isn't an American film.

I think I'm going to check out some of Bergman's other works. I've noticed a large number of his movies, especially in the the decade or so after the Seventh Seal, receive very high marks from the crowd at IMDB. Any recommendations?

Ron Guhname said...

tommy: Bergman ain't Hollywood, that's for sure. Off the top of my head, I liked:

1) Wild Strawberries
2) Fanny and Alexander
3) The Virgin Spring
4) Smiles of a Summer Night
5) The Magic Flute
6) Persona
7) Scenes from a Marriage
8) Autumn Sonata

My tastes usually run pretty similar to IMDB voters, so you might want to follow their numbers and comments. Some people don't like the talkiness of his movies. If you don't like family members bitching each other out (I like it) follow IMDB's comments.

Do others have recommendations?

Ron Guhname said...

tommy: I liked "Cries and Whispers" too.

tommy said...

Thank you. I appreciate it, Ron.