Posts Tagged ‘Ingmar Bergman’

Hour of the Wolf (1968)

Dir: Ingmar Bergman | Cast: Max Von Sidow, Liv Ullmann, Ingrid Thulin, Gertrud Fridh, Georg Rydeberg | Sweden, Horror 90′

Ingmar Bergman had had a penchant for short injections of fantasy into his films as far back as the chiaroscuro dream sequences of his forties ‘neo-realist’ dramas, although by the time of Vargtimmen the hero (Max von Sydow) has moved up market and is now an artist in retreat from the world on a remote island who happens to have a neighbour – played by Erland Josephson – who lives in a castle occupied by a court of dinner-jacketed idlers.

Based – like The Blair Witch Project – on the diary of an individual who then disappeared without trace, relaxed 60’s censorship permitted more explicit images than the vaguely Freudian nature of Bergman’s earlier fantasies; like Ingrid Thulin baring herself for the camera while cackling fiendishly, and one of Bergman’s sun-bleached nightmares in which Sydow bashes in the head of a young lad in speedos. Elsewhere there are creepy moments as when Josephson is depicted walking up a wall and Naima Wifstrand peels off her face and drops her eyeball into a wine glass; while Sydow prowls about at night like Vincent Price in one of Roger Corman’s Poe adaptations – only shot by Sven Nykvist in glacial black & white rather than the hot Pathecolor hues of Floyd Crosby. @Richard Chatten


Fängelse | Prison (1949)

Dir/Wri: Ingmar Bergman | Cast: Doris Svedlund, Birger Malmsten, Eva Henning, Hasse Ekman | Sweden Drama 79′

Fängelse, like För att inte tala om alla dessa kvinnor fifteen years later, is a fascinating film that throbs with energy and enthusiasm but came a cropper when it opened and was later disowned by Bergman; although it’s by no means a car wreck of the order of the later catastrophe, and was actually acclaimed as “a masterpiece” by Variety’s reviewer on its first appearance. But even on the tiny budget Bergman had to play with it was a commercial flop, and he made far more coherent use of the non-linear narrative techniques flamboyantly used in his attempt to dazzle us with here in his next superficially less ambitious film, Törst.

Fängelse remains an experience to be savoured, superbly shot by Göran Strindberg and punctuated by virtuoso sequences such as the silent movie and the heroine’s dream. The extraordinary face of Doris Svedlund – on display in a whole range of angles and lighting styles – also lingers in the memory. And all packed into less than 80 minutes! @Richard Chatten



Copyright © 2024 Filmuforia