Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bergman and Antonioni

Ingmar Bergman is gone. One of the towering masters of modern cinema and easily one of my favorites, Bergman died on his secluded island retreat Monday at the age of 89.

Using the severe, claustrophobic gloom of his native Sweden’s unremitting winter nights as well as its soft summer evenings as a cinematic backdrop, Bergman confronted horrendous subjects such as marital disintegration, mortality, and the fear of nuclear holocaust through stories of plague and madness.

The auteur behind such films as Secrets of Women, Wild Strawberries, Winter Light, Persona, Cries and Whispers, Scenes from a Marriage , and Fannie and Alexander, he is perhaps best known for 1957’s The Seventh Seal with Max von Sydow, an allegorical tale of a medieval knight playing chess with the shrouded figure of Death.

Adjö och tack själv för alla bion...Farewell and thank you for all the movies

Then today, we learned that Michelangelo Antonioni has also died. He was 94.

The celebrated Italian director whose modernist style heavily influenced film aesthetics, was responsible for such classics as L'Avventura, in which Antonioni explored the emotional sterility of modern society, Blowup, in which a photographer inadvertently captures a murder on film (and captured "swinging 60s" London) and The Passenger with Jack Nicholson.

Antonioni was awarded a special Oscar in 1995 for his lifetime achievements. Though his films, known for their long, lingering shots, were not always crowd pleasers, he was something of a cult figure for filmmakers and moviegoers.


At 3:08 PM, Blogger Warren Epstein said...

Loved "Fannie and Alexander." What a magical film.

At 4:01 PM, Blogger Tinsterr said...

The goodbye note should be: Adjö och tack för alla filmer.


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