Archive for March 23rd, 2020

 © 2020 by James Clark

      The films of Ingmar Bergman always present difficulties—difficulties of narrative (as with nearly all films); and difficulties of theme (as almost unique). Unlike virtually all other film artists, his communications presuppose that each of his works vitally contribute to the one being viewed. Unlike normal conundrums which may be absolutely resolved, the interest Bergman has attended to will never disappear. His embrace of his theme is complex to a degree almost unimaginable.  But in the case of those who have devoted time and energy to hopefully grasping the heart of those haunting depths, it remains a shock and a dismay that the range of these films have not been recognized. (The situation here, is likened to Reichardt’s Wendy mired in narrative, while Lucy makes a hidden difference.)

Though our helmsman leaves movie buffs bemused, he is, in fact, far from the only practitioner of his ilk. In ancient Greece, there were thinkers who drove their sensibilities along lines familiar to Bergman. They encountered the advantage-zeal-simplism emanating from Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, and their Judeo-Christian offshoots with their punitive style. The so-called Dark Ages were not only about Neanderthals, but also furnaces of inquisitional pedantry. By the time of the 18th century, and the overrated Age of Enlightenment, a form of surreptitious opposition to throttling of what the pre-Socratics had discovered, had become a shadowy form of rebellion, known as Freemasonry [free building]. One of the artistic giants of the era, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was, in fact, a Freemason; along with a close associate, Emanuel Schikaneder, who became the librettist for the Mozart opera, The Magic Flute (1791).

Bergman was, as you know, an inspired builder of filmic innovation. But, with his version of The Magic Flute (1975), his muse abandoned the totally new, in delight with a sort of sidekick, namely, Mozart. The film we see today does put out a vigorous recommendation on behalf of classical rational power, in accordance with a clientele besotted with Age-of-Enlightenment righteousness. But Mozart, while giving due to the status quo in the opera, evinces, with Mozartian elegance, a subversive counterattack. Aptly, then, Bergman, always subversive, will alight upon features of the modern world in his scenario, having made no significant progress beyond the days of Mozart. But he must also acknowledge the rare, if quixotic, daring, spilling out from one, remarkable modest source, being food for thought in a world convinced that only a mob can get things done. (more…)

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A long line of cars waits to enter a drive-through COVID-19 coronavirus testing center in Paramus, N.J., Friday, March 20, 2020. The facility opened Friday in Bergen County which has been the state’s hardest-hit area.

by Sam Juliano

We are all in this together.  And we have the ball in our court to stringently follow all directives that will diminish the odds that we will be infected and adversely impacted by COVID-19.  Most of us will readily affirm this is the most frightening time we have ever lived through and here at the epicenter of this pandemic in and around New York City drastic measures are being enacted and testing centers have been established.  Some of us, Yours Truly included have been following the coverage almost 24-7 and there is a downside to that unique strain of masochism even while we all need the most recent developments.  I implore all our friends to stay safe and militantly employ social distancing.  It has been confirmed that age is no longer a given as young people are contracting the illness, with some even dying.  We are hearing reports of some celebrities and political figures who have contracted the virus and on social media others have come forth to announce they too have joined the ranks of those afflicted.  The “hope” quotient of my MMD title is palpable if we all employ the harshest measures on ourselves and never take anything for granted.  Our vigilance will dictate the duration of this fearful pestilence and to that end I extend to all our prayers and best wishes.  The sun will shine again God willing, but we do have the power to seal the deal.  Needless to say, our economy has been decimated and unemployment figures are staggering.  We are at war against an invisible enemy and must never lose our focus.


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