Sunday, April 5, 2015

Autumn Sonata Review

I'm not gonna pretend I have seen all of his films or have even truly scratched the surface of those I have, but I think it is pretty clear that Ingmar Bergman was a fucking genius.

I apologize for using such vulgarities in the opening sentence, but I needed a word to really drive home my point, and the one I went with was pretty darn appropriate. Merely calling him a genius doesn't feel right. People throw that word around these days without truly considering what it means. I once heard a guy call his buddy a genius for putting french fries on top of his hamburger. No, Bergman was a fucking genius. He is worthy of the word in so many ways that rise far above a greasy potato being stacked on top of a greasy slab of meat.

Autumn Sonata is an intense, powerful, painful film that focuses on a broken relationship between a mother (Ingrid Bergman) and her daughter (Liv Ullmann), and could be used as an instructional video for actors trying to learn how to portray real, honest emotion. This is a flat out masterpiece, the kind of work that leaves you shaken and in awe of what took place. Autumn Sonata thrives because of its minimalism, and that is the true masterstroke from Ingmar Bergman. He doesn't need to throw anything flashy or inherently exciting at you to keep the audience on its toes. It's a flashy film because of the amazing screenplay, seemingly simple yet confidently brilliant direction and performances that will make your jaw drop to the floor. It's exciting because at some point during Autumn Sonata I realized how uncomfortable and devastatingly believable the whole thing is, and it works. It works so damn well.

Stop calling your friend a genius for combining multiple foods into a single bite, or for taking a short cut to get you to a store 3 minutes faster than normal. Genius is a word that should describe something or someone whom created something profoundly smart, at a level that a vast majority of the population could never dream of achieving. Ingmar Bergman is a genius and Autumn Sonata might be the best thing he has ever done.


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