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Saturday, June 7, 2008

THE VIRGIN SPRING (1959)

Classic Ingmar Bergman is just the sort of stark morality/mortality/religious period drama we associate with the great man, even though he actually made relatively few pics in this artfully composed Carl Dreyeresque manner. And thank goodness! Still, the 13th Century fable about a young maiden who is raped & then killed on her way to church, and of the quick retribution by her father when the murderers take shelter on his prosperous farm, is a remarkable piece of filmmaking which manages to embed its debate (on the need for God in the face of his apparent absence) inside the very pores of the usual Bergman players, each shimmering under Sven Nykvist’s stunning b&w images.

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