Ingmar Bergman: C/D?

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Started watching "Scenes From A Marriage" again last night & realized I've probably only seen about a 1/3 of Bergman's works. Here's a C/D of what I've seen:

C: The Shame, Sawdust & Tinsel, Wild Strawberries, Cries and Whispers, Persona, Fanny and Alexander, Scenes From a Marriage, The Passion of Anna, Through a Glass Darkly

D: Winter Light, The Seventh Seal, Summer With Monika, The Silence, The Magician

I have a hard time with doing a C/D with Bergman--even the ones I called "duds" are still good films, just not the masterpieces the others are. "Winter Light" is the only film I really didn't care for, but that may have to do with the English-dubbed version I watched. My inclusion of "The Seventh Seal" may be controversial as a dud, but I just could never get into it. It just seemed over-the-top & pretentious to me. I could be wrong about "The Silence", but I put it as a dud only because I can't recall a single scene from the film that didn't take place within the first half hour.

jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 16:43 (sixteen years ago) link

i agree with you about "the seventh seal", jay. it epitomizes the heavy-handed symbolism/somberness that bergman gets so much for flack for these days (mostly unfairly, i think). but then i love "cries and whispers", and the same is often said about that film, but i think it works. the final scene is one of the most uplifting and beautiful of any. i also found "winter light" tedious (i've seen the criterion dvd, so i can't explain it away through dubbing). i've been meaning to revisit that one, though, and have yet to watch "the silence". anyway, here's mine:

S: wild strawberries, persona, cries & whispers, shame, fanny & alexander, scenes from a marriage, the magician, through a glass darkly

D: the seventh seal, winter light

i guess we mostly concur - i love "the magician" though, think it is one of his more underrated films and am pleased to hear that a criterion dvd may be forthcoming. i have many more of his films to see.

a spectator bird (a spectator bird), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 17:05 (sixteen years ago) link

classic: through a glass darkly, cries and whispers, persona, brink of life, wild strawberries, the silence, the virgin spring

bit dud, really: the seventh seal

neither c nor d: the magician, winter light, dreams

i am going to the library to watch fanny and alexander today though by all accounts i imagine this will go firmly in the first category.

joseph (joseph), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 17:47 (sixteen years ago) link

I forgot about "The Virgin Spring"--I definitely want to add it to my "classic" list.

I had a hard time putting "The Magician" on my dud list, but again that may have more to do with technical issues--I saw a really bad transfer, in LP mode VHS with a bad telecine frame-slipping issue in the middle of the film. That was a bit of a distraction from the rest of the film. My main problem with it is it seemed to be pretty similar to Sawdust & Tinsel, but with none of the surreal elements.

jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 17:56 (sixteen years ago) link

I haven't seen many, but of the ones I have:

Classic: Wild Strawberries, Fanny & Alexander, Persona

Unsure: Smiles of a Summer Night

Dud: Seventh Seal (though it's not a BAD film by any means) - just as mentioned before, it's too blunt. I guess you could say the same thing of "Wild Strawberries" in places, but I felt the issues dealt with are something I could relate to more, and as the Seventh Seal goes, I have some philosophical disagreements with it, as well.

I love love love Fanny and Alexander, having just seen the five hour version (got the 5-disc criterion due to gift card money) a couple of weeks ago. I especially like it because he uses all the issues he brings up in his 50's films but doesn't beat them to death over 90 minutes. Full of color, surreal scenes, great quirky characters (whoever played that evil bishop did a great job), and I think the only remotely "happy" film he did. Of course, I'm also a sucker for auto-biographical pictures, which is probably why I like Chaplin's "The Kid" more than I should.

Persona's one of the most challenging things I've watched, and it raises interesting questions. Certainly something that I'll rewatch a fair amount.

But yeah, I really need to see more. Next thing on the list is that faith trilogy and "Cries and Whispers."

mj (robert blake), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 20:04 (sixteen years ago) link

Search: The Silence. The lack of dialogue and hothouse environment make palpable Ingmar's oppressiveness, instead of keeping it all blocked up inside his head. I even like the dwarves!

