Sasom i en spegel [Through a Glass Darkly] (1961)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Sasom i en spegel</strong> [<strong class="MovieTitle">Through a Glass Darkly</strong>] (1961)

(Kanopy Streaming, November 2018) There seems to be no limit to the Ingmar Bergmanesque nature of Ingmar Bergman’s movies—by which I mean that whatever cliché you can conjure up in your mind about European arthouse movies (pretentious, implausible, black-and-white, handful of actors, dull, dour, slow-paced, inconclusive, rural-set, etc, etc, etc.) there’s bound to be a Bergman movie that meets and exceeds those clichés, fully justifying them. Through a Glass Darkly is not dissimilar to Persona in being set in a beach cottage, but it feels considerably duller even as it delves into mental problems, incest, parent abandonment, psychosis and the family lives of writers. It’s the kind of film that downplays whatever assets it has, and then ends on a note fit to make viewers shrug in indifference. The camera rarely moves, and while the actors are good at what they’re given, what they’re given isn’t enough. I’m lucky that this isn’t my first Bergman film, otherwise I may have given up entirely on his oeuvre.

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