2 hours ago
Since i'm swedish i guess it was only a matter of time before i got around to writing down a few thoughts about a bergman movie, so let's take a look at hour of the wolf (vargtimmen, 1968)
painter johan borg (max von sydow) and his wife alma (liv ullman) are on a small island, where johan starts losing his sanity, as she is made to stay up all night listening to johan recount memories and nightmares, alma soon starts to question her own sanity.
this is one of the only — if not the only — horror movies bergman ever made, and while horrorfans might not find it all too scary, there are definitely some gothic horror elements, such as the old castle full of eccentric people and birds as harbingers of doom.
however, first and foremost, this is a very introspective piece from bergman, examining the tortured soul of the artist. what stops it from becoming completely self indulgent, however, is the lack of self pity.
johan comes across as undeservedly narcissistic, even his attempt at humility is mocked by the sophisticated socialites at the castle on the other side of the island, and what ends up being the heart of the story is alma's unsung martyrdom as her love of johan seems to draw her into a folies a deux.
alma even blames herself for loving johan too much to be able to help him, while johan lusts after a former lover.
to me, this movie seems like bergman trying to cope with his guilt concerning his real life relationship with ullman, who did live secluded with him — and, presumably, his famous demons — on a remote island, an experience she admitted was isolating.
maybe bergman was worried about the negative effect his solipsistic anxiety concerning artistery, publicity, love/lust, old age and fatherhood (the scene with the young boy...) might have on ullman?
bergman included the fourth wall breaking movie set noises at the beginning because he felt the story was too personal to handle head on.
if i'm right about his reasons for making the movie, i understand why.
#filmcollector #filmnerd #filmaddict #moviegeek #films #movies #movieclassics #horrormovie #horror #moviereview #hourofthewolf #ingmarbergman