Winter Light

Winter Light ★★★★½

Winter Light is an existential portrayal of a calming religion. An exhausting religion. An unconditional religion. A forgiving religion that is sometimes hard to find, no matter how hard you seek it.

But putting all the heavy stuff aside, for me this is all about The Nykvist Show. Man of many superbly filmed pieces of art and long time collaborator with Ingmar Bergman. The composition and lighting in this film is pure eye candy. A stunning dream all dressed up in black and white. Having just finished it, I'm already feeling the urge to watch it again and fall once more into the yearning desire of Märta's eyes.

Bergman and Nyqvist's ability to capture the feelings of an individual via a single, well directed close-up shot really is something. In a long take of Märta (Ingrid Thulin) spilling her soul, the skill is so evident and simply breathtaking. I just can't get enough of these two.

This is a short 80 minute piece that makes good use of many of Bergman's familiar cast members: Ingrid Thulin, Gunnel Lindblom, Max von Sydow and the star of this particular show, Gunnar Björnstrand who plays pastor Tomas.

Brilliant. Just brilliant.

Footnote: Am I alone in thinking that the LB movie art for this looks like Jesus is in the mosh pit at a Slayer gig?  No?  Oops.

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