Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks-Scandinavian films


Ooooh aren't you all excited by this amazing adventure into Scandanavian cinema:) I know you will lining up to see these films.hahahahaaaa. Head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to see what the other gang have chosen. I am betting The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo will be popular. I have chosen a theme in a theme since I have limited knowledge and the theme is Ingmar Bergman, the great Swedish director.  I call my list the Good, The Bad and the WTF??

1. THE SEVENTH SEAL-1957


I love this film and find it so richly layered and thought provoking. It takes place during the Middle Ages just after one of the Crusades. A young knight, played by Max Von Sydow( you know him as the old priest in The Exorcist) who plays chess with Death to bide time until he can find a way to make his life a difference. He is jaded, tired and questioning his faith. He meets a very young couple who are jugglers and have hope amidst the war, plague and threat of being called a witch. I love the image of death here and it has often been parodied from Saturday Night Live to Monty Python. Well worth seeing. This is the good.

2. ALL THESE WOMEN-1964


Ughhh this is bad....blechhh bad. Bergman tried to make a comedy and it didn't work. I saw it in a film class and our Prof. was trying to tell us it was full of nuances. We were all just groaning...bad, bad, bad. I'm trying to recall the plot....something about a man from the 1920's  who is involved with all these women. Considering Bergman was involved with Bibi Anderson and Liv Ullmann maybe he was thinking about himself...who knows and who cares...now on to WTF??

3. PERSONA-1966



I don't know what to tell ya. So this is considered one of his masterpieces and I am still scratching my head even though it has been a long time since I saw this trippy flick. The lead singer suddenly can't speak...or won't speak. She is taken to a secluded place with her nurse who never shuts up. They seem to be melting into one person and you get confused as to which person is which since the actresses look similar. The shots are quite unique with the faces cut in half and part of the face is not on the screen. Another image can be one face looking directly in front of the camera with her face partially off the screen and the other actress in the background in profile.  I think Bergman was on drugs myself and even though the images have stuck with me, I still have no real desire to watch it. I do love it when other films or shows make fun of this movie. I was watching The Animaniacs(I love them)  and there was an episode where they are with Death and they start talking and being viewed like Persona...I laughed so hard and know most people and kids have no idea what they were making fun of.

Have you seen any Scandinavian movies??

Just one more....


53 comments:

  1. Haven't seen any of these. I still remember seeing 'Fanny and Alexander' and looking at my husband and shaking my head. Neither of us enjoyed the movie and I never tried to watch another Bergman film. I very much enjoyed 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' trilogy.

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    1. I heard the books are excellent but haven't read them yet. I liked the English version of Tattoo but haven't seen the original version. Bergman had issues for aure

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    2. I've only seen the Swedish films. Did they even make three American films?

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  2. Hi, Birgit!

    Imagine yourself binge watching Scandinavian art films over a 24 hour period. :) I vaguely remember The Seventh Seal and Persona and possibly saw them in my college film class. The point of discussion that immediately jumped out at me was the filming technique used by Ingmar Bergman in Persona with two female faces within the frame, one looking directly at the camera and one in profile. As you might recall, the Swedish pop supergroup ABBA borrowed the techniques of Bergman’s Persona in their hit video "Knowing Me, Knowing You":

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUrzicaiRLU

    Thank you, dear friend BB!

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    1. OMG, I forgot about that ABBA video...leave it to the Swedes. I don't think I would want to watch all those Swedish films...I may want to seek therapy after

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  3. Never watched or even heard of any of these. As for the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, having read the books, I had no desire to see the movie. If I see a movie from a book, I prefer to see the movie before I read the book.

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    1. I read the books and then saw the Swedish versions. Very well done, IMO.

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    2. So many have read the books including my niece. I haven't yet but hope to one day

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  4. I suspect that the Bergman theme within a theme might be prevalent today.

    I've only seen The Seventh Seal and just recently and therein may lay my problem with it. I thought it was very good and evocative but I think I may have waited too long to be bowled over by it. I just knew too much about it and my expectations were too high. I appreciated the artistry and thought it was a good film but it wasn't the galvanizing experience many others seem to have with it.

