[Rough Draft]

A weblog about god, doubt, insomnia, culture, baseball


the silence

well, what can i say? i finished bergman's trilogy last night, due more to the fact that i always have to finish stuff when i start it than b/c i was particularly moved by the movie. in fact, i watched about half of the film in fast forward, which just might have colored my appreciation of the movie, now that i think about it. but i doubt it.

in short, i was way, way over my head. i had very little idea what was going on while watching. the story was that of two sisters, ester and anna, and anna's son, johan, who stop in an unnamed city on their train ride home from wherever they've been. it seems ester has tb or some terminal disease, and her death approaches rapidly, so they check into a hotel so she can rest (or die). interesting facts about the movie include: no one can understand anyone else, either linguistically or emotionally. ironically, ester is a translator by trade, but she can't communicate with the bellhop-guy or, more importantly, her sister. i mean, obviously they speak the same language, but they have some weird relationship that smacks almost of incest, and while one drinks herself into a stupor as she dies, the other goes on sexual reconnaissance missions into the city, both sisters growing farther and farther apart. johan is this weird little kid that wanders the halls (kubrick gave a cinematic shout-out to bergman w/ the hall scenes in the shining) where he meets . . . wait for it . . . midgets! and possibly a pedophilic old man, i'm not sure.

oh, in the long run, i think there was probably so much going on symbolically that i just missed it all. perhaps it will come to me. i did notice (but only after watching the commentary on the dvd) that the movie was pretty much devoid of religious imagery, in contrast to the way god sort of saturates the first 2 films. i suppose this was bergman's way of putting away the trappings of religion he felt were foisted upon him as a child. if so, what he sees as liberation i see as pitiable, bergman's abandonment of any hope of true transcendence in favor of a lifetime of trying to create transcendence with a camera. maybe that's the story; maybe it's not. there are several comments @ imdb, which indicates that @ least some people understood the movie. i just don't happen to be one of them (but i sure am thinking about it a lot today).


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