Through a Glass Darkly (1961)

Director: Ingmar Bergman

Actors: Harriet Andersson, Gunnar Bjornstrand, Max von Sydow, and Lars Passgard

IMDb rating: 10/10 (click for page)

Language: Swedish with English Subtitles

Available in Criterion Collection and Hulu Plus

Bergman is one of my favorite directors. One reason, he is Swedish and because of my family heritage I am always drawn toward the Swedes. But that aside he is one the best filmmakers ever. He is not the best storyteller but the characters he builds are just amazing. Usually, you begin his films thinking “Okay this is going to be an alright film.” However, by the end of the film you are like “That was an amazing film!” Through a Glass Darkly is no exception.

As with most of Bergman’s films, you are thrown into a situation which you know nothing about. Thus you have to put the pieces together, which what makes Bergman so fun. The situation in a Glass Darkly is four family members, a father, a daughter and her husband, and a son, are on the family island and all are together for the first time in months. What you find out is the daughter is schizophrenic. But I will not tell anymore of the story because I hate being the spoiler.

As stated above what makes Bergman amazing is his characters. The characters again are David (father), Karin (daughter), Martin (husband), and Minus (son). The character that is centered on and everything is developed from is Karin. And as the movie progress you begin to see how each character is affected by Karin. For example, the father who is writer discovers by the end of the film that he should had been there more for his family. This lead me to another thing that makes Bergman great.

Bergman refuses to give you everything. In other words, he lets the viewer discover what is going on by piecing things together. This is not done in many mainstream films. This is actually what has driven me to watch films like this for I just got bored with all the films giving me everything. But I am starting to ramble so I will probably write a blog about this someday.

Lastly, as with all of the Bergman films I have seen, A Glass Darkly is just a beautiful film. It is filled with many shots like the above picture. Shots that are able to say more than dialogue could ever express. They also portray the exact emotion that Bergman wants you to feel.

If you are looking for something more in the films you watch. Bergman is not a bad place to start, although I would suggest to start with The Seventh Seal. But you can’t go wrong with any of his films. I am eager to watch more of Bergman and can’t wait to re-watch the ones I have already seen.

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