summer interlude

Advertisements

the destiny

“Jean-Luc Godard called SUMMER INTERLUDE Ingmar Bergman’s most beautiful film. Was he right?” , posted by the Criterion Collection.

Of course not. The ONE is Cries and Whispers. No other film by Bergman expresses the longing for a mother deeper than Cries and Whispers. It is a love letter to his mother. It is more than a love letter. It is love. At some moments, I have to believe in destiny. When I was told that my birth mother is missing, I thought of destiny. I have been searching for a mother for nearly thirty years, and she is missing. But I found Ingmar Bergman many years ago.  I watched Cries and Whispers many many times, before I realized why it touched me. It is destiny, isn’t it?

Saw this from the Criterion Collection.

When WILD STRAWBERRIES was nominated for an Oscar in 1960, Ingmar Bergman wrote this letter to the Academy:

夏夜的微笑

夏季晚上十点钟,我通常忍不住停下工作在办公室旁边的森林走一会。天色仍然是明朗的,有时候蓝的像赛里木的湖水,有时候是绯红或者逐渐变淡的紫色。月亮有时明亮有时焦黄,像卢梭的画里的月亮一样有一种不真实的幻觉。我还没有离开心下就已经充满眷恋。

Gunnar Fischer去世。

大概俩三年前,我读到华盛顿邮报的一篇文章,题目是伯格曼的电影,费舍尔的摄影。彼时我并不以为然。我最中意的当然是Sven Nykvist。与Sven Nykvist的冷峻不同,Gunnar Fischer的镜头里有一种欢愉和热情。不知道是从哪一天开始,我突然开始怀念这种欢愉和热情,然后开始重看他和伯格曼合作的夏日三部曲,夏日插曲,莫尼卡的夏天和夏夜的微笑。

大概四五年前,我刚刚认识导师大人。他有一次无意中说起他非常喜欢夏夜的微笑。我当时心底稍稍有了一丝遗憾。这几年下来,渐渐发现在我们这一行有太多太多优秀的人。有人因为太聪明变得有点乖张,也有人因为境遇变得有点愤世,可以像导师大人这样博学平和又中肯的人其实并不多。我跟他学到了很多知识,还学会去欣赏夏夜的微笑。

Bergman Quiz 2

Er…I participated in a Bergman quiz again. I am afraid that I will not be so lucky as last time…

The question is very simple this time.

When Ingmar Bergman made cameos in his films, what was his character of choice?

music from Ingmar Bergman plays

Available here.

Notes on Bergman’s musical quotations

Bergman’s passion for music is manifest very early in his filmography. Music in Darkness, in 1948, tells the story of a young pianist left blind by a shooting accident; To Joy (1950) narrates the misfortunes of an ambitious violinist; and Summer Interlude (1951) recounts the life of a ballerina at the Stockholm Opera. Excerpts from Beethoven, Mozart or Mendelssohn are found in these films. Between Waiting Women and The Virgin Spring, musical quotations become rarer and are restricted to the piano repertoire: Schumann, Liszt and Chopin in Smiles of a Summer Night, Bach in Wild Strawberries, Scarlatti in The Devil’s Eye… Conversely, original film music is very common during this period.

AB Svensk Filmindustri© AB Svensk Filmindustri

The situation changes from Through a Glass Darkly. In this 1961 film, the sarabande from Bach’s Cello Suite nr 2 appears four times, whereas the film music has completely disappeared. Nothing remains, but the Bach quotation. From that point on, Bergman’s references to classical music will be increasingly important, up to his last film, Saraband, in 2003. This brief timeline enables to establish a typology of the various functions of musical quotes in Bergman’s works. These functions appear to be so many steps towards more and more musicality.

wild strawberries

Got up and turned on the TV as usual. SVT1 was showing Wild Strawberries. Victor Sjöström (Isak) was talking to Bibi Andersson (Sara).

–Isak: Jag förstår.

–Sara:  Nej, du förstår inte. Vi talar (pratar?) inte samma språk…

Unfortunately I do not understand the rest of their talk…

I did not enjoy this movie that much nine or ten years ago but now I feel I am very close to Isak. Sometimes only time is needed to appreciate life.