While vacationing on a remote island, Karin discovers her father has been using her schizophrenia for his own literary means. As she drifts in and out of lucidity, the father, along with her husband and brother, are unable to prevent Karin’s harrowing descent into the abyss of mental illness.
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Bergman had a special way of making films dark and sexual all at the same time. Breathing life into the characters, so much so that they seem real and often at times it feels like a reflection of ourselves.
Simplicity is the name of the game. Four actors. One island. One house. One stage. One shipwreck A masterpiece, that usually get's left by the way side in the wake of his earlier films and the other two in the "Faith" Trilogy. It's just stunning. I was floored after I saw it and just sat silently through, and after the credits. Without a doubt, one of the best films ever made
Really quiet, haunting drama. The performances were perfect; especially in the silently-falling-apart Bergman style. The cinematography was intense, highlighting the natural Scandinavian landscapes. My favorite part were the last twenty minutes. The films in the Silence of God trilogy are necessary for understanding Bergman's development after The Seventh Seal and before Persona.
A certain airiness belies the expected complexities - tangled relationships, guilt, illness - which swarm beneath a rather gorgeous surface (Nykvist's twilight cinematography is effective in conveying an otherworldliness). Whether by protocol or design, that Karin's mental anguish is not too heavily laid on - the descent into the wreck aside - aids the still surface disguise of the very dark qualities of this film.
The sort of film, one imagines, Bergman could make in his sleep: a 90-minute implosion of angst and delusion, done as a well-drawn chamber piece. I remain conflicted about his legacy. Today, his philosophizing on "God's Silence" looks not only humorless, but simplistic—or is it that we're so jaded we no longer bother to ask such questions? Either way, his enduring talent is as an image-maker. God is a spider.
I was struck by the disorienting liminality of the (near) midnight sun; the way its indeterminacy seemed to open up an in-between, or expose as diaphanous the 'barrier'. Just as Bergman's minimalism, precision, tight focus, only accentuate the vastness of his inquiries. Funny, the one I felt bad for was Martin, with all his objective rationality. How sad not to search, and yearn; not to experience reality break open.