Showing posts from December, 2017

Fanny and Alexander (film)

This was a film that was made at the end of Bergman's life and there is a feeling throughout the film of reflection tinged with nostalgia, and dotted throughout with autobiographical material. Set around the beginning of the 20th century, this is a fairytale like story of the Ekdahl family told through the eyes of its youngest Fanny and Alexander. The film opens on the eve of Christmas where the grand Ekdahl household is bustling with preparations for festivities. There is something comforting about watching all the Christmas decor, food, and traditions that were being observed. It reminds me of what Ang Lee said about his work in Eat Drink Man Woman: time and time again he would present an amazing spread of food that goes uneaten inducing a feeling of yearning or dissatisfaction. Bergman seems to play on this idea but produces the opposite effect (I'm not suggesting that Bergman was inspired by Ang Lee and it wouldn't be possible as EDMW came out in 1994). The earl

Things to come ; L'avenir (film)

I am loving everything with Isabelle Huppert in it lately and this quirky, thoughtful piece certainly did not disappoint. Isabelle Huppert plays Nathalie Chazeaux, a philosophy teacher who initially seems to have lots of good things going for her. Her and her husband seem to have a solid relationship (he also teaches philosophy at university), she gets along with her children and her rather difficult mother, and she has been in her field for more than a decade yet is still enthusiastic about philosophical ideas. What becomes clear through a series of events is that she is detached from the ideas and principles she teaches. The viewers get a glimpse of this when she refuses to allow students to have a debate about a current political event insisting that they are there to "learn" about. She fails to realise that students thinking and talking about current events becomes more urgent and real when  applied to life. Despite how many philosophers she can name,