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Friday, August 16, 2013

Cries and Whispers (1972) d. Ingmar Bergman

Liv Ullmann is smoking hot in Cries and Whispers (1972) d. Ingmar Bergman

Cries and Whispers (1972)
 d. Ingmar Bergman
Criterion Collection #101

  Couple of things I'm figuring out via the Criterion Collection.  First, if you want to break an art house picture in the US between 1960 and 1970 it helps if you cast a bombshell female in a leading role.  In L'Avventura it was Monica Vitti, here you've got Liv Ullmann looking divine.  God damn she is fine.  I could watch an hour and a half of her face.  Second, Ingmar Bergman makes watchable movies.  I enjoyed watching Cries and Whispers more then I enjoyed, say, Seven Samurai.   Cries and Whispers, in particular, resonated with me.

  Filmed in color- for once- Cries and Whispers is known and Bergman's most financially successful film.  It was also nominated for an Academy Award, oh and it features self mutilation of female genitalia decades before Lars Van Trier did it in Antichrist.  The plot of Cries & Whispers is minimal: Three sisters are together in an opulent house in the 19th century, two of them watching the third die a slow, painful death.  During the film the two watchful sisters are tormented by memories of the past- including the scene shocking self mutilation of female genitalia.

  After the third sister dies she returns to life for a spooky coda that leaves the other two sisters wondering, "Hey, what the fuck is going on here?"  Clocking in at 93 minutes it's eminently watchable and Bergman's use of color film-specifically his use of the color red- should remind contemporary viewers of the way David Lynch used the same color in Twin Peaks.

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