Ken L (Ken L), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 21:00 (sixteen years ago) link

I guess my calling "The Seventh Seal" a dud wasn't so controversial after all...

The reason "Wild Strawberries" works with the heavy-handed symbolism (while "Seventh Seal" does not) is that it balances it with nostalgia and humanism. The symbolism is also much more visceral & less blatant (although it could be argued that the "clock with no hands" is on par with "playing chess with death" in the cheese factor--but at the same time, it's a dream sequence in "Wild Strawberries", so maybe it's a bit more justifiable.

I haven't seen the 5-hr. version of Fanny & Alexander, but I'm look forward to it. I'm working on the full TV-series version of "Scenes From a Marriage" right now. God, I wish American TV had this kind of programming.

There are DWARVES in "The Silence"??? Wow, I definitely have to watch that one again!

jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 21:15 (sixteen years ago) link

yeah, on paper that dream sequence in "wild strawberries" shouldn't work, but i've seen the film three or four times and i always want to leap out of my seat at the creaking sound of the tilted carriage. and the blinding sunlight is truly eerie. it's too visceral to roll your eyes and say "oh A symbolizes B and C symbolizes D, we get it".
very little in "the seventh seal" has that effect (though the players dancing along the ridge at sunset is a beautiful image).

i've never known quite what to make of the bickering couple in "wild strawberries". their appearance is unexpected, unsettling, and over quickly.

a spectator bird (a spectator bird), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 21:27 (sixteen years ago) link

Yeah, I agree. It certainly isn't as oppressive and the professor could easily be a placeholder for anyone watching, in contrast to in tSS where the knight really is only Bergman's proxy. And yes, he does make good use of humanism; it's an easier film to watch. I'd say it's one of his most accessible film for that reason.

What I like about "The Wild Strawberries" is that it's not dealing with death and God's role in it. It's dealing with existential issues, sure -- but I feel it addresses how we spend our time on Earth while we have it more so than anything else. I've always taken issue with Bergman about "The Seventh Seal" because God is his placeholder for what he can't explain and why death occurs, and I don't agree with that.

Even assuming that he was correct about that -- you can worry about death, God, and other things all you want to, but doing so to the point where you are miserable makes no sense and is counterproductive. If it helped Bergman get out some of his demons, then fine, but I felt he had a little too much existential angst.

I liked that dream with the handless clocks. However, I was a much bigger fan of the classroom dream where he is judged by the stern old lecturer. That "you're incompetent" line summed it up perfectly. I especially liked how they staged it in his old classroom.

On a more general level, I like how Bergman gets me to emotionally respond to things without the use of music.

mj (robert blake), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 22:18 (sixteen years ago) link

um yeah add fanny and alexander to my classic list above. wow.

haha i actually don't remember anything from the first half hour of the silence, oddly enough. the rest of the film is bergman at his claustrophobic best, and ingrid thulin's freakout near the end is wondrous to behold.

joseph (joseph), Thursday, 13 January 2005 02:06 (sixteen years ago) link

(also jay i think we both watched similar-quality copies of the magician - i remember not being able to even read the subtitles for a good deal of the movie)

joseph (joseph), Thursday, 13 January 2005 02:07 (sixteen years ago) link

...I felt he had a little too much existential angst

Angst? Not Bergman.... :)

On a more general level, I like how Bergman gets me to emotionally respond to things without the use of music.

Great call. That has always been my favorite characteristic of Bergman's films. I have written on many other threads about my hatred of non-diagetic music in films, and how it's demeaning to not only audience, but to the actors and DP as well (it essentially says that the director has zero faith in the ability of the actors and the cinematography to elicit a strong emotional response on their own).

jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Thursday, 13 January 2005 03:17 (sixteen years ago) link

Sorry, The Seventh Seal is great, and FUNNY (Death sawing the tree, the squire's description of the corpse's pithiness). Smiles of a Summer Night is one of the best sex comedies.

