strawdogs

and now for my next trick

what happens when the one who dreamt us wakes up and feels ashamed?

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skammen

I found a copy of Bergman’s The Shame and watched it last night.  And of course highly recommend it.  It’s about a couple who are artists and trying to avoid a war but it eventually comes to them and changes their lives.  I’ve rarely watched a film that so convincingly and relentlessly takes you right to the human heart.  And on the surface it’s just people moving around and talking while bombs go off in the background. 

The Von Sydow character Jan is one of the weakest male characters in film, and makes you think the Ullmann character Eva is strong.  She is.  He feels everything and reacts by retreating; she feels deeply too but is more reactive.   He talks about the past and music, she about bringing a child into this uncertain world.

The action is picaresque, event to image to action to event, and the feeling is despairing that our lives in war are completely manipulated by forces we can’t see or know and then the violence arrives at the door.  The hinge is Eva’s dream:

Eva: Sometimes everything seems just like a dream. It’s not my dream, but someone else’s, that I have to participate in. What happens when the one who dreamt us wakes up and feels ashamed?

An existential question for our times – what happens when?  There’s her strength, she knows someone will wake up and that there will be shame.

I like this website, Ingmar Bergman Face to Face.

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Written by Peter Rudd

March 14, 2009 at 3:33 pm

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