Monday, July 30, 2007

Ingmar Bergman

.. died peacefully at his home on Fårö, Gotland, Sweden, early this morning, aged 89.

“... probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera. " (Woody Allen in 1988)

I cannot disagree. His films encompassed an almost Shakespearean range of human conditions, from obsessive love to the madness to possess, raw revenge, fear of death, marriage, bereavement, old age, young love. While his films are haunted by the dialectic of terror and beauty, he always reserved a very special place of grace and joy to the arts, especially to the dramatic arts. They sustain our jest for life and hope.

Most memorable to me are " The Seventh Seal" and "The Virgin Fount". The first is about a crusading knight playing chess with Mr. Death, and the second is about a father's revenge gone wrong. Both are situated in medieval Europe, when the continent was dark with religious fanaticism, witch hunting, plague, superstition and fear.


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