Austin Film Society presents Bergman: The Darkness

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The Seventh Seal
The Seventh Seal Photo courtesy of Austin Film Society

2018 marks the centennial of the great writer/director Ingmar Bergman. The first of two series focuses on characters in crises both godly and man-made as seen through the lens of Bergman, perhaps the filmmaker most able to express this darkness.

  • May 27 and 30: The Seventh Seal - Life, death, and the existence of God are questioned amid the miasmic stench of the Black Death in Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal. Returning home to find it ravaged by the bubonic plague, a medieval knight (Max von Sydow) plays chess with Death in this iconic suffusion of monochromatic doom. A transcendent philosophical allegory and rumination on man’s relationship with life, death, superstition, and faith.
  • June 3: The Virgin Spring - Superstition in a callous world. Returning to a medieval setting, Ingmar Bergman turns a grim 13th-century ballad into a stark tale of vengeance. Following the desecration and murder of his daughter, a pious farmer vows merciless retribution. With composed grace, the camera of Sven Nykvist captures the startling complexion of morality.
  • June 10: Hour Of The Wolf - Transgressive and frightening – a gothic nightmare of a shattered psyche.
    Hallucinations become a gruesome reality for an artist (Max Von Sydow) and his pregnant wife (Liv Ullman) living in near seclusion on an island. An invitation to a bizarre dinner hastens the demise of a fragile mind. Paranoia and insomnia create a vision more vivid than an artist’s sketch – a daring meditation on art, creation, and audience from Bergman, at his most daring.
  • June 17: The Rite - A cabaret troupe accused of obscenity in an unnamed country. A Judge tasked to investigate. Every actor has a role to play. The troupe – Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand, and Anders Ek are each brought in, one-by-one, for interrogation, culminating in a pornographic performance. No mask can obscure the perverse drive to humiliate, and the judge finds himself audience for a shocking finale in this ruthless examination of art and audience. Raw, direct, sensuous – THE RITE finds Bergman at his most confrontational in this shocking attack on censorship originally shot for Swedish television.
  • June 24 and 27: Cries And Whispers - As their sister lays dying of cancer in their family home, Maria (Liv Ullman) and Karin (Ingrid Thulin) wander the house’s frozen rooms, simmering with resentment and anguish, each isolated within her own history of family slights and pain. A masterpiece of domestic psychological “horror” and among Sven Nykvist’s greatest achievements as a visual storyteller.

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AFS Cinema
6406 N. I-35 Frontage Rd. Suite 3100
Austin, TX 78752


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