To me, Fanny & Alexander is more like Bergman's Greatest Hits, tho I haven't seen it at TV length. (His followup TV film, After the Rehearsal, is much fresher, and has Lena Olin.)

I saw a new print of The Magician last year and it's breathtaking.

The "God's silence" movies have more resonance if you were raised religious, I bet.

Cries & Whispers, Scenes from a Marriage strike me as heavy-handed; even moreso, Autumn Sonata! "It's my parents' fault and I will blame them exclusively!"

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 13 January 2005 14:36 (sixteen years ago) link

"The Seventh Seal" does have some humorous elements (as do all of Bergman's films), but I certainly wouldn't go so far to call it "funny". My main problem with the film is that for the most part, it takes itself far too seriously, which is probably why it's been the subject of so many parodies.

It just seems like a cop-out, dealing with Death in literary metaphor rather than directly, like in "Shame".

jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Thursday, 13 January 2005 21:07 (sixteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
yikes, just watched hour of the wolf for the first time - a big clanking dud. the scene where von sydow murders/imagines murdering the boy was quite creepy and well-done, but the rest felt awfully cartoonish. interesting to see pinwheeling camera movements and such crazed foreshortening in a bergman film, though. anyone like this one?

a spectator bird (a spectator bird), Tuesday, 8 February 2005 04:51 (sixteen years ago) link

Yeah, spectator bird, I kind of like it. If I pretend(?) it is more a B-movie horror movie entertainment than an art movie I enjoy it a lot more. It has an almost pulpy feel that a lot of his other films don't. Or maybe I just like it because I bought a tape for five dollars and watched it a lot of times- the price was right.

Ken L (Ken L), Thursday, 10 February 2005 14:56 (sixteen years ago) link

For anyone who hasn't seen the six-episode TV series version of "Scenes from a Marriage" (included in the Criterion set), I would very highly recommend it.

jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Thursday, 10 February 2005 20:41 (sixteen years ago) link

one month passes...
I'm replying to the first post: Winter Light a dud? That's a great, great film.

Grand Epic (Grand Epic), Saturday, 12 March 2005 06:16 (sixteen years ago) link

It's just not one of my favorites. Again, I only saw a dubbed version, but even still I think that Bergman is at his worst when he's dealing with spiritual angst, especially when it's directly from the religious perspective. It was my least favorite of his chamber drama trilogy ("Through A Glass Darkly" being the best of the three, IMO).

jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Saturday, 12 March 2005 18:47 (sixteen years ago) link

Sorry, Winter Light is easily the trump card of that trilogy. I found TAGD to be too superficial and silly for me; The Silence is decent, but being as I can't remember anything other than the tanks, carries no traction in my mind.

Simple, brutally powerful, minimal work to maximum effect. Nothing else to say - that's the epitome of a chamber work.

Girolamo Savonarola, Saturday, 12 March 2005 22:02 (sixteen years ago) link

List Essentials

Crisis, 1946
To Joy, 1950
Summer Interlude, 1951
Summer with Monika, 1953
Sawdust and Tinsel, 1953
Smiles of a Summer Night, 1955
The Seventh Seal, 1957
Wild Strawberries, 1957
Brink of Life, 1958
The Magician, 1958
The Virgin Spring, 1960
The Devil's Eye, 1960
Through a Glass Darkly, 1961
Winter Light, 1963
The Silence, 1963
Persona, 1966
Hour of the Wolf, 1968
The Passion of Anna, 1969
Cries and Whispers, 1972
Scenes from a Marriage, 1973
The Magic Flute, 1975
Face to Face, 1976
Autumn Sonata, 1978
From the Life of the Marionettes, 1980
Fanny and Alexander, 1982
The Making of Fanny and Alexander, 1986

My personal C/Ds...

