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Tystnaden/The Silence (1963) - Ingmar Bergman

Related: Ingmar Bergman - 1963 - film


A movie written and directed by Ingmar Bergman in 1963, starring Ingrid Thulin and Gunnel Lindblom as main characters. The movie was very controversial in that it depicted female masturbation and the "Silence" in the title is supposed to be the silence of God. The plot involves two sisters: one is dying and the other mentally ill. They have an undefined incestuous relationship, and both are mostly concerned with pitying themselves. The movie takes place during a time leading up to an unspecified war in what seems to be an undefined European country, but one that subtle clues (including the misspelled name of the town) appear to point to as being Finland. An Internet Movie Database is quoted as classifying it: "This is Bergman at his most disturbing." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Silence [Jan 2006]

On artistic level the French film theorist Jean Mitry considers The Silence (1963) the perfect example of anticinema, a literary film, embodying everything which should be avoided. "Then we have one of the sisters masturbating while down in the street a tank which has been rolling through the town completely on its own comes to halt, coincidentally right underneath of the windows of her bedroom. No need to mention the sexual symbolism of the tank's gun pointed in the direction of the bedroom, by why on earth should that particular tank be rolling through the streets on its own, except to create its petty effect and to symbolize symbolically a symbolic menace? Etc." (from The Aesthetics and Psychology of the Cinema, 1997) --http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/bergman.htm [Oct 2004]

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