I feel like The Silence is ignored in favor of Through a Glass Darkly and Winter Light. While I prefer Winter Light, I think this is much better than Darkly.
The film is pretty dry, pretty vague (even more vague than Persona) and ripe for interpretation. But just as an experience by itself it’s very good. For once, Bergman doesn’t give his characters long speeches or try to investigate things intellectually. Most of the time, the audience is left to its own conclusions.
I watched this last night for the first time in 2 years. It was my second Bergman ever, I saw it the next night after his death and I hated it. Now I think it’s one of his most interesting films.
Some highlights: the scene where Johann (the boy) urinates in the hallway. I felt like this was pretty much dead-on in relation to a boy who is just starting puberty. I can’t really explain it, and a lot of people seemed baffled by this part, but I felt like I really related to it. It’s really just about getting away with something a bit “Depraved” when you’re young.
Another great part was the moment where everyone, including the bell hop, are all framed in the same space listening to Bach in piece. That little moment made you feel all these people understood each other as humans for one quick little moment….
Also that god awful sound that is essentially the “score” of the film. It sounded like the Grim Reaper barreling down the Lincoln Tunnel in a semi. Bergman placed it really well (it first comes in during a pretty harmless moment when Ester is lighting a cigarette, and you really notice and ponder why its placed there).
Go right ahead and post….
Never saw much Bergman, got a VHS of The Serpent’s Egg i have to dig out of the rubble to watch.
I haven’t seen the Serpent’s Egg, but from what I’ve read, it’s by FAR his worst film. So maybe skip that one.
nobody in their right mind would stop you!
however, i would argue that The Silence is one of Bergman*s most obvious symbolic/intellectual works.
Serpent’s Egg – That Kung Fu guy is in it! Also proto Nazi cospiracies! Whats not to like?
I love The Silence. I even started a thread on it… its buried here somewhere.