Classic: Cries and Whispers, Persona, The Seventh Seal, Winter Light
Dud: Sawdust and Tinsel, The Silence, Through a Glass Darkly, Wild Strawberries

Girolamo Savonarola, Saturday, 12 March 2005 22:11 (sixteen years ago) link

I like Sawdust and Tinsel, Through a Glass Darkly, and Wild Strawberries (Giro, what's not to like in WS?) a whole lot.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 14 March 2005 15:18 (sixteen years ago) link

Simple, brutally powerful, minimal work to maximum effect. Nothing else to say - that's the epitome of a chamber work.

I agree with you here, but I don't find these characteristics in "Winter Light" at all. It didn't approach anything resembling an emotional response in me from any of the characters (the priest just seemed annoying) and Max Von Sydow's character just grated on me.

I don't understand how you found "Through A Glass Darkly" to be superficial--it was probably the most accurate & devestating portrayal of mental illness I've seen on film (with only "A Woman Under the Influence" giving it competition). The cinematography was amazing in this film as well (with "Winter Light" being the worst of the trillogy, lit like a made-for-tv movie shot on video).

"Sawdust & Tinsel" a dud? And despite the (at-times) heavy-handed symbolism, I'll parrot Dr Morbius in my amazement at "Wild Strawberries" being called a dud.

jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Monday, 14 March 2005 15:36 (sixteen years ago) link

>Winter Light" being the worst of the trillogy, lit like a made-for-tv movie shot on video<

Hmmm, always keep variable quality of print sources in mind. I tend to doubt Sven Nykvist shot one of the trilogy much worse than the others.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 14 March 2005 17:00 (sixteen years ago) link

No, it's not the print--it's just that the other two films used light more sparingly. It could be just a play on the theme, but Winter Light was definitely a brighter film (as opposed to TAGD, which is composed of dark rooms & stormy exteriors).

jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Monday, 14 March 2005 18:07 (sixteen years ago) link

Putting in a good word for one of my bitches:

Eric H. (Eric H.), Monday, 14 March 2005 21:18 (sixteen years ago) link

In any case, I can think of no other filmmaker who, at least among those who don't outright dismiss his/her work as en toto, inspires as completely diffuse and scattered reactions as to their best/worst films.

For the record, I haven't seen much of his work yet (though I'm becoming more intrigued by the day)...

Classic: Fanny and Alexander (the Christmas portion, at any rate)
Dud: Smiles of a Summer Night (saw it at, like, 7 in the morning so I think reappraisal is required)
Neither: The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries

Eric H. (Eric H.), Monday, 14 March 2005 21:23 (sixteen years ago) link

>Classic: Fanny and Alexander (the Christmas portion, at any rate)

haha, does everyone just turn it off after the big christmas scene? i'd never seen either the theatrical or the television version before the criterion dvd came out, but i was kind of shocked by how grim (and lengthy) the middle acts of the film are. not because it's bergman, but because everything i'd read about it suggested that it demonstrated an uncharacteristically playful and uplifting side of bergman (which it does - at least the first 1/5th of it). everybody i read responded to the christmas dinner and conveniently forgot about the evil man burning to death, etc.

a spectator bird (a spectator bird), Monday, 14 March 2005 21:38 (sixteen years ago) link

haha, does everyone just turn it off after the big christmas scene?

Nah, though I can see why you would -- you're definitely right about the middle acts. But, the scenes at Uncle Isak's house are just as good as the christmas ones. Especially when Fanny's in that room with the puppet stage and magician....So I think you should watch those scenes too, at the least - even if you don't like the middle acts.

mj (robert blake), Tuesday, 15 March 2005 00:48 (sixteen years ago) link

four months pass...
hmm... I just watched the first episode of the TV version of Fanny & Alexander with my two brothers, and we were all disappointed. My older brother said it was the first bergman he didn't LOVE. Granted, we've only seen a quarter of it, but we're trying to decide whether it's worth it to keep going... Fanny lovers: convince me!

shudder redduhs (shudder), Monday, 8 August 2005 15:58 (fifteen years ago) link

well... what didn't you like about it? the first episode, with its rich colors and luxurious set pieces, is my favorite. but if it's torment and despair you're after, things take quite a drastic turn in that direction if you choose to continue. i think the whole thing is very good, but on the other hand, august is probably not the best time to lose yourself in it.

