Dir: Ingmar Bergman
Lots of synergy in this film from my recent viewings. Bergman and Allen, obviously. Hannah and Her Sisters featured Max von Sydow, who also stars here. And the introduction to this brand new Criterion DVD production is given by Ang Lee of Brokeback Mountain. He says it is the most influential film upon his work; indeed, it was the first "art" film that he ever saw, somehow making its way into Taiwan in 1972.
As one should expect from a Bergman Oscar winner (so many others deserved that title as well), the movie is brilliant. Bergman has adapted a 12th century folk ballad, and the story contains all of the operatic and mythic elements that one would expect from such a tale. Two sisters are on their way to church where one is assaulted by bandits. The evildoers arrive later that night at the girls' home, failing to recognize that they are seeking shelter from their victim's father. The resulting narrative explores Bergman's two favorite issues, guilt and faith.
The film is highly allegorical, almost fantastical, and this mysticism adds an ethereal element to the often hyper-realistic Bergman (Seventh Seal notwithstanding). The film is exquisitely shot as well, with lush forests transitioning to cramped cottages as the story develops. The Criterion people have done an unbelievable job of making the film jump off the screen, the forest scenes bathed in sunlight positively glowing but still razor sharp in resolution.
Bergman's frank treatment of God's apparent abandonment of His children at times of suffering is powerful and engaging. The film is particularly lyrical and visually satisfying. Another tremendous entry in his almost unparalleled canon.
BDE? I'm getting close.