Sunday, 18 November 2012

The Silence (1963)

The Silence,1963,Sweden
Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Ingrid Thulin, Gunnel Lindblom & Birger Malmsten
''The horrible forces. You need to watch your step among all the ghosts and memories. All this talk... There's no need to discuss loneliness. It's a waste of time.''

I'm not sure why it took me so long to finally getting around to watching Ingmar Bergman's final installment in his unofficial 'Faith in God' trilogy, 'Through A Glass Darkly' was great and 'Winter Light' was damn near life changing perfection, I guess so many other films got in the way and prevented me from seeing this , but I finally found time to watch 'The Silence' today.

The film revolves around two sisters, Ester (Ingrid Thulin) & Anna (Gunnel Lindblom) and the emotional distance between them, The two are traveling home along with Anna's son Johan, an innocent minded young boy who is oblivious to the inner turmoil between his two mother figures.

'The Silence' was one of the most surreal viewing experiences I think I have ever had, after witnessing the beauty of 'Winter Light' which was stooped in the pain of real life, 'The Silence' is a completely different animal, From the early stages of the film we are bombarded with heavy symbolism and imagery alluding to sensuality which continues throughout the duration, I didn't feel Bergman's questioning of religion was all that present in this film compared to 'Winter Light', instead he focuses heavily on sibling despair, the emotional connection that has been lost between two sisters, Upon the films release, it was widely shunned for being too heavily based on sensuality, while there is definitely some there, I believe its highly unreasonable to label it as 'Semi - pornographic', Bergman is an artist in full control of his work, and 'The Silence' may just be his greatest achievement.

Like all of Bergman's work, 'The Silence' is beautifully shot by cinematographer Sven Nykvist, such vibrant, dim and atmospheric scenes, its easy to see why Nykvist is one of the best.

The film features powerhouse performances, especially from Ingrid Thulin who was always amazing, especially when working with Bergman.Gunnel Lindblom is also fantastic.

I was not expecting such a visceral and surrealistic experience, but 'The Silence' stunned me and left me in awe due to its beauty and intricacy. There are some heavily themes here, which Bergman works to near perfection, proving why he was one of the greatest filmmakers.


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