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Archive for December 11th, 2019

 © 2019 by James Clark

The films of Ingmar Bergman are all of a piece. They endeavor, from many angles, to make sense of the powers that be. This concern is particularly pressing in regard to the work today, namely, The Serpent’s Egg (1977). On the basis of many vicissitudes of Bergman’s history at that production, a whole industry arose, of delighting in what seemed to have been a weakening of confidence—on the very flimsy basis of punitively catching Bergman straying from his vigorous roots. Were the wags to have troubled themselves to comprehend those roots (well disclosed), they would have dropped that childish game and got down to business.

At the risk of belaboring the obvious, we must turn to recognize our guide’s commitment to taking on a field of very complex physicality. At the outset of his career—in the film, Sawdust and Tinsel (1953), with the figure of Alma and her brief but impressive ecstatic balance; and in the film, The Seventh Seal (1957), with Jof and Marie, and their child hopefully one day excelling in acrobatics and juggling—we have an invitation to a party of unending carnal delivery.

If you think that tax problems; turning away from a homeland to resettle in Germany; and linking with a Hollywood bagman (Dino De Laurentiis [in fact, at that time, only recently based in the USA]; and with involvement in La Strada, Nights of Cabira, and Blue Velvet] could destabilize the resolve of Bergman’s interests, you don’t know what this priority entails. Moreover, there was cinematographer, Sven Nykvist, still in place and game for risking new visuals with unusually big bucks.) (more…)

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