a spectator bird (a spectator bird), Tuesday, 9 August 2005 03:14 (fifteen years ago) link

definitely rich colours, definitely luxurious sets, no doubt... i guess the actual characters and plot lines being set up didn't seem all that interesting... i think we'll give #2 a go tonight, although you're probably right about august!

shudder redduhs (shudder), Tuesday, 9 August 2005 14:44 (fifteen years ago) link

it does become more character and plot-driven as you continue - the first episode is primarily an embarrassment of visual riches.

i was sure this was going to be revived re: saraband. i have yet to see it, but i hope too soon. i'm kind of weary of the long, slow bergman backlash. i found j. rosenbaum's review in particular quite irritating.

a spectator bird (a spectator bird), Tuesday, 9 August 2005 18:54 (fifteen years ago) link

So what's the deal with The Serpent's Egg. Is it really that terrible? It seems to have dropped off the radar entirely.

Elvis Telecom (Chris Barrus), Wednesday, 10 August 2005 04:33 (fifteen years ago) link

"Saraband" is fine, particularly Liv Ullmann, but I don't think it's better than the Liv and Bille August films of IB's recent scripts. Yeah, Rosenbaum saying post-60s Bergman appeals solely to misanthropes seems silly to me. The last shot of 'Scene 6' is unlike anything I can recall in his oeuvre, and that's an accomplishment from a guy in his mid 80s.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 10 August 2005 12:58 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...

J.Ro votes (sorta not really) Dud! (He has a point that I don't think IB's THEATRE rep was mentioned once on the ILE obit thread. I did see his staging of Peer Gynt in Brooklyn and wasn't all that impressed.)

Scenes From an Overrated Career


THE first Ingmar Bergman movie I ever saw was “The Magician,” at the Fifth Avenue Cinema in the spring of 1960, when I was 17. The only way I could watch the film this week after the Swedish director’s death was on a remaindered DVD I bought in Paris. Like many of his films, “The Magician” hasn’t been widely available here for ages.

Nearly all the obituaries I’ve read take for granted Mr. Bergman’s stature as one of the uncontestable major figures in cinema — for his serious themes (the loss of religious faith and the waning of relationships), for his expert direction of actors (many of whom, like Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann, he introduced and made famous) and for the hard severity of his images. If you Google “Ingmar Bergman” and “great,” you get almost six million hits.

Sometimes, though, the best indication of an artist’s continuing vitality is simply what of his work remains visible and is still talked about. The hard fact is, Mr. Bergman isn’t being taught in film courses or debated by film buffs with the same intensity as Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles and Jean-Luc Godard. His works are seen less often in retrospectives and on DVD than those of Carl Dreyer and Robert Bresson — two master filmmakers widely scorned as boring and pretentious during Mr. Bergman’s heyday.

What Mr. Bergman had that those two masters lacked was the power to entertain — which often meant a reluctance to challenge conventional film-going habits, as Dreyer did when constructing his peculiar form of movie space and Bresson did when constructing his peculiar form of movie acting.

The same qualities that made Mr. Bergman’s films go down more easily than theirs — his fluid storytelling and deftness in handling actresses, comparable to the skills of a Hollywood professional like George Cukor — also make them feel less important today, because they have fewer secrets to impart. What we see is what we get, and what we hear, however well written or dramatic, are things we’re likely to have heard elsewhere.

So where did the outsized reputation of Mr. Bergman come from? At least part of his initial appeal in the ’50s seems tied to the sexiness of his actresses and the more relaxed attitudes about nudity in Sweden; discovering the handsome look of a Bergman film also clearly meant encountering the beauty of Maj-Britt Nilsson and Harriet Andersson. And for younger cinephiles like myself, watching Mr. Bergman’s films at the same time I was first encountering directors like Mr. Godard and Alain Resnais, it was tempting to regard him as a kindred spirit, the vanguard of a Swedish New Wave.

