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Watch Ingmar Bergman Make a Movie in 2.5-Hour Documentary From the Set of ‘Winter Light’

The late Ingmar Bergman brought an unprecedented force of philosophical clarity to cinema. From The Seventh Seal to Wild Strawberries to Persona, he crafted some of the most fascinating and seminal work — not just out of Sweden, but the world of film at large. The feature that has stuck with me the most from him, The Hour of the Wolf, is a haunting, hallucinatory journey that is completely mesmerizing and utterly unshakeable. Bergman could apply dream logic to scenarios in the most unexpected and terrifying ways, blending them with “real” moments until you questioned which was which. His films have a towering presence and energy, and his visual vocabulary stands as a testament to the power of images — singular in their capacity as conduits of ideas, emotions, and story.

Ingmar Bergman Makes A Movie is a 1963 documentary, featuring two-and-a-half hours of footage from pre- to post-production of Bergman’s Winter Light.
See full article at The Film Stage »

Criterion Reflections – The Producers (1968) – Ld #35

David’s Quick Take for the tl;dr Media Consumer:

A brash, vulgar, wildly energetic and shamelessly provocative comedy romp that launched Mel Brooks as a film director, Gene Wilder as a popular comic actor, and grossly expanded the latitude extended to comedians in cinema, establishing radically poor taste as an acceptable marketing strategy in mainstream entertainment. Though The Producers is fondly remembered, massively influential and boasts some truly unforgettable sequences of inspired lunacy, too much time is dedicated to histrionic leering, shouting and shrieking episodes that don’t deliver enough in terms of wit to earn my enthusiastic endorsement overall. The story line is pretty familiar – a rambunctious Broadway showman conspires with a neurotic accountant to bilk investors in an offensive production, only to see their plan foiled when the play becomes an unexpected hit. The premise is clever and offers a broad platform for unbridled zaniness. A lot
See full article at CriterionCast »

Episode 171 – Vilgot Sjöman’s I Am Curious…

This time on the podcast, Scott is joined by David Blakeslee and James McCormick to discuss Vilgot Sjöman’s I Am Curious (Yellow) and I Am Curious (Blue).

About the film:

Seized by customs upon entry to the United States, subject of a heated court battle, banned in cities across the United States, Vilgot Sjöman’s I Am Curious—Yellow is one of the most controversial films of all time. This landmark document of Swedish society during the sexual revolution has been declared both obscene and revolutionary. It tells the story of Lena (Lena Nyman), a searching and rebellious young woman, and her personal quest to understand the social and political conditions in 1960s Sweden, as well as her bold exploration of her own sexual identity. Shattering taboos as it freely traverses the lines between fact and fiction, I Am Curious—Yellow is presented here for the first time with
See full article at CriterionCast »

Criterion Reflections – I Am Curious (Blue) (1968) – #181

David’s Quick Take for the tl;dr Media Consumer:

Both of Vilgot Sjöman’s I Am Curious films are far too often unjustly overlooked and appear to have been saddled with harsher reputations than either of them deserve. (Yellow) probably suffered a serious backlash due to its extraordinary popularity after it was censored and brought before the United States Supreme Court as obscene and therefore prohibited material, even though it doesn’t begin to approach anything we’d consider pornographic by contemporary standards. (Blue) was likewise dismissed and overlooked by the same crowds who were underwhelmed by (Yellow), expecting to see something that Sjöman never intended. Together, the two films are really just a combined, extended 3 1/2 hour anthology of Swedish culture and politics of the late 1960s as seen through the eyes of the director Sjöman and his young protege/lover/antagonist Lena Nyman, roughly half his age and
See full article at CriterionCast »

