I finally started watching the box set of Ingmar Bergman films my wife got me for the holiday. It's easy to see how Bergman's films inform so much of modern cinema. Also, the cinematography is excellent in all of these - beautifull stark black-and-white with vivid contrasts that somehow avoids becoming "film noir".
Wild Strawberries was excellent! This was one of Bergman's films I never bothered to watch because the plot always sounded terribly boring - an old man travelling to recieve an award reminisces about his life. I'm really glad I finally saw this! It was anything but boring and delved into things that were, for me, surprisingly poingant investigations into what constitutes a "good life" or even a "good person" and how in some ways you can never fully escape your upbrining.
The Seventh Seal has always been one of my favorite movies ever since I first saw it as a teen. It's wonderful to finally own a beautiful print of it...I've already watched this one twice since I recieved it! The joys of Life and a solid game of chess with Death in plague-ravaged Europe...I really love this movie! Back from the crusades, Max Von Sydow and a company of minstrals tread lightly through oblivion.
The Virgin Spring was another one I had never seen. Powerful, harrowing and heartbreaking...an interesting immersive take on revenge, medieval culture, the pagan/christian dichotomy and Faith in the face of mankind's inherent visciousness. Such a terribly "quiet" film too, you can hear every rustling leaf and drip of water. The level of tension in this one is unrelenting. Max Von Sydow is an amazing actor of many facets both subtle and powerful!
The other film in the boxed set is another one I haven't seen, a comedy called "Smiles of a Summer Night". I'm really looking forward to it.
Bergman is definately one of my favorite directors of all time, in good company with Peter Weir, Alejandro Jodorowsky and the giallo master, Mario Bava.
As a side note, I'm not solely into "Art Flicks", I've got some lighter fare in store too as our stack of recent purchases contains some fun flicks: No Such Thing, Kung Fu Hustle, Konga, Hero, House of Flying Daggars and the MST3K Anniversary Boxed Set.
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