|Page 1 of 3:||  |
|Index||21 reviews in total|
I saw this when it came out in '68, and like everyone else in the theater I initially assumed it was a legitimate Bergman film. The look and feel of the picture was perfect, down to the lingering silences, pregnant with meaning. Or so we thought. About two minutes into it, I began to hear a few people giggling, then a few more as slowly it dawned on the audience that this wasn't the Master Himself after all. Soon everyone was roaring, and by the time it was over most of us were ruined for the feature film (No, I have no idea what it was). You don't have to be familiar with Bergman to enjoy this, but it helps. This is an inspired masterpiece that I rate up there with such untouchable classics as "Bambi Meets Godzilla". When is someone going to put these old shorts on video or DVD? The world could use the laughter these days.
This short film would show up in Manhattan movie theaters every so often
ten years or more. We remember it so well because we treasured our first
viewings of it, and were so flummoxed by trying to describe it to friends,
that the subsequent viewings were often spent compiling mental notes. As
70s wore on and Madeline Kahn's star brightly ascended, her big joke --
"phallica symbole?" -- became widely quoted. To be able to quote that line
got used more than once to fake having actually seen this cool in-joke of
cinemagoers. The more of us who saw it, the more we tormented our virgin
friends over their having missed it yet again, while arming them with more
details to fake their way through chuckling with the beaming cocktailers
rather than in envy of them.
Kind of like an initiation rite, because the more pretentious the moviegoer -- those cocktailing cognoscenti -- the more humiliating the first viewing must have been, especially if one were not extra-attentive to the gibberishy narration/dialogue track (overstuffed with nature sounds, to further the verisimilitude).
Much as with actual Swedish, the first jokes detected were often squelched as inappropriate thoughts, distant Germanic echoes from a related tongue, so those who believed they were watching a meditation on memory had the hardest time catching on that they'd been slipped an unannounced comic short. Only well into the 70s did newspaper ads start billing when De Düva (The Dove) would be shown.
Even after realizing it's a comedy, what we took to be Swedishy gibberish revealed itself to be a pastiche of Scandinavianized English, Yiddishisms, and silly dirty jokes.
The climactic incest scene was the hottest screen action I'd ever seen to that point, satirizing the brief era when Swedish features showed more skin than US-released ones.
Years ago, long before DVD's, video tapes, cable TV, etc. the only was
to see films like "The Dove" except at an art house movie theater was
to rent a 16 mm print of it, a projector, a screen and get a large room
to set up. We used to do this at college and held screenings once a
month. There were companies that
supplied the college circuit with independent and underground films. It was a good way for new filmmakers to have their works seen. Most films were
forgettable but not this one. I remember it as the most enjoyable and funniest too.
Years later when I was working with Sven Nykvist on "Only You" I mentioned to him that I had seen "The Dove" and asked him if he had. He smiled and told me that he had and that Ingmar Bergman had seen it too and loved it!
This film first smashed its way into film goers mass consciousness in the late Sixties when it was tagged unannounced into art houses all over the country. I caught it at the Art Theatre in Akron, Ohio, as a prelude to the main feature, Putney Swope(also recommended for anyone who liked this). Or maybe it preceded Greetings, same location with direction by Brian De Palma and starring Robert Deniro in their first movie, another highly recommended film of frivolous fun. At any rate, it had to be one of the two back in those Ripple years. The Dove even has a young Madaline Kahn and set the stage for the advent of Mel Brooks and Woody Allen to entertain us with feature length nonsense that makes a sabered point. If you think Bill and Ted's wrestling with Death was original and funny, here, in fact, is where the entire battle gestated from. No point outlining the plot and purpose, others have done so very well here, but I do have to urge anyone and everyone to catch this under whatever opportunities they have. Beyond Classic.
Assuming you can find a copy, this is one of the greatest ambush films of all time. Have a few of your movie fanatic friends over for some serious film viewing, and sometime that evening, without warning, start playing "The Dove". It is so well done that when I first saw it I took it seriously... that is until I realized that the word "water" in the subtitles was translating a "Swedish" word pronounced "H2Oska". If you play it right, you can wait and see how long it takes for your friends to catch on.
