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My body is afraid, but I am not.
July 30, 2007 2:24 AM   Subscribe

Who are you? I am Death. You have come for me? I have been for a long time at your side. I know.
Ingmar Bergman, 1918-2007.
posted by mr.marx (121 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 2:25 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by Slithy_Tove at 2:27 AM on July 30, 2007


What is especially sad is that I don't think Western culture would celebrate and offer a forum to someone like Ingmar in these more plastic, bubblegum days. I saw The Seventh Seal when I was a child and even then I was mesmerised. A very sad day for art.
posted by The Salaryman at 2:29 AM on July 30, 2007


It is not a sad day for art, for Bergman's work is immortal. It is a sad day for those who loved the man.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 2:31 AM on July 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


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posted by sveskemus at 2:35 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by stereo at 2:36 AM on July 30, 2007


89 years is a VERY good run, way to live Ingmar. And he died at home, peacefully - big win.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:42 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by sien at 2:45 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by darkripper at 2:49 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by brujita at 2:49 AM on July 30, 2007


The man made 62 movies, and lived 89 years. I'm not his greatest fan, but I certainly appreciated his work. He had a great run. Rest in peace.

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posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:57 AM on July 30, 2007


. "Death should not be seen as the end, but as a very effective way to cut down expenses"
posted by zemblamatic at 3:00 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by Faint of Butt at 3:10 AM on July 30, 2007


Shah-mat.
posted by rob511 at 3:36 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by n_s_1 at 3:54 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by EarBucket at 3:56 AM on July 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


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posted by Joey Michaels at 4:01 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by graymouser at 4:16 AM on July 30, 2007


He made some incredible films.



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posted by fire&wings at 4:26 AM on July 30, 2007


What a morning. First Tom Snyder, then Ingmar Bergman.

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posted by watsondog at 4:30 AM on July 30, 2007


Sorry, I mangled the quote in the title. It should read "My body is ready, I am not". Damn copy-pasting of shoddy translations.

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posted by mr.marx at 4:31 AM on July 30, 2007


Good for him. He made a lot of great art and had a long time to do it. Now, finally, he can rest a little bit.

This is only sad for us still on Earth. Godspeed, sir.
posted by invitapriore at 4:37 AM on July 30, 2007


Fanny and Alexander is one of my favorites movies.

(I just read that his son Ingmar Bergman, Jr., is an airline captain. Hmm. "This is your captain, Ingmar Bergman, Jr., speaking..." That's when I double-check my seat belt and ask for a couple extra little bottles of scotch.)
posted by pracowity at 4:38 AM on July 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


Rest in peace
posted by hadjiboy at 4:39 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by chuckdarwin at 4:41 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by oddman at 4:43 AM on July 30, 2007


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The Virgin Spring and Persona are probably my top two of Bergman's. Much respect.
posted by Neilopolis at 4:46 AM on July 30, 2007


Bergman was the greatest director of incomprehensable, Swedish, non-pornographic films ever. He will be missed.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:48 AM on July 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


He left a powerful legacy -- a huge body of incredible work.

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posted by zarq at 4:50 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by chunking express at 4:51 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by purephase at 5:04 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:06 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by eriko at 5:12 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by palimpsest at 5:16 AM on July 30, 2007


Oh, sad to hear of his death. 89 is a very good run. I'm glad he lived long. Fanny and Alexander, Autumn Sonata and Saraband are favorites of mine. I loved his integrity, depiction of profound emotions without melodrama, incredible attention to detail and slow cadence of the story's unfolding.

Wikipedia's details about his life, list of his movies on IMDB.

"As a director, Bergman favored intuition over intellect, and chose to be unaggressive in dealing with actors. Bergman saw himself as having a great responsibility toward them, viewing them as collaborators often in a psychologically vulnerable position. He stated that a director must be both honest and supportive in order to allow others their best work.

His films usually deal with existential questions of mortality, loneliness, and faith; they also tend to be direct and not overtly stylized. Persona, one of Bergman's most famous films, is unusual among Bergman's work in being both existentialist and avant-garde.

Bergman usually wrote his own scripts, thinking about them for months or years before starting the actual process of writing, which he viewed as somewhat tedious. His earlier films are carefully structured, and are either based on his plays or written in collabortion with other authors. Bergman stated that in his later works, when on occasion his actors would want to do things differently from his own intentions, he would let them, noting that the results were often "disastrous" when he did not do so. As his career progressed, Bergman increasingly let his actors improvise their dialogue. In his latest films, he wrote just the ideas informing the scene and allowed his actors to determine exact dialogue."

wow. An extraordinary film maker, visionary artist and human being.
posted by nickyskye at 5:16 AM on July 30, 2007


Wild Strawberries was the movie my parents went to on their first date. Without Bergman, there'd be no dave.

