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…
I'm starting to realise that Ingmar Bergman takes some of his filmmaking very, very seriously. He made films that are not created for warmth or belly laughs, nor for escapism but wanted to write and direct characters in the midst of a deep, spiritual problem whilst allaying his own fears and insecurities in the mean time. There does seem to be that sense of catharsis running throughout a lot of his work as well, especially the films that drift away from the humorous or jovial and settle within a beautiful but often wincingly brutal black and white world. Visually, this film is sincerely polished but Nykvist again takes a back seat to Bergman's story, creating a background that would be…
The first film of Bergman's famous "God" trilogy features a very small cast of four characters, mining their motives to unearth their deepest desires, and sins. Each of the arrangements of the four characters is meaningful, except that of Martin and Minus. Scenes are set up to isolate them in pairs as each gets closer to a major change. This change is most obviously seen in Karin, whose mental illness relapses. She acts as seer, interacting with either some sort of spiritual world or one of insanity. Minus is the male most open to her revelations; as she unburdens herself of secrets, he does not immediately reject or judge them, but he cannot accept them either. Fed up with his…
Okay, so here's the thing. Through a Glass Darkly is a beautiful film, and a powerful study of some interesting themes which are explored well. Yet, I felt I should've enjoyed it more.
It has everything it should have to be a great film, yet I just simply didn't feel attached to the characters and didn't quite care about any of them. Now, I don't care about any of the characters in The Great Gatsby, but it's still one of my favourite novels. It's just that in Through a Glass Darkly I felt too distant from the characters. It didn't make it boring, just not exceptional or gripping particularly.
Incredible in terms of filmmaking, but it fails to appeal on an emotional level.
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,…
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Don't the title of the list explain it well enough? This is a list of 200+ quality "short" films. Easy…