    I've toyed with idea of watching Persona several times but it always seems so heavy and I've never been in the right mood for it. I've never heard of All These Women, talk about your obscure Bergman! From your description it just went to the bottom of my list of films to seek out. Thanks.

    I almost did the same Bergman theme but then remembered another Swedish film to add and ended with another kind of Bergman theme instead!

    Wild Strawberries (1957)-Lovely reverie about looking back at life and the memories that come unbidden. Approaching 80 Dr. Isak Borg (Victor Sjöström), a retired doctor and professor, a remote man with a cold demeanor is traveling from his home in Stockholm to Lund to accept an honorary degree. Originally intending to fly he decides to drive instead accompanied by his daughter-in-law Marianne (Ingrid Thulin), a journey of a day. Along their way the people they meet and stops they make, including the doctor’s childhood summer home, lead him to evaluate the man he was and the one he has become. My favorite Bergman film.

    A Woman’s Face (1938)-Ingrid Bergman plays Anna Holm, a woman whose facial disfigurement has led her to become a blackmailer out of bitterness. The ruthless leader of a gang, she has no compassion for anyone until one of her victims turns out to be married to a renowned plastic surgeon giving Anna the opportunity to change her life. However the long tentacles of her former accomplices don’t want to let her go. Solid drama was remade a few years later by MGM with Joan Crawford.

    Sawdust & Tinsel (1953)-As a ragtag circus troupe makes its way through the bleak Swedish countryside conflicts arise between the members of the group. When they arrive in the town where owner Albert’s ex-wife lives he seeks reconciliation leading to bitterness from his present mistress who becomes involved with an actor with designs of his own leading to misery for all. Dark and unsettling but that’s Bergman for you.

    Honorable Mention-Cries & Whispers (1972)-Heavy, heavy Ingmar Bergman drama of recrimination and the acrid damage caused to relationships by long buried resentments. Two sisters gather at their childhood home to await the death of the third desperately ill sister. While they fail to reconnect to each other or their mortally ill sibling their maid seems to be the only person in the house who is capable of offering comfort and empathy. Color is used heavily to convey the oppressive mood of the picture although sometimes too much so, by the end you feel like you’ve been living inside a tomato for ninety minutes. Still an intricate, interesting drama.

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    1. Living in a tomato eh? Hahahahaa Sven Nykvist must have been in overdrive:) I have not seen Wild Sstrawberries but it has been on my list to see for years. I would love to see Ingrid Bergman's early films like the one you mentioned and Intermezzo which she remade with Leslie Howard. If you watched that trailer from Women and find it irritating, you get the movie. I hope you give Seventh Seal another try but let go of all the hoopla. I often find that does disservice to a film.

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  5. haha well I remember that Animaniacs scene, never knew what it was poking fun of though. That's about I'll I've seen of these ones

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    1. Animaniacs poked fun at many movies but most people wouldn't know. I loved this part because of the fun they are having at both Seventh Seal and Persona

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  6. I loved watching the Animaniacs when the kids were little :)

    I haven't seen any Scandanavian films (I bet that didn't catch you by surprise :)

    betty

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    1. Hahahahaaa...nope and it's not like I have seen a ton either. Animaniacs had a lot of fun with satirizing movies.

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  7. AH, Bergman! I've been slowly (S L O W L Y) making my way through his oeuvre and I like what I've seen so far. Faves are Seventh Seal (which I also picked), for how surprisingly enjoyable it was, and The Virgin Spring, for how emotional it was (and Max von Sydow. DAMN.).

    Haven't gotten to Persona yet, but I have a ways to go!

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    1. I love Max Von Sydow and he is great in this film. I still have to see. Many of his best works. Watch Persona when you feel you are in a psychedelic mood

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  8. I loved Seventh Seal, such a great classic! I saw Persona a few years ago and I didn't understand it much and thought it was a bit odd.

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    1. I so agree with you about both films. Persona is just F'ed up. I found t actually annoying.

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  9. The scene involving the broken shard of glass was my "wtf" Bergman moment.

    I've seen two of these Bergman films, Persona and Seventh Seal, I think like you Persona left me very confused.

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    1. Persona is truly something he must have done while taking LSD or something. I scratch my head on that one

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  10. I'm rather far behind on my Bergman. I have seen The Seventh Seal. I was really absorbed in it when I saw it, but I am in no hurry to revisit it. Persona has been on my watchlist for a while so I guess I should.

