I saw this film for the first time in 2008, when I was living abroad and facing a major depression, it was a religious experience. Today, ten years later, I watched it again. It got better. Darker. Prettier. The final scene, with those words of joy despite all the suffering, is outstanding.
I had forgotten how verbose this film is (which says a lot considering it's Bergman) and how well its chattiness suits the sort of purgatory-dream scape. Along with the primal screams and Agnes's labored breaths as she dies, Cries and Whispers wordiness functions as a claustrophobia that at once makes the film Bergman's most humane but also his most theatrical.
Pray for those of us left behind on this dark and miserable earth beneath a cruel and empty sky. Lay your suffering at God's feet and plead with him to pardon us. Plead with him to free us of our anxiety, our weariness, and our deepest doubts. Plead with him to give meaning to our lives.
35mm. I just remembered the horrific screams of death from last time I watched it, ten years ago. Family life in all it's terror, just the painful parts and truths remaining. It's a rare film that left me with a sense of smelling the house and characters. it's a scary film too, I heard about a guy having a three day psychosis after watching it when it first opened. Bergman, the greatest horror director too.
Even though the atmosphere is soaked in cries and whispers as the name indicates, the story ends up with a light note, suggesting the approach to all that happened. Spoken words to one another tell less than the feeling that what was not said is more sincere and important. Understood in this way, silence tells most, even if as in the case of coin manipulation and dedication (/humility) are the two sides of it.
I love Ingmar Bergman but I actually couldn't finish this movie. It was too boring for me. Still, I liked the images and the acting and all that. It just made me sleepy. I always think I'll go back and watch it one day when I'm older. There have been movies that I saw when I was a teen that I didn't like, but that I like now. Maybe it's an older man's movie.
Luxuriantly ashen, with a set design that (inadvertently, I would assume!) honours Poe's 'Philosophy of Furniture'. Worth watching with headphones to give the experience the intimacy of a radio play. Having watched 'Summer with Monika' just the other month, I found it distressing to see Harriet Andersson, who is remarkable here, so cadaverous and wan - but gladdened to find she is now a happy healthy octogenarian!