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Through a Glass Darkly (rewatch)

Posted by martinteller on November 13, 2009

Not a movie that a lot of non-fans are familiar with, but in many ways it’s the quintessential Bergman film.  It’s a chamber drama (actually his first that could be truly classified as such), shot on his beloved island Faro (also a first) by Sven Nykvist, very austere and introspective and self-critical, Bergman exposing his flaws and fears through his characters, particularly Gunnar Bjornstrand’s.  Woody Allen’s attempt at making a Bergman picture, Interiors, closely resembles Through a Glass Darkly (though it’s a bit more Cries and Whispers).  Thinking of this as a part of a “faith trilogy”, a notion which Bergman later disowned, does it a disservice.  It holds up entirely on its own, and although religion is a significant element, there’s a lot more here.  It’s really more of a family drama, with each of the characters reacting to Karin’s madness in his own way.  It’s such an intense, beautiful slow burn.  The only thing I don’t like much about it is the final scene: David’s “God is love” sentiment might suffice as words of comfort to his young son, but rings rather hollow to the audience.  Rating: 9


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