Thursday, March 20, 2008

Through a Glass Darkly

One of the things I love about being in college is the ability to catch up on classic films I have never had the chance to see. With our library's wealth of classic and obscure films (not to mention a smörgåsbord of Criterion discs) I have been able to see gems that I might not otherwise have had access to.

Last night I watched Ingmar Bergman's Through a Glass Darkly for the first time. I was not introduced to Bergman until I got to college, but he is without a doubt one of my favorites. My favorite Bergman work remains Wild Strawberries (1957), and is one of my top ten films of all time. But Through a Glass Darkly definitely gives it a fun for its money.

What I like most about Bergman is that he is not so much a director as he is a visual composer. He paints images like music - each frame has a lyrical beauty that is breathtaking in its own right.

There's something totally immersive, almost otherworldly about his composition. The film's haunting, ethereal nature, that is present in most of Bergman's work from The Seventh Seal to Persona, is what makes them so distinctive.

They just don't make them like this anymore.

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