It was a seductive error, but an error nevertheless. The stylistic departures I saw in Mr. Bergman’s ’50s and ’60s features — the silent-movie pastiche in “Sawdust and Tinsel,” the punitive use of magic against a doctor-villain in “The Magician,” the aggressive avant-garde prologue of “Persona” — were actually more functions of his skill and experience as a theater director than a desire or capacity to change the language of cinema in order to say something new. If the French New Wave addressed a new contemporary world, Mr. Bergman’s talent was mainly devoted to preserving and perpetuating an old one.

Curiously, theater is what claimed most of Mr. Bergman’s genius, but cinema is what claimed most of his reputation. He was drawn again and again to the 19th-century theater of Chekhov, Strindberg and Ibsen — these were his real roots — and based on the testimony of friends who saw some of his stage productions when they traveled to Brooklyn, there’s good reason to believe a comprehensive account of his prodigious theater work, his métier, is long overdue.

We remember the late Michelangelo Antonioni for his mysteriously vacant pockets of time, Andrei Tarkovsky for his elaborately choreographed long takes and Orson Welles for his canted angles and staccato editing. And we remember all three for their deep, multifaceted investments in the modern world — the same world Mr. Bergman seemed perpetually in retreat from.

Mr. Bergman simply used film (and later, video) to translate shadow-plays staged in his mind — relatively private psychodramas about his own relationships with his cast members, and metaphysical speculations that at best condensed the thoughts of a few philosophers rather than expanded them. Riddled with wounds inflicted by Mr. Bergman’s strict Lutheran upbringing and diverse spiritual doubts, these films are at times too self-absorbed to say much about the larger world, limiting the relevance that his champions often claim for them.

Above all, his movies aren’t so much filmic expressions as expressions on film. One of the most striking aspects of the use of digital video in “Saraband,” his last feature, is his seeming contempt for the medium apart from its usefulness as a simple recording device.

Yet what Mr. Bergman was interested in recording was pretty much the same tormented and tortured neurotic resentments, the same spite and even the same cruelty that can be traced back to his work of a half-century ago. Like John Ford, one of Mr. Bergman’s favorite directors — whose taste for silhouettes moving across horizons he shared — he would endlessly reshuffle his reliable troupe of players, his favorite sores and obsessions, like shards of glass in a kaleidoscope.

It’s strange to realize that his bitter and pinched emotions, once they were combined with excellent cinematography and superb acting, could become chic — and revered as emblems of higher purposes in cinema. But these emotions remain ugly ones, no matter how stylishly they might be served up.

Even stranger to me was the way he always resonated with New York audiences. The antiseptic, upscale look of Mr. Bergman’s interiors and his mainly blond, blue-eyed cast members became a brand to be adopted and emulated. (His artfully presented traumas became so respectable they could help to sell espresso in the lobby of the Fifth Avenue Cinema.) Mr. Bergman, famously, not only helped fuel the art-house aspirations of Woody Allen but Mr. Allen’s class aspirations as well — the dual yearnings ultimately becoming so intertwined that they seemed identical.

Despite all the compulsive superlatives offered up this week, Mr. Bergman’s star has faded, maybe because we’ve all grown up a little, as filmgoers and as socially aware adults. It doesn’t diminish his masterful use of extended close-ups or his distinctively theatrical, seemingly homemade cinema to suggest that movies can offer something more complex and challenging. And while Mr. Bergman’s films may have lost much of their pertinence, they will always remain landmarks in the history of taste.

Jonathan Rosenbaum, a film critic for The Chicago Reader, is the author, most recently, of “Discovering Orson Welles.”

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

Dr Morbius, Sunday, 5 August 2007 03:51 (thirteen years ago) link

raymond williams (british/welsh inventor of cultural studies) had ingers down as basically an updated ibsen way back in the day.

