Sunday, April 25, 2010

WINTER LIGHT (1962, SWEDEN)


(The blog writer and the invisible entity know as The Presence have just sat down to watch the second part of Ingmar Bergman’s faith trilogy Winter Light.)

81 minutes later

The Presence: Well, thanks for making me watch that. That had to be the gloomiest piece of celluloid that I’ve ever seen.

Blog Writer: I’m not sure what to feel myself. I don’t know what to say.

The Presence: That clergyman was probably the worst pastor I’ve ever seen.

Blog Writer: He was well meaning. He tried to help his flock. He never abused anyone. Never stole church funds.

The Presence: But he didn’t believe it God! Isn’t that the first thing they ask you in seminary? Hey, seminary applicant, do you believe in God? No, you say? Well then, maybe you should try law school!

Blog Writer: He was just having a crisis of faith. It happens.

The Presence: What was it he said to the fisherman? “If there is no God-would it really make any difference-Life would become understandable-what a relief-And thus death would be a suffering out of life-The dissolution of a body and a soul-Cruelty, loneliness and fear-all have these things would have become straightforward and transparent-suffering is incomprehensible-So it needs no explanation-There is no creator.”

Blog Writer: That’s when I had to leave the room for a minute and collect my thoughts. But hey, at least it didn’t make me go blow my brains out! So what happened in that scene I missed?

The Presence: The fisherman went outside and blew his brains out.

Blog Writer: Shit! Now you see why I didn’t want to watch this alone.

The Presence: So, do you really think God might just be a spider?

Blog Writer: Well, I never thought about it that way.

The Presence: You’re so evasive. So do you think a being like me has a soul?

Blog Writer: You? Yes. I believe you have a soul.

The Presence: Really? Or are you just saying that because I said you were evasive and you are trying to show me how decisive you are.

Blog Writer: That’s not my motivation. I was trying to make you feel better about yourself by giving you an encouraging answer to a question that I couldn’t possibly know the answer to.

The Presence: Well, you’ve made me feel worse now.

Blog Writer: Sorry. At some point we all have to escape the junkyard of idiotic trivialities.

The Presence: Stop quoting the movie at me! What I really need is a laugh.

Blog Writer: How about this: Nattvardsgästerna! Isn’t that a funny word?

The Presence: No, it isn’t. And now that I’ve watched this with you as I promised, even watched a scene you couldn’t sit through yourself, may I watch a Keystone Kops short now?

Blog Writer: No! There’s still the third film in trilogy to go. You know, The Silence?

The Presence: Oh, no. You’re going to make me watch another Bergman movie with you?

Blog Writer: Not exactly. The next one you’re going to watch for me.

The Presence: What?

Blog Writer: Through a Glass Darkly brought up a lot of questions in my mind on the nature of God. Winter Light brought up some of the same questions and answered them in a little less positive light. I'm afraid of what this is doing to me emotionally and psychologically. It must have been a good film because I’m completely bummed out about the whole thing. But I’ve got to complete the trilogy. However, I’m afraid a Bergman movie called The Silence might put me in therapy in my current emotional state, so I want you to watch and report back to me.

The Presence: But I…

Blog Writer: And don’t forget to take notes.

The Presence: But I…

Blog Writer: And thanks again, pal.

The Presence: You're welcome…I guess.


TO BE CONTINUED

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