Thursday, September 13, 2012

The tone of Bergman's "The Silence"

I reflect on what it was that set Bergman's The Silence apart from other films of its time, thirty years ago, and why so many people in so many countries wanted to see it. It was its tone. That is something that is very hard to put into words but can be clearly felt and is patent during the screening and long afterwards. It was the first Bergman film to be so uncompromisingly personal and uniform in its style, its mode of narration. It had taken seventeen years of work (he began in 1945 with Crisis, and The Silence comes from 1962) for him to grasp that a film's power comes from the unrelenting honesty of its maker, his courage in refusing to retreat by as much as one step. Not from its philosophical construction (The Seventh Seal, which I do not like), its original and beautiful record of dreams and overpowering nightmares (as in Wild Strawberries), its social elucidation of dramatic events (as in Summer with Monika, which I like a lot)–but from its delineation of feelings we all experience and understand, as we tremble incessantly between love and hate, between fear of death and a longing for rest, between envy and generosity, between a keen sense of humiliation and the joy of revenge…I know where the bright trace comes from in this dark film. From Bergman's profound belief in humanity… - Krzysztof Kieślowski

1 comment:

  1. Your posts are uncanny. I've been watching The Artist all week and thought about Bergman and Buster Keaton. Thank you for the good read.