I can't remember the last time that I was so captivated by a movie. I was amazed by every single shot, every frame could be a piece of art in itself. You can stop the movie at any moment, and discover a sublime photograph were the faces, the thoughts, the emotions are carefully enlightened. This movie will definitely stay with me.
A very serious (and interesting) study of the psychological impact of faith in a secular world. There is real complexity here too. The film gets at the very core of this desire for faith despite the 'silence of God', the difficulties of mental illness, and the fractured relationships within this small family. An austere drama which is not afraid to tackle some big questions. All in all an outstanding film.
,,It's so horrible to see your own confusion and understand it.'' ,,I was empty. No fears, no regrets, no expectations.'' ,,- We draw a magic circle and shut out everything that doesn't agree with our secret games. Each time life breaks the circle, the games turn grey and ridiculous. Then we draw a new circle and build a new defense. - Poor little daddy. - Yes, poor little daddy, forced to live in reality.''
★★★ /DCP/ Visually masterful, yet emotionally distant, Bergman’s story of a young girl’s struggle with mental illness, for me becomes weighted down by an overuse of expository dialogue, distracting from the visual grace of Nykvist’s stunning cinematography. The injection of incest feels more dramatically excessive than illuminating while scenes such as the walls whispering are intoxicating and frustratingly rare.
This morning I got up at dawn, a little distressed, because of insomnia. I decided to view again this film, one of those that concern me most, probably. The frailty and the radical loneliness - despite being surrounded by people who love you deeply - of the human being really are major themes faced with the usual infinite ability and the finest expertise. Notwithstanding this, I am now more anxious than before...
Unparalleled drama on alienation, which goes straight, without truces, even in the (few) moments of apparent calm there is a persistent sense of incommunicability. There is something in the film that escapes all the time, a sense of inevitable loss, which takes away the four characters minute by minute and that seems to go beyond the protagonist's illness.
You simply won't find more Bergmanian than that, with a swedish summer (and the splendid light that goes with it), an island, a play, harsh dialogues, intense drama, familiar faces (Andersson, Von Sydow)... The Shipwreck scene is beautiful, actually everything is beautiful here. Schizophrenia always interested Bergman. The film is at times a bit enigmatic, just enough to make you want to watch it immediatly again !
Prime Bergman. I love his more introspective psychological films of the 60s. Kinda foreshadows his pinnacle mindfuck Cries and Whispers. The whole cast are at the top of their respective games here and overall, I would say this has crept into my top 5 fav films of his. Essential world cinema. All the accolades have already been said, so just go buy it, watch it, and treasure it. 5 easy stars
Compelling evidence for Harriet Andersson as Bergman's most meaningful collaborator. Her performance is fearless and often expressly inward; it's hard to watch any other actor when she's onscreen. Bergman and his troupe's sensitivity for little, human moments -- glances, glares, glazed eyes and dodged kisses -- enable him to say more in 89 minutes than other directors could in 200.
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.
First and favorite of Bergman’s faith trilogy, that follows four people on a Holiday retreat but it all naturally descents into madness, incest as despair. One of Bergman’s most visually metaphorical and beautiful films. Despite the heavy plot the story breezes right through you, leaving you craving for the rest of the trilogy.
A fine demonstration of Bergman's ability to create a perfectly formed piece that manages to pose fundamental existential questions without compromising the dramatic coherence - perhaps a legacy of his roots in theatre. The film works beautifully at symbolic, poetic, visual and narrative levels, the only slight misstep being the overly explicit final scene.
Works better as a symbolic portrait of alienation than a realistic portrait of schizophrenia, though I came to the film with the baggage of a best friend with psychosis. As often with Bergman, mummery (whether home theatrics or adopting a mask in our interaction w/ loved ones) provides one of the greatest short-term defenses against the fragility of the world but carries long-term danger of cutting one off from life.