I'm a fan of Ingmar Bergman and respect him as one of cinema's greatest and most intelligent stylists. Still, I can see where many of his detractors are coming from and I find this affectionate parody absolutely hilarious. Anyone who says Bergman is too serious an artist to be mocked is simply put a snob. "De Duva" accurately portrays what the average person's idea of a Bergman film is like yet is never disrespectful to him. I'm sure Mel Brooks has seen this and is an admirer because, in addition to the casting of Madeline Kahn in her first role, it definitely prefigures the style of spoof he'd prefect with "Young Frankenstein" and "Blazing Saddles". The film needs to be watched twice, once to catch the hilarious subtitles and than to pay attention to the uproarious parody of the Swedish language. "De Duva: The Dove" is short and sweet, and a must see for any film buff who doesn't take the art form too seriously. (8/10)
Seen in the fall of 1969 at a downtown Pittsburgh theater, it continues
to be the funniest movie short I ever saw. Like the writer in the post
above, no one knew what to expect. I had read a review of the film
prior to attending. Having a hint of what to expect my friends and I
began laughing early in the run, to the bemused confusion of the
audience. Soon others began to understanding snippets of the fake
Swedish dialog, causing trickles of laughter. By the end of the film
the entire audience was howling.
I do remember the film that followed "Last Summer" with Barbara Hershey but it didn't come close to De Duva for entertainment.
The last time I checked,about 20 years ago, the University of Pittsburgh library had a copy. I'm not sure if its still there but would very much like to buy a reasonably priced CD or VHS copy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In 1977 I had a really cool high school English teacher who did two
particularly good things I'll never forget. The first was teach us all
about media manipulation. The second was to have us all watch De Düva
in the class, without any explanation beforehand. I was 14 or 15 years
old, and had no prior knowledge of Bergman films.
I don't even think the SCTV parody of Bergman was out by that time. It took a few minutes before I suspected this film wasn't serious - one particular bit I remember is when the subtitle says something like "....the night" and the actor's voice says something like ".... pitchen blackness". My young self thought that this can't possibly be real Swedish!
I thought about this film a lot in the coming weeks/months, not understanding it completely.
Around 1980 in college, at the library we could actually sign out films and screen them in a small room. There was an alphabetic list and a bunch of us would get together during some breaks and take turns picking films. I randomly spotted "The Dove" in the list and gambled that it was that really weird film I had seen a few years earlier. Well, a little older, and a little exposure to Bergman (maybe even only via the SCTV parody by that time) allowed me to GET the film this time. It was funnier the 2nd time. It was especially funny noticing the moment that OTHER people would start to get it.
If there ever was a film to NOT spoil for somebody, this is it.
It's funny, but it took me a few minutes to figure out that Buckaroo Banzai and This Is Spinal Tap were spoofs too.
Some folks take pride in saying things like "I knew it all along", but I absolutely love being surprised, whether it's in something like the above mentioned films or in a plot twist like in Silence of the Lambs or Crying Game or Sixth Sense.
I worked with a man who was quite serious. After a weekend, I asked what
he'd done, and he'd gone to the same movie I had. Along with the main
feature, De Duva was shown.
I asked him how he liked it. He said, "It was O.K., but the audience was so disrespectful." He and his wife had sat through the whole film, not realizing it was a parody in, as one of the other people put it, macaroni English. He had taken the whole thing straight, and hadn't caught on it was a parody.
When I had seen it, I was interested at first because I am a first, second, and third generation Swedish American, and while I don't speak Swedish, I do understand a word or phrase here or there in Swedish films. I sat there, for a couple of minutes, trying to reconcile the English subtitles to words in some Swedish dialect that wasn't making sense to me, until I realized it was not Swedish at all.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film combines two of Ingmar Bergman's most successful films, THE
SEVENTH VEIL and WILD STRAWBERRIES, into a parody that is a must-see
for fans of Bergman that don't take his work too seriously! I could
imagine some fans being offended by this silly film--exactly the same
type people who insist Shakespeare can't be parodied as well. Well, I
liked these two very somber movies and still love how this little film
completely tears them apart. In particular, I love how the Angel of
Death agrees not to play a game of chess to determines whether or not a
man can keep his soul (like in The 7th Veil)--but battles it out over
badminton! It's silly, schlocky and funny as they speak in faux-Swedish
and get the look of the original as well!
However, to really enjoy the film, it's best if you have seen the Bergman films. Others will probably also like it, but to a lesser extent.
|Page 1 of 3:||  |
|External reviews||Parents Guide||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|