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Ingmar Bergman Film Trilogy (Criterion Collection) (1961-1963)

Cast: Ingrid Thulin, Ingrid Thulin, Harriet Andersson, more...
Director: Ingmar Bergman, Ingmar Bergman
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Studio: Criterion
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Scandinavia, Criterion Collection
Subtitles: English
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Synopses
The Silence (Criterion Collection) (1963)
The third entry in Ingmar Bergman's trilogy about faith and redemption (with Through A Glass Darkly and Winter Light) is a stark and enigmatic allegory fueled by subtle performances from Ingrid Thulin and Gunnel Lindblom. Thulin plays Ester, a translator and intellectual, who is traveling back to Sweden on a train with her younger sister Anna (Linblom) and Anna's son Johan (Jorgen Lindstrom). They stop in the town of Timuku and check into an old hotel in a foreign land where the language cannot be understood by the three travelers. Ester, who suffers from a terminal lung disease, is very protective towards Anna; but Anna resents being tied down by her sickly sister, and she leaves the hotel room, picking up a waiter (Birger Malmsten in a nearby café. Returning to the hotel room, Anna tells Ester about her sexual encounter with the waiter, and Ester becomes sexually aroused. Anna leaves for another room in the hotel to continue making love with the waiter. Johan helps Ester track Anna down Anna, and Anna and the waiter proceed to make love a third time. This provokes a violent and biter argument between the two sisters. ~ Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide

Through a Glass Darkly (Criterion Collection) (1961)
Ingmar Bergman won his second Best Foreign Film Oscar for the moody family drama Through a Glass Darkly. It is the first of what came to be called his "chamber dramas," which positioned four characters in one place where they could interact like a string quartet. It has also been referred to as the first of his trilogy of faith, followed by Winter Light and The Silence, dealing with issues of God and love. Shot in black-and-white and running only 90 minutes long, the film opens with a quote from the book of Corinthians. Suffering from severe mental illness, Karin (Harriet Andersson) has just been released from a psychiatric hospital. She vacations for a summer on an island with her family to help speed up her recovery, but they can't offer the support that she needs. Her father, David (Gunnar Björnstrand), is a clinical and detached writer; her husband, Martin (Max Von Sydow), is a doctor unable to assist her illness; and her brother, Minus (Lars Passgård), is sexually coming of age and dealing with his own emotional problems. Karin's condition worsens and she thinks a spider is God. It has been argued that the script for Through a Glass Darkly was influenced by Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story, The Yellow Wallpaper. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, All Movie Guide

Winter Light (Criterion Collection) (1962)
The Winter Light is the second in a trilogy of dramas by acclaimed Swedish director Ingmar Bergman that explores religious faith and doubts in a visceral, visual, and provocative manner. The first, Through a Glass Darkly, was an international success and heralded this new phase in the director's career. This compelling drama is set within a three-hour period on a Sunday afternoon in November, and begins when the local pastor, Tomas Ericsson (Gunnar Bjornstrand), is finishing his sermon. As of late, Pastor Ericsson has watched his congregation dwindle to a minimal level. Among the remaining parishioners is
Marta (Ingrid Thulin) a plain-looking schoolteacher who has long been in love with the pastor. Meanwhile, fisherman Jonas (Max von Sydow) is anxiety-ridden over the nuclear power of the Communist Chinese, but Pastor Ericsson cannot help him, saddled with some overwhelming spiritual dilemmas of his own. As Ericsson struggles with his demons and faces Marta's unwanted (and to him, repugnant) romantic attentions, some hints of the qualities of God begin to surface. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

The Silence (Criterion Collection) (1963)
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7.67 (93 votes)
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Through a Glass Darkly (Criterion Collection) (1961)
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8.23 (132 votes)
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Winter Light (Criterion Collection) (1962)
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8.21 (112 votes)
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GreenCine Member Reviews

Antidote to simplistic moralism by SBarnett February 27, 2008 - 8:58 AM PST
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2 out of 3 members found this review helpful
"Through a Glass Darkly" is one of Bergman's best films (along with "Seventh Seal," "Virgin Spring," and "Wild Strawberries"), which makes it one of the best films ever made. Pure Bergman: an intense confrontation with religion, family dynamics, art, and madness, set in a landscape so powerful it dominates the characters. The cinematography is outstanding--you can pause your dvd player at any moment and find yourself looking at an exquisite composition of light and shadow shot with available light. Karin's (Harriet Andersson) vision of God is a humanist revelation. For an antidote to simplistic moralism, immerse yourself in this spare, elegant, unflinching film.

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