Monday, June 9, 2008

Just In Time for Summer: Winter Light

In the New Yorker, Tobias Wolff writes of the first time he saw Ingmar Bergman's Winter Light:

It is a harrowing experience, this film, shot starkly in the winter light of its title and filled with wintry silences, the camera often unmoving in its scrutiny of the human face in anguish, uncertainty, and yearning.
I agree the experience is riveting, bracing and harrowing; I don't agree with much else Wolff has to say about the film. I say what's harrowing about the film is the way it rears up and insists on facing the possibility that all hope is ultimately a joke, a mistake, or at best a smile scrawled sloppily across the face of resignation.

Reasonable people can disagree. Whether you take Wolff's view or one closer to mine, or something inbetween, or something else entirely, do see Winter Light. It will rivet the pants right off you.

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