Monday, February 25, 2008

Autumn Sonata

Since I haven't had a TV for nearly twenty years,I am not in the habit of watching the Oscars. I went to the nearby Thalia Theater and, at the great bargain price of $4, saw Ingmar Bergman's 1978 masterpiece, Autumn Sonata starring, Liv Ullmann as the most unhappy daughter ever put on film and her beautiful mother, Ingrid Bergman, who preferred her life as a concert pianist to motherhood. I saw it all those years ago and remembered it as painful -- well, it's now no less painful, possibly more so. The two actresses were amazing in their love/hate, need/repulsion.

I had quoted to Gary a couple nights ago a phrase I'd read, "good strong coffee and a good conversation both keep you awake." I'll add, so will a powerful movie [or play or book] A couple of weeks ago I wrote of going to a talk by a man who's written about the happiest placss on earth -- a designation based on some kind of computer program and it's data. Among the top three was Scandinavia. I'm sure there must be happy people in Scandinavia but I have yet to find a work of literature, including all Bergman's films, that show me happy people. I think I'll take the evidence of literatre above some computer program to tell me about the happiness quotient of a society.

Of course, what I didn't see on the Oscar show was that a very dour, definitely anything but happy movie was named best film ... well, I won't vote for the US to be among the happiest places but American literature and film can't begin to be as ultimately unhappy of most Scandinavian literature and film.

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