Ribald, bizarre, and essentially good-hearted. I did squirm (and I wouldn't necessarily recommend the flavor of this half-spoilt cheesecake to anybody with properly functioning taste buds) but I also feel like a few layers of the heaviness cloaking my heart got peeled off and thrown into the boughs of the Sacred Tree. Also: great subtitles, great random shot of a dog, the weirdest and unsexiest sex scenes I've ever been privy to, the Sailor Moon thing. It is enough.
An perfect Sunday morning "Early Berg" special - suicide, abortion, beautifully photographed shadows. Real "meatballs-and-lingonberry-gravy"-type stuff. The characters' ultimate decision to stay in their small town and endure the sun-dappled drudgery of daily Swedish life because it'd be "too much bother" to start over again somewhere new may not be inspiring, exactly, but it is faithful to Bergman's particular brand of lean, surgically precise melodrama. Hey, they didn't call this guy "The White Shadow" for nothing.
"In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
He didn’t say any more, but we’ve always been unusually communicative in a reserved way, and I understood that he meant a great deal more than that. In consequence, I’m inclined…