Tuesday, July 31, 2007
The lights dim
First Ingmar Bergman, now Michelangelo Antonioni. Two film giants, silenced.

A curmudgeonly question: Do people still watch their films? Twenty-five years ago, when I was in college, both -- particularly Bergman -- were Film 101. You couldn't NOT know them. Their very presence was in the movie theater air. (Heck, Woody Allen's 1975 film "Love and Death" is both Russian lit AND Bergman parody. Would anybody even try that now with a major film comedy? Of course, those were the days when Woody Allen was a mass figure -- he was even the star of a comic strip. But I digress.)

Anyway, I can't remember the last time I stumbled over a Bergman film on TV, or heard a joke about him or Antonioni (though I imagine "The Simpsons" must have made a few).

Fortunately, there's always video. I hope people take advantage and rent a few works by both, particularly Bergman's "The Seventh Seal," "Cries and Whispers," "Persona" and "Fanny and Alexander" and Antonioni's "L'Avventura." Which reminds me: One of these days, I may even have to watch Antonioni's "Zabriskie Point" -- if only because the Medved brothers took it apart so hilariously in "The 50 Worst Films of All Time."
The silence.
They loved the silence.
And the contrast between sound and silence made us stare at their movies.
They┬┤re gods.
This two Regiesseurs were great writters for a better and other world. The 20. Century was a great Film-History with this two european guys. Give them two Cinemas.
What a week for cinema. We lost two movie geniuses. I grew tired of Bergmann as I got older, but there are images from "Seventh Seal" and "Wild Strawberries" that are forever etched into my brain as well as images from "Blow Up" and"Zabriskie Point" and "L'Avventura." Film is a young medium and these two men were pioneers who created a lasting image. Future filmmakers will study them for centuries, if civilization lasts that long.
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