RARA-AVIS: Re: Slightly OT: Ingmar Bergman Noir?

From: Jacques Debierue ( matrxtech@yahoo.com)
Date: 14 Mar 2007

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "GERLACH, Steve" <steve.gerlach@...> wrote:
> Anyone got a view on Ingmar Bergman being a great Noir film director?
> Amazon says (regarding a recently released collection): Before The Seventh
> Seal and Wild Strawberries established him as one of the great masters of
> cinema, Ingmar Bergman created a series of less well known, devastating
> psychological character studies, marked by intricate, layered narratives,
> gritty environments, and haunting visuals. These early films, which show the
> stirrings of the genius to come, remain the hidden treasures of a European
> cinema on the cusp of a golden age. The films are Torment / Crisis / Port of
> Call / Thirst / To Joy and I'm wondering if I should pick them up. Any
> feedback greatly appreciated.

Well, it depends on how you define "hidden"... those films have been shown over and over since their release. I think the medieval trilogy (The Seventh Seal, The Virgin Spring and The Magician) do have noir elements, but they are mainly related to the art of film, not to literature per se. Perhaps The Silence could qualify as noir, too. But on the whole, Bergman belongs in a wholly different tradition (Strindberg, Sjg, even Dreyer, etc.).

Since we are talking about great masters, some of Andrzej Wajda's films and stories can qualify as noir (Ashes and Diamonds, Kanal).

Perhaps we should not try to stretch noir to cover anything pessimistic; otherwise, the term would lose power rapidly.



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