Thanks, Ingmar. RIP.
posted by davelog at 5:17 AM on July 30, 2007


Added to the list of great people I could have swore were already dead, but am glad to hear got a few more years out of life than previously thought.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:17 AM on July 30, 2007


To add to the pile of favorites, mine are Winter Light and Persona. To anyone reading this who hasn't seen a Bergman movie — do so. Your life will be richer for it.
posted by graymouser at 5:21 AM on July 30, 2007


Oh man.

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posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:25 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by nola at 5:32 AM on July 30, 2007


he lived and let behind him

do i? :(
posted by zouhair at 5:47 AM on July 30, 2007


The Seventh Seal was the first "art" movie I ever saw. I was a high-school sophomore and it utterly captivated me. I just hadn't known these topics and themes and moments had existed in history or film.

Thank you, sir.

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posted by the sobsister at 5:48 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 5:50 AM on July 30, 2007


More importantly, .
posted by MrMustard at 5:52 AM on July 30, 2007


The day Michel Serrault went away...
posted by NewBornHippy at 6:06 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by jennydiski at 6:16 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by farishta at 6:20 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by fungible at 6:23 AM on July 30, 2007


I just saw "The Seventh Seal" for the first time, and realized that there wasn't anything in my head that Antonius Block hadn't already said.

I hope that Death isn't making Mr. Bergman dance too fast.
posted by ntartifex at 6:29 AM on July 30, 2007


Cries and Whispers. Stunning moment.

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posted by fuse theorem at 6:38 AM on July 30, 2007


He lived a good and worthwhile life. Cheers, Mr. Bergman.

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posted by ourobouros at 6:39 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by muckster at 6:40 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by Stynxno at 6:52 AM on July 30, 2007


He was one of the greatest. His contributions to cineman are immense.

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posted by tiger yang at 6:54 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by contessa at 6:58 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by Eirixon at 7:03 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by gleea at 7:05 AM on July 30, 2007


Jonathan Ames on The Seventh Seal:

"Young Max Von Sydow's face was incredible to look at. Luminous and deathly. At the end of the film, the knight dies, and the fool lives. That's the kind of story I like."
posted by Rangeboy at 7:10 AM on July 30, 2007


In an era when many adult films are made for kids, where drama is determined by speed and loudness it is amazing that artists like Bergman are remembered at all.
With his films I was mesmerised both by the filmmaking AND the enormous human emotions being served up at me. Yet those emotions were the emotions of you and me, so Bergman was providing a mirror for us all.
Thank you for The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, Through a Glass Darkly, The Silence, The Hour of the Wolf, Cries and Whispers and Saraband.
I think Spielberg said that he wished he could make films like Bergman - me too!
posted by dodialog at 7:13 AM on July 30, 2007


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This is a profound loss. Bergman is the closest analog to a Beethoven or Shakespeare we will ever see in the medium of cinema.
posted by broodle at 7:16 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by The Great Big Mulp at 7:18 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by amberglow at 7:27 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by mike3k at 7:33 AM on July 30, 2007


Not all that long ago Joe Queenan wrote about watching all of Bergman’s films in order. Despite his criticisms his insights stand as a good tribute.

Bergman has, or had, a reputation for simply churning out ninety odd minute depression experiences and whilst it's true that some of his work, such as Winter Lights, is quite dark, all of them have a warmth somewhere within, even if it be from the director towards his characters in always giving them a glimmer of hope.

Wild Strawberries, at least to these eyes, is as much a romance as a philosophical investigation into paths not taken, decisions not made, something that Woody Allen noticed when he all but remade the film in Deconstructing Harry.

I can quite honestly say he was one of my favourite directors and if it wasn’t for him amongst other I wouldn’t have the love for cinema that I do today. When I was at university first time around there were three films that really opened my eyes to possibilities beyond the English language -- Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, Beineix's Betty Blue and Bergman’s The Seventh Seal.

I was intrigued by the video cover, the knight and Death (whom I recognised from Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey) playing chess at the sea shore. It was iconic and surreal and I really wanted to know what led to that image.

