Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Céline Sciamma, 2019) “Eurydice’s Gaze“

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 Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Céline Sciamma, 2019) “Eurydice’s Gaze“

In Robert Bresson’s Words “Life as a Stage and Life as a Dream”

Two types of films: those that employ the resources of the theater (actors, direction etc...) and use the camera in order to reproduce; those that employ the resources of cinematography and use the camera to create. Robert Bresson, Notes on the Cinematographer Robert Bresson, a French director who gave us many masterpieces, Au Hasard Balthazar, … Continue reading In Robert Bresson’s Words “Life as a Stage and Life as a Dream”

The Virgin Spring (Ingmar Bergman, 1960) “The Nameless God”

  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 Virgin Spring (Ingmar Bergman, 1960) “The Nameless God”

Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2013) “Paradoxes of Humanity”

  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 Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2013) “Paradoxes of Humanity”

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

The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke, 2009) “Iniquities of the Fathers”

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 The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke, 2009) “Iniquities of the Fathers”

Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, 2000) “A Mortal God”

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 Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, 2000) “A Mortal God”

Through A Glass Darkly (Ingmar Bergman, 1961) “Vision of God As A Spider”

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 Through A Glass Darkly (Ingmar Bergman, 1961) “Vision of God As A Spider”

The Conformist (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970) “The Psychology of Fascism”

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 The Conformist (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970) “The Psychology of Fascism”

Youth (Paolo Sorrentino, 2015) “Fragments of Life’s Evening “

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. Sorretino portrays the holiness of days passing and the divine in men with particular … Continue reading Youth (Paolo Sorrentino, 2015) “Fragments of Life’s Evening “