One of those films whose sights I won't be able to forget, leaving perhaps internal scars far worse than anything I felt while watching it (appropriate Pola X is in the related). For in a deliberately obtuse scene revealing wounded ego the drama flips from the relationship set against the political to its inverse, eviscerating any notion that our loved ones would be the same in times of great violence. 3.5
Bergman let’s loose! There are moments in this film that rank in his best ever. It might have it uneven points but it high points are so legendary that it just makes you forget. I love how he made his scope larger in this and still gave us the classic personal throughline.
"The first half is much worse than I imagined," wrote Bergman. It's poor. Stagey, unconvincing, the joins showing. The action sequences are inept. Even Max von Sydow struggles as the cowardly spouse. Liv Ullmann is luminous in the better, latter part - arresting even - as the couple cling together in the chaos of war. But too many underdeveloped scene shifts and my patience ran out. I love Bergman, didn't like Shame
The familiar elements are there. Those people, that island. Even the fractious relationship remains. It's just that he's crying, and she isn't sympathetic. So he changes, but she doesn't necessarily like the new version. She just doesn't have a choice anymore. That ship has sailed.
So poignant. Turns Sweden into a generic waring country. The people he focuses on are a generic yuppie-ish couple. He brought war home. Made it not someone else's problem. Brought it home to our yuppie existence. Again, he does it simply. Economically. Underhanded. He just puts it there simply and leaves it. Doesn't force anything. Superb! Liv's performance was also outstanding. Bravo.
Bergman's most direct confrontation with war, "Shame" provides a richly textured filmic essay on the politics of neutrality, the romantic escapism of art, the wasted potential of motherhood and the demonic furor of human nature. Nykvist's cinematography is astonishing in conveying the horror of war and in presenting the enemy as a nameless calamity. Must have influenced Klimov. Acting, as always, is first-class.
Bergman in broader, uneven strokes. The human condition under more obvious strain with greater emphasis on overt cause and effect. Normality remains as precarious as ever with the vacillating military action metaphorically waxing & waning human frailty in the face of threat and - more pointedly - what eventually collapses your morality into cuckoldry when your back is against a wall. Gorgeously stark throughout.
Allégorie puissante et dénonciatrice de l'implication de la guerre, de toute guerre, sur le comportement, l'humiliation de l'être humain. Pour public averti. Le cinéma, c'est aussi quelquefois, la réflexion et le dépassement. Mais qui se sent concerné ? Une oeuvre formelle, désespérante, d'une cruelle évidence. www.cinefiches.com
Bergman's nightmare of life during wartime, just disturbing enough for when you're in the mood to be moved but not, ya know, traumatized. Some amazing setpieces and ominous atmosphere, but still linked to a kind of theatrical mannerism unbecoming for the chaos he wants to evoke. Which means, even with the Trumpocalypse bearing down, I'm less sure it's a prophecy than (for a type of arthouse viewer) good clean fun.
I liked the idea of a relationship breaking down when faced with the ever looming presence of war, but the tonal shift between the first and second half threw me a little, and the role reversal of the weak willed husband becoming the strong overbearing one, and the wife becoming the opposite, seemed rushed when explored only in an hour or less. The war themes could have been explored better, and less obscure as well.