Sex Kitten Turned Two-Time Oscar Nominee on TCM Tonight

Ann-Margret movies: From sex kitten to two-time Oscar nominee. Ann-Margret: 'Carnal Knowledge' and 'Tommy' proved that 'sex symbol' was a remarkable actress Ann-Margret, the '60s star who went from sex kitten to respected actress and two-time Oscar nominee, is Turner Classic Movies' star today, Aug. 13, '15. As part of its “Summer Under the Stars” series, TCM is showing this evening the movies that earned Ann-Margret her Academy Award nods: Mike Nichols' Carnal Knowledge (1971) and Ken Russell's Tommy (1975). Written by Jules Feiffer, and starring Jack Nicholson and Art Garfunkel, the downbeat – some have found it misogynistic; others have praised it for presenting American men as chauvinistic pigs – Carnal Knowledge is one of the precursors of “adult Hollywood moviemaking,” a rare species that, propelled by the success of disparate arthouse fare such as Vilgot Sjöman's I Am Curious (Yellow) and Costa-Gavras' Z, briefly flourished from
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Oscar-Nominated Film Series: Bergman's Final, Disturbing Masterwork About Religion, Power and Child Abuse

'Fanny and Alexander' movie: Ingmar Bergman classic with Bertil Guve as Alexander Ekdahl 'Fanny and Alexander' movie review: Last Ingmar Bergman 'filmic film' Why Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander / Fanny och Alexander bears its appellation is a mystery – one of many in the director's final 'filmic film' – since the first titular character, Fanny (Pernilla Allwin) is at best a third- or fourth-level supporting character. In fact, in the three-hour theatrical version she is not even mentioned by name for nearly an hour into the film. Fanny and Alexander should have been called "Alexander and Fanny," or simply "Alexander," since it most closely follows two years – from 1907 to 1909 – in the life of young, handsome, brown-haired Alexander Ekdahl (Bertil Guve), the original "boy who sees dead people." Better yet, it should have been called "The Ekdahls," for that whole family is central to the film, especially Fanny and Alexander's beautiful blonde mother Emilie,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Definitive Religious Movies: 20-11

We move into the top 20 now, where the films become incredibly spiritual. One major component seen in many of these religious films: the overtones meant to instill a sense of mystery and wonder. You see it in films set in both sweeping landscapes and intimate settings. Whether or not any of the films on this list are condoning the acceptance or rejection of faith and religion is almost beside the point. The real point is that it is so influential on our culture that movies will always be made about it.

courtesy of lassothemovies.com

20. Babette’s Feast (1987)

Directed by Gabriel Axel

The 1987 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner (beating Au Revoir Les Enfants), Babette’s Feast is the story of two devout Christian sisters whose father – the leader of a small Christian sect in Denmark – has died. Unfortunately, Martine (Birgitte Federspiel) and Philippa (Bodjil Kjer) find they have no way to gain new members,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Barney Rosset, 1922 - 2012

  • MUBI
From John Gall, art director for Vintage and Anchor Books, comes word that legendary publisher and film distributor Barney Rosset has passed away at the age of 89. Gall points us to a lively profile by Louisa Thomas that ran in Newsweek in late 2008: "Rosset's publishing house, Grove Press, was a tiny company operating out of the ground floor of Rosset's brownstone when it published an obscure play called Waiting for Godot in 1954. By the time Beckett had won the Nobel Prize in 1969, Grove had become a force that challenged and changed literature and American culture in deep and lasting ways. Its impact is still evident — from the Che Guevara posters adorning college dorms to the canonical status of the house's once controversial authors. Rosset is less well known — but late in his life he is achieving some wider recognition. Last month, a black-tie crowd gave Rosset a standing ovation
See full article at MUBI »

Point Blank – review

From opening chase to brilliant climax, Fred Cavayé's gripping follow-up to Pour elle is well worth travelling for

One of Time Out's movie critics, David Jenkins, began a piece last week by asking: "How far would you travel to see a film?" In his case, the answer was a day trip to Lille to see The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick's Palme d'Or winner. Owing to some dispute over distribution rights, it wasn't being shown in Britain, and the Calais multiplex was only screening a French-dubbed version. Fortunately, the rights problem has been resolved and the picture opens here on 8 July.

