Monday, March 14, 2011

Ingmar Bergman: I Love You

If you couldn't tell from the title, I'm in love with Ingmar Bergman. Well, mainly his films, but since he wrote and directed them, they are basically a part of him, so I guess I'm in love with him, too. These past couple of weeks, I have watched two Bergman films: 'The Seventh Seal' (1957) and 'Scenes from a Marriage' (1973).  Both of them are brilliant films and have furthered my belief that Ingmar Bergman was a genius.

'The Seventh Seal' is about a man who, after witnessing the plague infect the lives of those in his town, is seeking the answers to life, death, and the existence of God. While trying to escape the Black Plague, Death shows up to tell the man that his time on earth is up. Worried that he's going to die without understanding the meaning of life, the man challenges Death to a game of chess for his life. Death takes the challenge and the two play the game while others around them continue to struggle with the turmoil that the plague has caused.

I was completely mesmerized by 'The Seventh Seal.' I found myself being pulled into the film because I was intrigued by Death. Who wouldn't want the chance to play chess against Death if it meant that you were allowed to have a longer life if you won? It'd be amazing to be given a chance like that, even if you lost. Overall, this film is cerebral and dark, but it also has heartwarming and humorous scenes mixed within it, which is why I found it so enjoyable to watch. I highly recommend watching this film.

'Scenes from a Marriage' follows the dysfunctional relationship of Marianne and Johan. Their relationship begins as a somewhat happy marriage, which is deteriorating and deteriorates even more when Johan becomes infatuated with another woman. The two separate from each other and eventually divorce, however, their deep love for one another causes their relationship to continue on.

It's hard to explain why 'Scenes from a Marriage' is enjoyable to watch. It's an emotional roller coaster of a film, but I think that's exactly what makes it so great. The acting in this film is superb. Liv Ullman and Erland Josephson's performances have an incredible sense of truthfulness to them when it comes to love and human emotions. I highly recommend watching this film, too.


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