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Cries and Whispers (rewatch)

Posted by martinteller on January 30, 2010

It’s been over 7 years since I last watched this, my first Bergman.  Not that I’ve been avoiding it, just you know… too many movies, too little time.  I’d forgotten how experimental this film is.  Of course I recalled the striking, vivid photography.  Those overwhelming reds, whites and blacks, some of Nykvist’s most astonishing work.  And I remembered how the performances were not “realistic”, but rather steeped in hysteria and drama.  But I had forgotten how trancelike it all is, and the ambiguous event that occurs in the third act.  It’s like a fever dream, a nightmare of the soul.  I have to say this one doesn’t quite do it for me.  It’s harrowing and beautiful, and the performances, although you’d certainly call them “over the top” (especially Thulin’s), are captivating.  It just doesn’t really seem to add up to as much as it should.  There are the usual great moments of insight, and as a mood piece it’s very provocative, but I don’t end up carrying enough away from it.  Still, I have hope that future viewings might prove more rewarding.  Rating: 8


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