Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni, RIP - July 31, 2007

I was sad to see that both Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni had died on the same day. Back in the 1970's, when I went to a lot of foreign films and revivals at the Lumiere, the Bridge, the Surf, the Golden Gateway, the Parkside, and many other houses in and around San Francisco, I didn't see many films by either man. Perhaps I had bad timing, or perhaps the programmers didn't like Italian movies. Perhaps Bergman was considered old fashioned.
Thinking about the Bergman movies that I have seen, Wild Strawberries, The Seventh Seal, Autumn Sonata, Fanny and Alexander, and others, I can't say that I have always enjoyed them, in the sense that they gave me pleasure, but I have always learned things about people and cinema. The happiest moment I can remember was in The Magic Flute, with the throwaway shot of the dragon walking down the hall backstage.
The only Antonioni movie I can remember seeing is Blow Up. I have to look for some DVDs and continue my education.
Writing about Bergman, several people have mentioned that he was one of the last directors who grew up watching silent movies. The same must have been true of Antonioni.
I thought a black and white photo of Bergman was appropriate.

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