Jaime’s Film Diary: March 15, 2020

As expected, I’ve been keeping my Letterboxd up to date – so here’s yet another update for here in regards to what I have been watching as of late.

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Last Minute Criterion Suggestions from Us

There’s only a few days left of the half-off sale from the Criterion Collection. If you’re a newcomer to the home video line, all of those selections can look daunting and you’ll probably stand there for a good while trying to decide what to get. With nearly a thousand titles to choose from, it’s overwhelming. Don’t worry, two Criterion aficionados have their picks that are perfect for any first-time buyer or if you’re looking for something to spice up your shelf.

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The Mother and Daughter Dynamics by Way of Ingmar Bergman’s Autumn Sonata: A Review

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Ingmar Bergman was never a person who had much time for his family, yet there’s something about the way in which he captures family dynamics onscreen that makes for something wholly entrancing. Of course, a perfect example of this would be his theatrical swan song Fanny & Alexander, but there’s a deeply personal touch in Autumn Sonata that also makes said film worth noting. It’s a film that tells of even Bergman’s own dedication to something that he loves most – at the expense of another important building block of his own life. Perhaps often noted for being the first time in which cinema’s most famous Bergmans – Ingmar and Ingrid – had finally come together, Autumn Sonata is a film that puts into question even the very extent to which we fixate our lives on something that we love doing most with our life and what happens when the damage can only become ever so severe. But most admirable about the way in which he approaches such a subject is his own intimacy – something always present in the way Bergman directs his actors. But Bergman has always made his own company as an artist clear, for he interacts with his recurring collaborators just as he would with friends, and it always makes for a rewarding journey.

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Ingmar Bergman’s Persona is One of the Most Vital Pieces of Cinema Ever Created: Review

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A film of splits, a film about unity – and what happens the moment when it breaks. A film about projection, what happens when the image does not match what one expects. A film about truth, and how it infuses with fiction to create its own realities. A film about performance, and the act of breaking character. Ingmar Bergman’s Persona is a film all about these narrative rules and what happens as soon as they break, but it is also a film that challenges the very restrictions that these rules can place upon character. Yet ultimately, Persona continues to remind you that everything you are seeing is a matter of projection. From the very opening frame to the closing shot of a film reel, but also the transferral of the thought from one vessel to the other. But if anything can better sum up an experience of this very sort, it is a film all about the restrictions of narrative expectation. For it is a film about the making of character, the making of a story, the making of its very own realities. This is a film about the crafting of a personality, and the dedication to the part – and how we all play a part into something bigger.

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Cries and Whispers – Review

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I still remember my first exposure to the work of Ingmar Bergman very vividly: many would find themselves starting with one of his more well-known works like The Seventh Seal or Wild Strawberries but for me that introduction to a masterful body of work was Cries and Whispers. I still remember the look on my face as I was taken in with the horrors of his limited use of space, just as I was with the overcome present from his use of the colour red. As far as critical success is concerned, this may indeed be Ingmar Bergman’s most well-known on the count in spite of its polarizing of Swedish critics, it was the work that garnered Bergman his first Academy Award nomination for Best Director as well as a nomination for Best Picture. If this were supposedly “lesser Bergman” on some standards (I view it as one of his best), then it only reaffirms his stature as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.

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Fanny & Alexander – Review

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Ingmar Bergman is fully at grasp with what he had been meaning to address the whole time, how all the themes which he had been handling through all his career had affected him so personally by placing it inside of what appears to be an image of growing up through childhood. Childhood is one thing that Ingmar Bergman’s masterful Fanny & Alexander is about, for soon what we have is a picture of Sweden, family dynamics, abuse, and the peacefulness within the state of mind. The five-and-a-half hour running time may be daunting, but within due time, it earns every minute for this truly is one of the best films about experiences to have ever been made, and at that, one of the greatest of all cinematic achievements. Continue reading →

Fanny & Alexander: The Theatrical Version – Review

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Ingmar Bergman’s supposed theatrical swan song, Fanny & Alexander, is a film that I wish to call one of Ingmar Bergman’s finest but after having viewed the masterpiece within the television version – a revisit of this version did not go as well as I had hoped. That is not to say it is a bad film, but while more of the good manages to shine over the bad, it is rather evident that it is an incomplete film. We have the elements that could easily make a great film at hand, and even with a daunting length of a little bit over three hours, I cannot help but unfortunately feel that not enough of the details had been left for us. It is indeed a good film as it stands, but it is only best viewed in all of its complete glory, the only version which I choose to go with as of now. Continue reading →

Wild Strawberries – Review

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Wild Strawberries is such a conundrum of a film for someone like myself to talk about. There’s so much that happens within the course of Wild Strawberries‘s relatively short running time of 91 minutes which overwhelms the human emotion. The first moment in which I saw Wild Strawberries left me questioning the course of my life together with what I believed in, and I had not revisited it ever since because the concoction of my own expressions left me in a state, almost depressed yet I learned something more. This is something I highly admire Ingmar Bergman for, as no matter what he chooses to tackle, I always find there’s something worthy of being engrossed in. This is how I define a life-changing film, for it still managed to leave me in as much awe as it did on my first viewing. Continue reading →