What I hadn’t expected was a medieval settings on the edge of apocalyptic disease, inscribed by such atmospheric photography. Also the thread of good humour and black comedy especially between this knight and Death even through the former knows that no matter how hard he fights, there’s an inevitability to his fate.
"I shall remember this hour of peace: the strawberries, the bowl of milk, your faces in the dusk. Mikael asleep, Jof with his lute. I shall remember our words, and shall bear this memory between my hands as carefully as a bowl of fresh milk." -- Block, The Seventh Seal
Thanks Ingmar. Take care, wherever you are.
posted by feelinglistless at 7:34 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by Foosnark at 7:45 AM on July 30, 2007


I was astonished that he was still making films as recently as 2003. Of his movies, Fanny & Alexander is probably my current favorite.
posted by Atom Eyes at 7:48 AM on July 30, 2007



posted by RylandDotNet at 7:50 AM on July 30, 2007


Goodbye, sir.
posted by sciurus at 7:55 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by SBMike at 7:56 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by herichon at 7:59 AM on July 30, 2007


Oh no. I am sad.

Thank you, Ingmar Bergman.
posted by Alex404 at 8:08 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by TrialByMedia at 8:08 AM on July 30, 2007


The Seventh Seal certainly changed my understanding of what cinema could be. Rest in Peace.

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posted by Sailormom at 8:21 AM on July 30, 2007


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When I was 13, the CBC ran a number of Bergman films on Sunday night television. Go figure. The Seventh Seal likely changed the way I thought about everything from then on.

Thank you Ingmar, and RIP.
posted by jokeefe at 8:21 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by dbiedny at 8:22 AM on July 30, 2007




A man who never compromised his art and his vision. An unparalleled genius. I discovered him later in life, but he became one of my few heroes -- inspirations -- touchstones. His masterpieces will live on forever. Hvil i fred.
posted by blucevalo at 8:45 AM on July 30, 2007


"I will never worry about the judgment of posterity or of my contemporaries; my name is carved nowhere and will disappear with me. But a little part of myself will survive in the anonymous and triumphant totality. A dragon or a demon, or perhaps a saint, it doesn’t matter!" -- Ingmar Bergman
posted by blucevalo at 8:48 AM on July 30, 2007


Life, why you mock me?
posted by Hal Mumkin at 8:57 AM on July 30, 2007


nice find there, blucevalo. Also that headline "Death has wrapped its large mantle around Bergman" has a lovely poeticness about it - wonder if that comes from being translated from another language.

On days when a famous artist dies, I always feel a little more sad. The death of any person diminishes me (cf. Houseman quote) but on a day when an artist's light goes out, the world truly feels a bit more dark. Felt that way when Brando died, too...

. (standing in the place of a Swedish letter with a dot on top)
posted by rmm at 9:02 AM on July 30, 2007


I remember going to see Saraband in Palm Springs, of all places, scared shitless that Bergman had lost it, and I'd be disappointed, that it'd be his La Voce della Luna, because how hard it is to keep hitting home runs decade after decade after decade (no steroid jokes plz)...

I came out into the blinding late afternoon light thinking, jesus christ, he's just getting better and meaner and more merciless. he was one of those artists you just wish would never die because without them everything is more vulgar.


also, a lot of the stuff we love obsessively as teenagers just doesn't hold up to the scrutiny of our later years. Bergman is one of the very few artists that deserve the obsessive fandom, period. He is up there in that very small club -- De Sica, Chaplin, Rossellini, Renoir, Imamura, Bresson maybe -- where cinema really talks about life.

and it's important to remember that this most un-American of filmakers was once nominated for an Oscar and was duly beaten by James L. Brooks.
posted by matteo at 9:11 AM on July 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


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posted by gcbv at 9:23 AM on July 30, 2007


oh god this is horrible.
posted by shmegegge at 9:34 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by juv3nal at 9:50 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by troubles at 10:02 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by flod logic at 10:04 AM on July 30, 2007


Lacrimosa dies illa...
posted by Frankie Villon at 10:22 AM on July 30, 2007


I've seen a few of his movies over the years but only saw The Seventh Seal a few weeks ago. It was stunning.

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posted by SassHat at 10:26 AM on July 30, 2007


Man was a master.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:40 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by runningdogofcapitalism at 10:52 AM on July 30, 2007


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posted by ubersturm at 11:08 AM on July 30, 2007


For me, Bergman, Kurosawa and Kieslowski represents a holy triumverate of film makers. All three were great inspirations for me when I was starting my obsession with film.

All three directors were able to capture and create one particular thing that has made their work last for decades and transcend language and cultural boundaries: the films are unmistakeably human. The essence of what it is like to be a person living in the world dealing with everything that that entails. Whether it's sad, funny or surreal (or all three at the same time) Bergman, Kurosawa and Kieslowski all managed to capture life on film...

And for that reason alone, though the art lives on, I am saddened to see the last of my three heroes pass on.

