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Archive for January 13th, 2021

 © 2021 by James Clark

      Our film today, Waiting Women (1952), will forever be understood as only a “minor” effort due to being an early film in Ingmar Bergman’s history and therefore supposedly lacking in the full sophistication of those titles having convinced the ‘experts’ to be the best. Here’s the difficulty of that position. There is no evolution of his gifts. They began exploding world history from day one, and have marched across many decades in hopes that his dramas would find those aware that a catastrophic myopia has left planet earth to remain a “minor” phenomenon.

Within such strictures, the artist has shown that even a dying planet can supply light years of fruition. The way of such supply is truly majestic. As we touch upon our early hope today, we soon realize that one of Bergman’s most rich manifolds has spread its dark and persistent invitation to us at this site. Three women, waiting in a fine Swedish summer cottage for the annual arrival of the spouses, they being Marta, Rakel and Karin, have a mind to entertain their friends with vignettes of their past. (Before hearing this remarkably candid series of earthquakes, we have, for the asking, other such women occupying those names, in other films by Bergman. Another Marta, having been a professional symphonic musician, and going on to [feebly] transcend the pitfalls of showy skills, appears in the film, To Joy [1951]. Another Rakel, having been a professional actress on the stage, and going on to declare that the theatre is shit and sees fit to commit suicide, appears in the film, After the Rehearsal [1984]. A Karin, having resisted heavy pressure from her family to become a solo cellist, opts for being a very small-town classical orchestra player, which leaves her a pariah and seen to be responsible for her father’s suicide, appears in, Saraband [2003]. All three films are discreetly shot through with incest.) Waiting Women, deletes the arts in favor of big business. But incest races apace  there, and its malignancy brings corporate advantage and pedantry to a fresh critical perspective. (more…)

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