Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
Through a Glass Darkly
While vacationing on a remote island retreat, a family’s already fragile ties are tested when daughter 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 Karin’s husband and her younger brother, are unable to prevent Karin’s harrowing descent into the abyss of mental illness.
After watching this, I was curious what the title referred to. Looking it up brought me to the Wikipedia article on the Bible verse in which it is contained, and I was genuinely moved by the beauty of the verse, so I thought I would share it here (editing out the chapter numbers and such):
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods…
Bergman relaxes a bit with this one and sticks to more easygoing topics like suicide, incest, mental illness, and hatred. Pretty breezy stuff.
” I don't know if love is the proof of God's existence or if it's God itself.”
First part of Ingmar Bergman’s Faith trilogy is a film that leaves its viewers confused, scared and shattered, Through A Glass Darkly is a shuddering study of love, faith and human relationships which like most of Bergman’s films is seeking the answer to some of the most challenging questions that has ever crossed the mankind’s mind, for Bergman the answer to those questions is the key to an easier and less tormenting life, like the Swedish director himself, the characters of his films are struggling with those questions but most of the times there is no clear answer and sooner or later his…
"One draws a magical circle around oneself to keep everything out that doesn't fit one's secret games. Each time life breaks through the circle, the games become puny and ridiculous. So one draws a new circle and builds new defenses."
Ingmar Bergman doesn't need a plot or narrative, he takes the natural simplicity of existence and toys with reality and consciousness in order to experiment with life's complexities. Through a Glass Darkly is a visual conception with a philosophical way of thinking. Passionately examining moral and spiritual nature and the effects uncertainty has on the mind.
Karin (Harriet Andersson), who is suffering from a terminal illness and was recently released from an asylum, retreats to a remote island with her…
La actuación de Harriet Andersson.
"...Se me ha acercado y he visto su rostro. Era horrible y frío. Ha subido por mi cuerpo y ha intentado penetrarme. Me he defendido. Le veía los ojos todo el rato. Fríos, tranquilos. Al no poder penetrarme, ha subido por mi pecho hasta mi cara. He visto a Dios."
Ingmar Bergman. What can you say about a filmmaker who dedicates Through a Glass Darkly to his wife, then makes the only female character in the film an incurable maniac who sleeps with her brother and envisions God as a giant spider who tries to rape her, other than to lament the fact that he didn't live long enough to direct a Sandra Bullock-Hugh Grant romantic comedy?
The woman is Karin (Harriet Andersson, in an emotionally bare performance), and she's recuperating on an island between electroshock therapy sessions with her brother, her absentee writer father, and the repressive husband she doesn't love (Max von Sydow, naturally - somehow, Bergman never saw him as the Gary Cooper type).
In the opening…
God is a monster, like a spider and artists are really cannibals at heart, or no heart, rather....
Through a Glass Darkly is a Bergman movie about mental illness, specifically a movie that seeks to understand a what a mentally ill woman is going through. I like this fact quite a bit, because usually it's hard to find a movie that can approach the issue with sincerity.
No matter how cheesy I know it is or how I suspect I wouldn't like its conclusions if I watched it again, I'll always respect The Snake Pit (Anatole Litvak, 1948) for doing that. I think it's understated in our society, especially given how scornful we are of people who use disabilities as insults, how hurtful it must be to have an illness used as an insult. It must be quite…
Bergman's Through the Glass Darkly is a mature, complex film with much going on in its characters. Karin is at the film's center. A schizophrenic, she is emotionally unstable and claims that God will soon visit her. Karin's sexually frustrated brother is tormented by her; her husband is self-righteous but powerless to help her; and her father has a void in his heart where she should be instead.
Like many Bergman films, it takes nearly the whole running time to understand what he's driving at. I'm aware that Darkly is the first in a trilogy colloquially referred to as the Silence of God, so there's that, but there's also something important Karin's father says: When we withdraw into our shells,…
Oddly enough I found the family pretty cool.
Through a Glass Darkly is a haunting meditation on a lot of things, but the one that was driven home to me most of all was the feeling of failure that the father had when considering his relationship with children. Gunnar Bennybjorn or whatever he's called, turns in a killer of a performance. He's old, and what has he done with his life of real purpose? He has no fulfillment left in his writing, and his children hardly accept him as a father. He just wants to escape his troubles, but he needs to rebuild his life. Absolutely riveting here, as he speaks and winces, we feel every nuance, and we feel the pain he has. I'd call him almost the antithesis of the mother in Autumn Sonata, though neither is without deep imperfection. Anyway, that's what I wanted to highlight with my limited time this morning. Brilliant as always, Bergie!
"David: 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.
Karin: Poor little daddy.
David: Yes, poor little daddy, forced to live in reality."
Yesterday i re-watched Wild Strawberries and with that re-watch came the urge to see more from Bergman. It's a weird urge to because i can't consider myself a fan of his, yes i have enjoyed most of his movies but i still find most of those to be quite difficult experiences, they are bleak, slow and even may i saw quite depressing but there is something…
This brooding drama was the first part of a trilogy that would address Bergman's disillusionment with religion and features a towering performance from Harriet Andersson as a woman who loses her tentative grip on sanity during a vacation. Her family are witness to her degradation but are powerless to intervene. Bergman's work is often described as 'intense' and no other word is more appropriate to describe this film..
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