THE first Ingmar Bergman movie I ever saw was “The Magician,” at the Fifth Avenue Cinema in the spring of 1960, when I was 17. The only way I could watch the film this week after the Swedish director’s death was on a remaindered DVD I bought in Paris. Like many of his films, “The Magician” hasn’t been widely available here for ages.

is so much 'jonathan rosenbaum articles very much in character'. it half pisses me off, but i half adore it.

i think he's right on the whole, but the fact that he isn't taught on film courses doesn't tell you very much. in a way some of his complaints about bergman (pinchedness, use of actresses, fear of something or other) could be aimed at hitchcock.

That one guy that hit it and quit it, Monday, 6 August 2007 10:05 (thirteen years ago) link

A collection of reactions to Rosenbaum:

Dr Morbius, Monday, 6 August 2007 15:22 (thirteen years ago) link

is so much 'jonathan rosenbaum articles very much in character'. it half pisses me off, but i half adore it.

This would be OTM if J. Ro had written anything in the past year or so that wasn't paint-by-numbers. He's still more readable than most working film critics, but I'd be much more interested if he was even occasionally surprising anymore.

C0L1N B..., Monday, 6 August 2007 19:33 (thirteen years ago) link

Results 1 - 10 of about 125,000 for "JONATHAN ROSENBAUM" and great

Edward III, Monday, 6 August 2007 22:17 (thirteen years ago) link

one month passes...

wow, Hour of the Wolf is about the worst thing he did in the '60s, amirite?

Dr Morbius, Thursday, 27 September 2007 13:39 (thirteen years ago) link

I'm no fan of The Silence, which desperately needs Woody Allen.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Thursday, 27 September 2007 14:49 (thirteen years ago) link

at least there are no bargain-basement vampires in that one, and Erland Josephson walking on the ceiling.

Dr Morbius, Thursday, 27 September 2007 14:56 (thirteen years ago) link

What Mr. Bergman had that those two masters lacked was the power to entertain — which often meant a reluctance to challenge conventional film-going habits

dumbest thing an otherwise intelligent critic has ever written?

J.D., Friday, 28 September 2007 07:14 (thirteen years ago) link

I like The Silence.

Didn't Bergman recognize Hour of the Wolf as a failure? (and, um, The Touch, too?)

poortheatre, Sunday, 30 September 2007 16:04 (thirteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Bergman Retro in SF

oscar, Tuesday, 23 October 2007 04:37 (thirteen years ago) link

three months pass...

I just finished the TV version of 'Scenes of a Marriage' and was wondering what to watch next. I've already seen a few of his older 50's movies but I'm look more interested in small personal dramas in natural/contemporary settings. Any suggestions?

baaderonixx, Wednesday, 23 January 2008 14:50 (thirteen years ago) link


Through a Glass Darkly (a little expressionistic)

Dr Morbius, Wednesday, 23 January 2008 16:03 (thirteen years ago) link

The most telling part from that blog Morbius linked to above:

sean burns said...
#1. Rosenbaum does this every time somebody dies. I'm sure we all remember that Altman's body was still warm when he was already carrying on all over the place about how NASHVILLE wasn't as good as BOBBY. (I still laugh every time I type that.)

The first piece I ever read by Rosenbaum was trashing the then-recently departed Gene Siskel for, amongst other sins, enjoying basketball. <<

Haha. That's absurd. I don't think Jonathan Rosenbaum's life or work will be remembered for nearly as long as the f'makers he's dissing - and I actually like his stuff (like his alt. Top 100 American film list)

Vichitravirya_XI, Friday, 1 February 2008 09:39 (thirteen years ago) link

ten months pass...

Liv Ullmann is 70.

Dr Morbius, Tuesday, 16 December 2008 15:14 (twelve years ago) link

gratulerer med dagen!

Ruudside Picnic (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 16 December 2008 22:06 (twelve years ago) link

I just rewatched the absolutely hysterical Bergman parody from the first season of Saturday Night Live and laughed harder than ever

Are you there, God? It's Madonna, call me in Miami. (Stevie D), Thursday, 18 December 2008 05:55 (twelve years ago) link

two months pass...

