Saturday, 28 January 2012

Winter Light

My first Ingmar Bergman film does not make me want to watch any more, though several appear on the list. Winter Light opens with a 12-minute long church service by a vicar in front of a very small congregation, including hymns, prayer and the breaking of bread, and from there remains bleak and uneventful, as the vicar meets with a member of his flock contemplating suicide over concerns China could start a nuclear war and travels to a neighbouring village. The scenes are unbearably long and tedious – a man waiting by a body then helping to load it into a van with the only sound being the river flowing behind him, or a static shot of a woman reading her own letter staring straight into the camera, and overall there is little dialogue, camera movement or anything to engage the attention.
Choose life 2/10

1 comment:

  1. “Winter Light” by Ingmar Bergman (1962) is the second part of his “religious trilogy” (the first, “Through Glass Darkly” – 1960, and the third, “Silence” – 1962). In the first film, the basic (for achieving an enlightened life) human abilities – to love without psychological defensiveness and to be vital without de-sublimation, that together as a sacred combination make human beings spiritual creatures, leave the existential circumstances of human life and retreat [in]to the “heavens”. In the third film of the trilogy “god” [is “dead”] (the form in which unity of human love and human vitality take place outside life) (has “died”) and human beings have to start from the beginning. But “Winter Light” depicts a situation when “god is silent”, and human beings slowly grow towards the understanding that it is up to them to return their libidinous vitality back into (earthly) life[, existence]. [All the films in Bergman’ trilogy] (In all of the films of trilogy Bergman’s) point(s) about spiritual life are mediated by a scrupulous psychological analysis of the characters.
    “Winter light” is a metaphor of light of love/vitality in a condition of being distant from human life[, from everyday being/existence]. The film depicts the Christian faith of seven characters – Pastor Tomas Ericsson and the six parishioners of his Church (three men and three women). Each protagonist‘s faith is uniquely created by their individual intelligence and will [by] (in) the unique circumstance(s) of each of their lives. Bergman approaches each character’s religious belief as a sacred reality, as a precious creation. Some of the personages he personally admires, some he respects and others are objects of his “loyal criticism” that is full of empathy and [is made in] good faith.
    The frankness and gracious intensity with which the director depicts the human destinies and encounters between the characters are overwhelming, as much as actors’ performances make each individual soul radiate its own truth. Each [personality] (personage) is represented as having been formed by [their own] life[, experience] and human history, nothing is fabricated in order to entertain or sentimentally please the audience. With all seriousness, the film is so congruent with the human emotions that it is taken inside (human) [our] soul[a] as naturally as air for our lungs.
    The film addresses Christians of various denominations, as much as people of other beliefs and non-believers with equal authority, and is an icon of not only philosophical(,) but humanistic cinema.
    The film confirms that Bergman’s cinema is made for [all centuries, for] 21st (century) even more (than it was for 20th century).

    By Victor Enyutin