A parable on good and evil set during the transitional era of Medieval Sweden, when paganism and Christianity coexisted. A father seeks savage retribution for the crime perpetrated against his child. An Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film.
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There's something different about his masterpieces. They seem almost effortless. He's a very smart director, but sometimes he gets in his own way. Not this time. The simplicity of the story and the monumental performances have turned this parable into a horror story.
This is an incredible film that shows that even the most civilized of people can do terrible things when pushed far enough and the anguish that follows from horrific things and the things we do to atone for those sins.
Bergman's atypical films are his most fun discoveries; I'd take Smiles of a Summer Night or Summer With Monika over the angst of Through a Glass Darkly. But this is "typical" Bergman at his best, and as a medieval tale of an elusive god, it may even top The Seventh Seal simply by demonstrating its point through drama instead of monologues. A simple fable, sprouting complex possible meanings from its little details.
"See the smoke trembling under the roof as if with fright?" this film is full of simbology. the first half builds up for a tale of jealousy, regret and shame, which is fully achieved on the second half. // even though purity has been chopped down, we can always achieve purification. for those of us who have no beliefs in no particular god, this film delivers us from evil
Call it a masterpiece is doing an understatement. That one scene when Von Sydow is with his back turning to us it's just the most powerful scene in whole movie where Bergman tries to establish a reflexive distance between us and the character and its dilemma. The lack of emotion it's a way to not feel connected and be able to think without being conditioned by any cinematography trick such as the reverse shot.
The Virgin Spring remains one of Bergman's best and most accessible films because it avoids getting bogged down in a lot of his usual angsty pretensions. Instead the viewer is told a simple, haunting tale which plays out like a ballad. I cannot discredit the power of the images enough. The cinematography is nothing short of stunning, the lighting and the staging all perfect. Such an emotional and powerful film.
Beautiful B&W, stellar acting, but perhaps because it’s based on Swedish ballad, the story is rather unconvincing for me. Like, why they let their precious daughter goes to a faraway church without any bodyguard? Also, it just seemed too coincidental that the three brothers went to the girl’s house after the incident (and the last scene...:D :D :D). Fine film, but I choose Bergman’s original scripts over this.