Thinking about Bergman

January 10, 2008 at 9:47 pm Leave a comment

Just saw “The Silence” by Ingmar Bergman, 1960.

Bergman’s films have this strange element that I have not found in any other filmmakers works. It is something that I don’t understand myself, and I can only try to put it in words. Bergman takes some time to set the plot relying on little dialog. Then some secret is stumbled upon or some character flaw is revealed, a layer is peeled. The plot progresses, the characters act, something happens. Then comes what I call the ‘situation’. At this point, characters converse. The conversation could be a light debate between a knight and his squire, or a monologue of a sick woman. The words, the words. They open up the characters in a strange sort of way. By revealing the minutest details, Bergman establishes an intimacy between the character and the viewer. They now lie bare, exposed. What had previously appeared to be a set of random acts now gains meaning. Where the film had been previously silent, we can now hear the soft drone of a hidden narrative. Like I said I don’t really understand it, it feels almost like a new sensation. The magic is in the writing, to use a cliche.

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Same hat Amul tells it the way it is

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