3 items from 2015
Criterion repackages one of its earlier Ingmar Bergman inclusions this month, restoring his brilliant, enigmatic 1972 masterpiece Cries and Whispers for Blu-ray release. Financed with Bergman’s own money, the auteur had difficulty securing an American distributor, eventually finding an unlikely champion in Roger Corman, of all people, who had recently established his own releasing company, New World, and was in search of prestige titles to build artistic merit.
Rushed to theatrical release to qualify for Academy Awards consideration, it would secure five nominations, including for Best Picture and Director, winning Best Cinematography for Sven Nyqvist, before going on to be selected to play out of competition at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival (awarded the Vulcain Prize of the Technical Artist). In Bergman’s illustrious filmography, it’s unnecessary (and incredibly difficult) to endow any one title as his best from a body of work that sports a myriad of celebrated examples spanning seven decades. »
- Nicholas Bell
“Cries And Sisters”
One of the late, great Ingmar Bergman’s skills as a filmmaker was to write and direct memorable roles for women. He was one of the few directors, such as Ford or Altman or Allen, who repeatedly relied on a “stock company” of actors throughout his career. While there were many wonderful male actors who worked for Bergman (Max von Sydow, Erland Josephson, Gunnar Björnstrand), we generally remember the women—Liv Ullmann, Harriet Andersson, Ingrid Thulin, Eva Dahlbeck, Bibi Andersson, among many—for baring their souls on screen in Bergman’s challenging, difficult works that always elevated the art of film to breathtaking levels.
Cries and Whispers is an excellent example of the power of the female actor. It’s essentially a four-woman chamber piece, taking place in the late 1800s in Sweden, about three sisters and a servant, their relationships to each other, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Editor's Note: RogerEbert.com is proud to reprint Roger Ebert's 1978 entry from the Encyclopedia Britannica publication "The Great Ideas Today," part of "The Great Books of the Western World." Reprinted with permission from The Great Ideas Today ©1978 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
It's a measure of how completely the Internet has transformed communication that I need to explain, for the benefit of some younger readers, what encyclopedias were: bound editions summing up all available knowledge, delivered to one's home in handsome bound editions. The "Great Books" series zeroed in on books about history, poetry, natural science, math and other fields of study; the "Great Ideas" series was meant to tie all the ideas together, and that was the mission given to Roger when he undertook this piece about film.
Given the venue he was writing for, it's probably wisest to look at Roger's long, wide-ranging piece as a snapshot of the »
- Roger Ebert
3 items from 2015
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