Driver, where you taking us?
p.s. re Bergman Island

Bergman Island

You may have noticed that I haven't written much about movies for some time now. That's partly because I haven't been watching them at the rate I was doing for a couple of years there, and partly because nothing I've seen over the past few months has made a very big impression on me. (I think the last one that I was excited about was Solaris.)

Well, here's one that did. This is a documentary about Bergman, and will be of interest to anyone who loves his work. As one of many Catholics who are fascinated by the religious aspects of his films, I was interested to see that he repeats some of the observations he made to another interviewer, in a short film included as an extra on the Wild Strawberries DVD, about his changing conception of the nature and meaning of death. In this one he sounds not just tentatively hopeful that he might again see his deceased wife, but expectant.

As fascinating as the interview is, the main effect of this documentary was to make me want to see the films I haven't seen yet, including some of the more obscure ones, as well as to revisit the ones I know. My interest was further piqued by an additional short film included on the DVD, Bergman 101, which is, as the name implies, a brief introduction to his life and work. It includes intriguing glimpses of a number of the lesser known films, including those before his mature work of the '50s. More info here.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Every time I read the name Bergman Island, I picture a place where you go on vacation. Everything is black-and-white, and you eat Wild Strawberries for every meal. A troop of traveling players comes by in a wagon and puts on a play every evening. The host of the inn looks like Max von Sydow and the chambermaids like Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann. There's a somber-looking, hooded guy in black playing chess in the corner.


I want to go there!

I thought you might.

We just finished watching Song of the Sparrow, a film by Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi. I love his films. I'm not sure how to even describe them for anyone who may not have seen one. They are just simple stories about everyday people in Iran--usually, but not always poor people. They are beautifully filmed, although SofS is not as visually beautiful, or at least not as full of color as The Children of Heaven or Color of Paradise.

There's a pretty good review here:


I really like Color of Paradise. I think I've seen Children of Heaven but can't recall it--obviously it didn't make as strong an impression on me, if I did see it.

A boy loses his sister's shoes and they have to share. They don't want the parents to know because the father is not working and the mother is sick. This sounds dreadful but it's not.


Yeah, that's the one. I didn't associate the title with the movie. It is good though I didn't find it as moving as Color of Paradise.

One of these days, Mac, I'm going to ask you to recommend a few Bergman films to me. I have seen The Seventh Seal, but that's it.

Hey, why not today?

Hmm. Well, I could think about that for a bit, but instead I'll just give you two that come first to mind, because they mean a lot to me personally: Wild Strawberries and Winter Light. I am not by any means acquainted with all his work, even all that's generally considered among his best.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)