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  • Tristana



    Tristana a strange film that I can't really recommend. It feels a bit like Lorca gone wrong, in that it has all the elements of male hegemony with its unbearable consequences as The House of Bernarda Alba, yet it somehow fails to reach the same pitch of suffering. A description of it might also read like some of Strindberg or Chekhov, where the real tragedy is a sense of powerlessness which leads to no momentous cataclysm; yet somehow it doesn't…

  • Dreams



    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I've often felt that many of Bergman's middling films, had they been directed by virtually anyone else, could be another filmmaker's masterpiece, but Bergman made so many phenomenal films that he more or less overwhelms any possible selection process. Dreams is like that; minor for Bergman, average even, but still outstanding in its own right. Beginning with no dialogue, it introduces its two female protagonists in opposite power dynamics: Susanne (Eva Dahlbeck), owner of a model agency, watching and judging,…

Popular reviews

  • Dancer in the Dark

    Dancer in the Dark


    I delayed in seeing this for a long time because I found The Idiots so unpalatable and so unrewarding, though I've enjoyed most of the other von Trier films I've seen. My primary thought whilst watching this is that it succeeds in doing much of what French film in the 50s and 60s failed to do; it's a European view of America via Hollywood crime films and musicals, but the difference from Godard and Demy is that this film actually…

  • Crisis



    Although it would be difficult for this film or any film to compare to the masterpieces of Bergman's later career, Crisis remains a staggering directorial debut, showcasing many of the concerns, themes, and strengths of his later work.

    One one level it is a contrast between invidious city and innocent countryside, and therefore might superficially be compared to Sunrise. In his first film, however, Bergman has already far surpassed any such shallow morality play, diving straight into the depths of…