Tuesday, July 31, 2007
A Film You Love
One summer I watched almost nothing but Ingmar Bergman films, the man Woody Allen calls "the only true genius in cinema today." I was depressed about my personal life (a statement now which seems absolutely stupid given the really depressing things that were around the corner), and instead of subjecting myself to a bunch of vapid comedies in hopes of laughing myself out of the blues, I decided to go the other way. Every few nights, I'd sit in the dark and watch something even sadder than my life, something that oddly made me feel okay. Ever the avoider, I found it a relief to let myself be. Lost in something between a trance and a dream, I floated around another world, one so different than mine which consisted of a car that seldom worked, a crappy apartment with an air-conditioning unit that sounded like a 747 taking off, and a job answering phones and getting yelled at for stapling documents "incorrectly." I didn't want to be in that world; I wanted to be in a world of love and death, of drama and secrets, of thick Swedish sadness rather than boring Texas malaise. I wanted out of an office where people frequently said things like, Howdy girly! and TGIF! without a trace of irony.
When bad things started to happen, I found myself nostalgic for that summer, the way that Woody Allen's character is nostalgic for the night that he and Mia Farrow (I have to think they were playing themselves in "Husbands and Wives" near the end of a marriage and what a nightmare that must have been) skipped a faculty party, walked in Central Park, and went home and watched "Wild Strawberries." I love this scene in "Husbands and Wives," love the way that we clutch to moments, so perfect and fleeting. I thought about the moments of love I had experienced and dreamed that the future would hold more. I thought about how death comes down the mountain for all of us, just like in "The Seventh Seal," thought about how it would be as a light slowly dimming, something to watch, like the last frame of a film that you have loved, that has changed you without your leaving your house.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"The demons are innumerable, arrive at the most inappropriate times and create panic and terror... but I have learned that if I can master the negative forces and harness them to my chariot, then they can work to my advantage.... Lilies often grow out of carcasses' arseholes." Ingmar Bergman
Drinking movie suggestion: Cries and Whispers
Benedictions and Maledictions
Rest in peace, Ingmar Bergman!