Who will care for us when we die? Who will keep our memories alive? Who will comfort us and give us dignity? Is comfort and dignity something that can even be given? I have a lot of questions swirling through my mind after viewing Ingmar Bergman’s Cries and Whispers for the first time yesterday afternoon.
I’m well aware that Cries and Whispers is one of Bergman’s most well regarded films. However, I am just getting around to seeing it now for the first time thanks to the newly released Bergman box set distributed by the Criterion Collection. I’ve been a fan of his films for a very long time, really ever since seeing The Seventh Seal on cable television of all things complete with commercial breaks and a few important scenes cut for the sake of fitting the film into a specific late night time slot. That was more than twenty years ago and I’ve managed to get my hands on numerous works since then. But Cries and Whispers was always one of those movies that eluded me. So thank you Criterion, I now have in my possession a comprehensive (though not totally complete) library of Ingmar Bergman films.
Anyway, back to Cries and Whispers. It’s not often that a film will move me to such a degree that I feel compelled to put my thoughts to paper immediately and without a second viewing. If this essay feels scattered and not entirely well expressed you can blame the fact that Cries and Whispers is still lingering on the surface of my brain and it will take some time for it to absorb into the sub-conscience. Like many Bergman films, Cries and Whispers is a film that takes some time to truly sink in. The more you think about them, the more elusive they can be. The seed of thought needs to grow naturally on its own accord.Read More