Lycka til, wherever you may be Mr. Bergman.
posted by slimepuppy at 11:31 AM on July 30, 2007


When you grow up in Sweden you actually don't know much about him. There's this public image of him as angst-ridden, unpleasant, full of himself ... that makes you just want to avoid him. You have to discover for yourself how good he really is - and this is of course a good thing, because the things you really like in art or literature, the things that will remain with you, are the things you have discovered for yourself.

For me, it was his writing that made me discover him. His prose style was just so good I had to try his films despite this public image of him, and I was not disappointed. I saw Prison, a fast-paced, gifted film noir he made in 1949 and was impressed - nobody ever mentioned that the old man had a sense of humour as well. I don't know what his books are like when they are translated into English or other languages, but I would like to add to this thread that he was also, in my opinion, one of the best Swedish writers of the 20th century. The way he writes - intelligent, sensitive, fast-paced and with a very keen eye for detail - is like nobody else. If you think Strindberg is good, you should try Bergman (Strindberg often wants to defend himself, or prove that he is right, banging his fist on the table, Bergman is more nuanced). Try his autobiography - he's had quite an eventful life and he really knows how to make the people he have met come alive on the page. He met Chaplin once.
posted by Termite at 11:39 AM on July 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


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posted by Frankie Villon at 1:23 PM on July 30, 2007


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That (not) said, to liven things up a little, you know Mystery Science Theater once did a hilarious little sketch concerning Ingmar Bergman....
posted by JHarris at 1:52 PM on July 30, 2007


Geez

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posted by Paragon at 1:59 PM on July 30, 2007


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posted by jeremy b at 2:34 PM on July 30, 2007


JHarris: LOLZOR LOLZARIAN!
posted by mr.marx at 2:41 PM on July 30, 2007


Checkmate.

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posted by brundlefly at 3:04 PM on July 30, 2007


I saw Fanny and Alexander (the full version) for the first time recently and was blown away. No exaggeration, it's one of the best things I've ever seen.

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posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:17 PM on July 30, 2007


Here's a fitting Bergman tribute
posted by growabrain at 4:36 PM on July 30, 2007


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posted by brilliantmistake at 4:38 PM on July 30, 2007


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posted by rhizome23 at 4:50 PM on July 30, 2007


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posted by Skygazer at 4:52 PM on July 30, 2007


I'm very sorry to hear this. RIP
posted by tellurian at 5:31 PM on July 30, 2007


He was a consummate master, who did it all. Film, TV, stage productions and writing. A true original in every sense of the word. I haven't stopped thinking about him all day. This weekend will be devoted to a Bergman marathon, I think...

Farväl, Ingmar.
posted by gemmy at 5:39 PM on July 30, 2007



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posted by lundman at 6:19 PM on July 30, 2007


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posted by Urban Hermit at 6:24 PM on July 30, 2007


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posted by brandz at 6:58 PM on July 30, 2007


This is very sad news. For cinema and for us all who grew up with him, his grim outlook, his tender words, the dispassionate lyricism of his films. Like a silent cry that you watch but cannot hear and comfort. I loved Fanny and Alexander, my mom took me there, and is one of the movies I've seen most times, familiar and new everytime, but I also loved Cries and Whispers and especially Wild Strawberries.
posted by carmina at 7:39 PM on July 30, 2007


Oh and,

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posted by carmina at 7:40 PM on July 30, 2007


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posted by treepour at 7:52 PM on July 30, 2007


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posted by Hypocrite_Lecteur at 8:38 PM on July 30, 2007


Thank you so much.

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posted by perilous at 10:03 PM on July 30, 2007


As an undergrad I took a Bergman seminar taught by the head of our film department, who'd recently published a book on Persona. Every week of the semester we watched a Bergman film -- twice -- and read a hefty chunk of theory and background material on the films. It was one of the most intense prolonged emotional experiences of my life, honestly. I know that sounds weird, but you try watching Shame, The Silence and Cries and Whispers in a row, twice each and see how your psyche fairs. All the same, it isn't an experience I'd have missed.
posted by Alterscape at 10:59 PM on July 30, 2007


jesus christ, Antonioni too.
posted by matteo at 3:21 AM on July 31, 2007


yeah on the same day, what are the odds?
posted by mr.marx at 4:25 AM on July 31, 2007


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A big .
posted by AmberV at 10:01 AM on July 31, 2007


oh, what sadness...

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posted by seawallrunner at 10:40 PM on July 31, 2007


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posted by Ø at 1:48 AM on August 1, 2007


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posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 3:33 PM on August 1, 2007


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