D: The Seventh Seal,


meisenfek, Friday, 20 February 2009 18:22 (twelve years ago) link

one year passes...

Let's return to Elvis' question:

So what's the deal with The Serpent's Egg. Is it really that terrible? It seems to have dropped off the radar entirely.

Should I even bother?

Throwing Muses are reuniting for my next orgasm! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 9 April 2010 18:18 (eleven years ago) link

one year passes...
seven months pass...

>Classic: Fanny and Alexander (the Christmas portion, at any rate)

haha, does everyone just turn it off after the big christmas scene?

Ha -- the dullest part of the movie. I don't really start paying attention until the ogre stepfather piles on the horrors.

Anyway, revived cuz I checked S&T (Criterion) outta the library.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 6 April 2012 17:32 (nine years ago) link

Ha, can't make it through that sequence because it drags on forever. Next time I will try Alfred's strategy

MIke Love Battery (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 6 April 2012 18:09 (nine years ago) link

one year passes...

the TV version of Scenes From a Marriage is an improvement but it's still not a good film (there's a good Clive James review floating around somewhere). I couldn't accept those two together in the first place, and Ullmann's a drip.

A deeper shade of lol (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 1 June 2013 12:29 (seven years ago) link

two years pass...

The Best Intentions out on blu in June. Worth watching?

rhymes with "blondie blast" (cryptosicko), Tuesday, 3 May 2016 00:18 (four years ago) link

"An OK movie for public television" is what I thought at the time.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 3 May 2016 00:24 (four years ago) link

three months pass...

I actually ended up quite liking The Best Intentions, though the presentation is a bit polite for my tastes.

rhymes with "blondie blast" (cryptosicko), Tuesday, 30 August 2016 00:31 (four years ago) link

six months pass...

Mark Harris on Persona in his latest '67 lookback

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Friday, 10 March 2017 22:24 (four years ago) link

one month passes...

Rewatched Wild Strawberries this afternoon for clemenza's Road poll. Not only is it still great, but its numerous moments of humour and uplift remind me once again that anyone who calls Bergman's films depressing probably only knows them to the extent that they've read their plot synopses.

some sad trombone Twilight Zone shit (cryptosicko), Monday, 1 May 2017 02:27 (three years ago) link

four months pass...

The ones I'd rewatch.. Still think Shame is special.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 13 September 2017 15:30 (three years ago) link

two months pass...

Looking forward to this!

A comprehensive INGMAR BERGMAN retrospective will be touring theaters in 2018 to celebrate his centenary! Featuring all-new restorations and rarely-screened gems.

— Janus Films (@janusfilms) November 11, 2017

flappy bird, Thursday, 16 November 2017 06:57 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

launching the centenary

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 4 January 2018 16:01 (three years ago) link

two months pass...

centenary retrospective starts in my city next week, and it's going to run for TWO YEARS. wtf? not sure how they're doing it / if there will be multiple showings. only 30 films vs. the FF's 47. CRISIS is first up, didn't you see that one at the FF morbs? I remember a post you might've made something to the effect of "well... everyone has to start somewhere I guess."

the two years thing is blowing my mind. i'm sort of cross thinking i'll have to wait until 2019 to see Cries and Whispers in a theater.

flappy bird, Tuesday, 20 March 2018 17:45 (three years ago) link

no, I watched Crisis at home the other day; it's not good either, but there's a novelty in seeing him do a '40s melodrama with heavy stings of soundtrack music I guess.

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 20 March 2018 17:51 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

Saw Port of Call tonight. Such a leap from Crisis, only 2 years later but with 3 films in between. Lots of stunning closeups, cool dolly shots moving between rooms, and one of those perfect, transcendent moments in every Bergman movie: early on, when the girl brings the guy home for the first time, she rebuffs him at first and leaves the room. it's the cut from a medium shot of them in one room to the closeup of her as she leaves, the camera now in the other room. Words obviously do no it no justice but I was really moved by that one moment.

flappy bird, Tuesday, 24 April 2018 06:16 (two years ago) link

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