Friday, June 5, 2009

Bergman fest

So, I caught an Ingmar Bergman marathon last night on TCM. It's part of their month of great directors -- tonight is Steven Spielberg (no Jaws though). Before that, at 6:00pm, is Carol Reed who directed the fantastic The Third Man. I always forget how good TCM can be! Anyway, back to Bergman.

Well, it's ironic that I caught this group of films because I had just hit the Bergman sequence in my Netflix queue. Months ago, after watching Fanny and Alexander (a good one to watch around the winter holidays), I decided that I needed to see more Bergman. I had seen the Seventh Seal before as part of a film class in college but I wanted to watch it again. So, I had it at home when it was playing last night. I watched the last hour of it. Then, it went into Wild Strawberries, which has a Fanny/Alexander feel to it. Bittersweet. Lovely. I was completely drawn in. The other film I watched was Persona which was bizarre but equally compelling. Think David Lynch directing Single White Female -- which he kinda did with Mulholland Drive. Actually, I could see a great deal of Bergman's influence on Lynch. I am not even going to try to parse what happened in this movie, but the gist of it was an actress who, in the middle of doing Elecktra, decided to stop speaking. A nurse stays with her at a summer house and then things get weird(er). It was beautifully shot and I couldn't keep my eyes off Liv Ullman (the actress). It's obvious that Bergman started his affair with her during this shoot because when we look through the camera at her, you can't help but feel that as well.

The last film was The Hour of the Wolf but I couldn't stay up to watch. I was Bergmaned out. As a funny sidenote, my first introduction to Bergman was a really funny spoof of The Seventh Seal by the cartoon show Animaniacs.

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