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    1. I love The Seventh Seal and Persona.....I may watch it again with Cheech and Chong

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  11. Good afternoon:)
    I haven't seen any of the above.

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    1. So formal Sandra:) I figure this week is one that few people have seen.

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  12. Haven't seen any of these. I don't see nearly as many movies as I used to.

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    1. It does take time to watch movies and one often just doesn't have time especially with work, home and then one likes to be creative and read as well.

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  13. Ha. I got Girl with the Dragon Tattoo from the library this morning.

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    1. Cool! This was popular today and I still have to see the original version.

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  14. Yup, I had no idea what Animaniacs was parodying in that scene when I saw it. Thanks for the heads up. I am familiar with the chess scene, but that's the only thing I knew about any of these films.

    Ah, Animaniacs... Back in the day, I had a cassette tape of various songs from the series. Countries of the World, anyone?

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  15. Not a Bergman fan at all. My wife likes him but she also enjoys those who make fun of him, myself included.

    "Why are the children so sad? Must it always rain?"

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  16. As a Scandinavian, I LOVE Scandinavian movies and books. I do love the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, along with the Cold Prey trilogy, and Let the Right One In.

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  17. Interesting look at Scandinavian films. I haven't seen any of these and it sounds like an acquired taste, which I haven't acquired yet. ☺ I did enjoy "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo".

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  18. Not seen any of these - I think I might add The Seventh Seal to my Blindspot next year.

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  19. I guess I thought I hadn't seen any Scandinavian movies until I saw the comments and remembered that I've seen the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie. That was good. Dark but good.

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  20. All of these are new to me. I don't think I have seen any Scandinavian movies.

    Have a good weekend!
    ~Jess

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  21. Hugs! Happy weekend ♥

    summerdaisycottage.blogspot.com

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  22. Persona is my favorite Bergman, I loved how weird it was. I haven't seen the other two.

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  23. I love the Animaniacs! When I first read that I wondered if they were something different in Canada, then I saw the clip. hahahaha. Why aren't there cartoons like Animaniacs anymore? I don't recall having seen any Bergman films. I'd probably fall asleep on them now, if I do. I'm happy reading your descriptions. The closest Scandinavian thing I've seen is The Farmer's Daughter.

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  24. You know what? I completely forgot about the great Ingmar Bergman. Great picks!

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  25. I saw his film, Wild Strawberries, ages ago, but none of these. He never reached me, but I was young and without sophistication. I think he required a more intellectual audience. Thanks for the trailers. Very interesting to see them.

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  26. I've never had a Scandinavian movie night. Sounds like an interesting idea though.

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  27. And here I thought "The Seventh Seal" was a nature film or the story of Sea World.

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  28. And here I thought "The Seventh Seal" was a nature film or the story of Sea World.

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  29. Totally lacking in culture here....I haven't seen any Scandinavian movies...Hanging head in shame.

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  30. Can't say Scandi movies have ever been on my radar. Does The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo count? :)

    Susan at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

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  31. I've seen some amazing Scandinavian movies - not one from your list though (oneday :)).

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  32. BIRGIT ~
    DOH! I'm late getting to this one. Sorry.

    Well, as you know, I'm not a fan of many Foreign movies. The folks out that-a-way have never seemed to figure out that there is a very definite structure to a screenplay that is necessarily quite different from a novel.

    Rule 1: Don't tell it; SHOW it!
    Rule 2: Plot Points in their proper places drive the story forward. A story told on film has time constraints and may not ramble as a story in a novel may.

    There are other rules they break to their detriment, but those are the two most crucial.

    Every so often though I DO find a foreign film I like. And I suppose my favorite Scandinavian example would be Ingmar Bergman's 'WILD STRAWBERRIES'. It was pretty abstract but I thought it was interesting and had some vivid imagery.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  33. Haha. Animaniacs is really witty. I enjoyed it.
    As far as the others, sorry you wasted your time. I won't be wasting mine.
    Hugs to you, my friend.

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  34. Ha! Wow, no, I can't say I've seen a trippy Scandinavian flick, but you had me at 'I think Bergman was on drugs'.

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