Well, I'm just off on holiday to a remote corner of Värmland, a Swedish province largely denuded of cinemas. Torsby, Sven-Göran Eriksson's hometown to the north of where I'll be, has a main street called Biografgatan but no longer has a biograph. So I was ready
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Per Oscarsson obituary

Swedish actor best known for the 1966 film Hunger

Per Oscarsson, who has died aged 83, was perhaps the only leading Swedish actor who never worked with Ingmar Bergman. This might have been by accident rather than design, although Oscarsson was known for his manic performances, whereas Bergman's men were usually placid. In other words, Oscarsson was more Klaus Kinski than Max Von Sydow.

Oscarsson's most memorable role was in Sult (Hunger, 1966) as Pontus, a bespectacled, penniless and starving young writer in Norway at the end of the 19th century. His complex, agonisingly convincing portrait of a man, ravaged by hunger, whose mind is on the verge of disintegration, split between moments of lucidity and despair, won Oscarsson the best actor award at Cannes and worldwide acclaim.

Hunger was the first all-Scandinavian co-production. Shot in Oslo, it was based on the famous psychological novel by the Norwegian author Knut Hamsun, with a
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Lena Nyman obituary

Swedish star of the notorious 1967 film I Am Curious (Yellow)

The Swedish actor Lena Nyman has died of cancer aged 66, a day after the death of Maria Schneider. Both actors were instantly associated with a sexually explicit film: Schneider with Last Tango in Paris and Nyman with I Am Curious (Yellow). But while Schneider's career and life suffered consequently, Nyman went on to establish herself as a well-loved performer in her native country.

Cut by 11 minutes in Britain, I Am Curious (Yellow) (1967), directed by Vilgot Sjöman, was seized by the Us customs, pronounced obscene and banned. But a federal appeals court then ruled that it was protected under the first amendment, which allowed it to be released in March 1969 – though only in New York and New Jersey. From today's perspective, it seems much ado about nothing, but the brouhaha helped it remain the most financially successful foreign film in the
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Lena Nyman, 1944 - 2011

  • MUBI
Updated through 2/7.

"Swedish actress Lena Nyman, who starred in Ingmar Bergman's 1978 film Autumn Sonata, died Friday after a long illness, her agent told Afp. Nyman got her breakthrough in Vilgot Sjöman's 1967 and 1968 landmark films I Am Curious (Yellow) and I Am Curious (Blue)… She obtained the Swedish Film Institute's Guldbagge award for Best Actress in 1968 for her work in both films, which had caused scandal because of her nudity… Tributes to the actress poured in in Sweden Friday, where she is known for her work in theatre, film and television."
See full article at MUBI »

Lena Nyman Dies: I Am Curious (Yellow) Banned as Pornography

Lena Nyman in Vilgot Sjöman's I Am Curious (Yellow) Lena Nyman, the Swedish actress who starred in the controversial, sexually charged Swedish drama I Am Curious (Yellow), died today following "a long illness." She was 66. Curiously, Nyman's death took place one day after that of another star of another controversial, sexually charged release of that era, Last Tango in Paris' Maria Schneider. Shot in documentary style — the director plays himself, Nyman plays a character named "Lena," and so on — and featuring simulated sex and male/female nudity, Vilgot Sjöman's Jag är nyfiken – gul / I Am Curious (Yellow) was released in Sweden in 1967, thus preceding Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris by five years. When the film arrived in the United States, it was seized by customs as pornographic material, which, if allowed into the country would lead to more race riots and political assassinations, not to
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander in W Magazine: Chopped Hair, Bleached Eyebrows, Pierced Nipple

Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander, the anti-heroine in David Fincher's remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Starring Noomi Rapace, Niels Arden Oplev's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo became a global blockbuster in 2010. In fact, this film adaptation of the first book in Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy is quite possibly the most commercially successful Swedish production ever after Vilgot Sjöman's I Am Curious (Yellow) (1967), which had the advantage of being banned in the United States (customs seized it as "pornography") for two years. After I Am Curious (Yellow) was finally released in 1969, it became a box-office phenomenon in the Us, grossing $20.23m (or about $113.3m today) in that country alone. David Fincher's remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which has The Social Network's Rooney Mara replacing Noomi Rapace, will open in late 2011. According to W magazine, to prepare for the
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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