Céline Sciamma’s Study of Eurydice’s Gaze in “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”

At the beginning of the film, we see a paintress conversing with her students, and in the background, there is a picture they brought, but they should not. The painting portrays a grayish landscape, and a woman with her dress on fire, slowly walking towards it centre, so it seems. The majority of the painting … Continue reading Céline Sciamma’s Study of Eurydice’s Gaze in “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”

The Nameless God in Ingmar Bergman’s Mythical Tale “The Virgin Spring”

  Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring is an adaptation of a thirteen century Swedish ballad. Christanity became a state religion in Sweden in the twelfth century, while the process of Christianization of Sweden began roughly in the ninth century. This means that the tale we witness on the screen, portrays an age in which Christianity … Continue reading The Nameless God in Ingmar Bergman’s Mythical Tale “The Virgin Spring”

Chastity and Carnality Shot in Monochrome: Pawlikowski’s “Ida”

  Pawlikowski once said that “Ida doesn’t set out to explain history. That’s not what it’s about. The story is focused on very concrete and complex characters who are full of humanity with all its paradoxes. They’re not pawns used to illustrate some version of history or an ideology.” I find this to be immensely … Continue reading Chastity and Carnality Shot in Monochrome: Pawlikowski’s “Ida”

January – Black and White European Cinema Month

The first article I have published this year on this site was about a contemporary black-and-white Hungarian film Werckmeister Harmonies (2000), with the title “A Mortal God”. In this article, I explored the apocalyptic symbolism behind a decaying whale, and the pessimist philosophy of cosmic proportions presented in the film. Later, another article about a … Continue reading January – Black and White European Cinema Month

Everlasting Iniquities of the Fathers in Haneke’s “The White Ribbon”

The White Ribbon is, as it is proclaimed at the beginning of the film: “A German’s Children Story”. It is narrated by the School Teacher who is now in his late years, and has presumably survived two World Wars. He says “I don’t know if the story I am about to tell you is entirely … Continue reading Everlasting Iniquities of the Fathers in Haneke’s “The White Ribbon”

Majestic Decay of a Mortal God in Béla Tarr’s “Werckmeister Harmonies”

Valuska, a dreamy, and intellectually “slow” postman, with a poetic understanding of his surroundings, stages a little scene with a bunch of weary drunkards, in a bar, at the very beginning of the film. He arranges the drunkards to act the roles of the the Moon and the Earth, as they revolve around the Sun. … Continue reading Majestic Decay of a Mortal God in Béla Tarr’s “Werckmeister Harmonies”

Vision of God as a Spider in Bergman’s “Through a Glass Darkly”

In the thirteenth chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthians, St Paul says: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I also am known”. In these St Paul’s words, practically the whole film Through the Glass … Continue reading Vision of God as a Spider in Bergman’s “Through a Glass Darkly”

Fascism and the Father Figure in Bertolucci’s “The Conformist”

Bernardo Bertolucci's tour de force follows a fascist agent of the secret police whose assignment is to assassinate his former university professor. Set mostly in 1938., it doesn't deal with broader societal aspects of the rulling regime, it is a study of a personality, Marcello's, who willingly serves the fascist regime. When one of the … Continue reading Fascism and the Father Figure in Bertolucci’s “The Conformist”

Celebration of Life’s Evening in Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth”

To the poet, to the philosopher, to the saint, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine. Ralph Waldo Emerson We might add that this applies to the filmmakers like Paolo Sorrentino as well. Sorrentino portrays the holiness of days passing and the divine in men with particular … Continue reading Celebration of Life’s Evening in Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth”

Romanticization of the Staasi in “The Lives of Others”: Auschwitz of the Soul

Introductory remarks: The painting selected alongside the headline of the article is Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's "Mountains and Houses In the Snow". His expressionism conveys the overstressed colors which are on the verge of puncture. For this article, white and its sublime horror presented in the painting are particularly interesting. The symbolism of this use of … Continue reading Romanticization of the Staasi in “The Lives of Others”: Auschwitz of the Soul