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Archive for February 20th, 2014

by Sam Juliano

There is something about the Scandinavian sensibility that seems to infuse their artistic output with a pervading sense of melancholy and darker themes.  It is easy to understand when one considers the shorter days, colder climate and generally more austere and cerebral mind set (cliches to a degree, but this has always been the perception) and the tendency for their arts to reflect a more pensive and philosophical mood.  One may immediately think of the brooding death-obsessed master filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, the playwright extraordinaire August Strindberg, who explored naturalistic tragedy, the iconic painter Edvard Munch, whose masterpiece The Scream, is a prime example of evocative treatment of psychological themes.  Carl Theodor Dreyer, whose  VampyrThe Passion of Joan of Arc and Day of Wrath rank among the greatest of all films was another who examined state of mind in harrowing terms, and a long string of contemporary filmmakers like Thomas Vinterberg have relentlessly examined family strife and depression.  In music there has always been a melancholic undercurrent in the nature-infused work of Jean Sibelius and Edvard Grieg. (more…)

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