Tag Archives: Carl Dreyer

I liked Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey better.

42. The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)

My first Bergman, and despite the cool poster of a skeleton riding a checkerboard, somewhat underwhelming.

As I mentioned in my post on “Ordet“, I am/was quite religious(still a bit undecided on where I am now), and this film is pretty much indebted to the Christian interpretation of the world. Having seen a good chunk of both Dreyer‘s and Bergman’s work, I find that I can’t think of one without the other. And I think I like Dreyer’s work more.

I like that Dreyer’s work leaves things hanging. Bergman I find tries to make sense of things a bit too much, and seems preoccupied with exposing the hypocrisy of the church. I find Bergman to be focused on existentialism, and the inherent futility of the pursuit of understanding. Dreyer seems willing to narrow his focus to the church, and to good and evil. I like Dreyer’s work because it is so willing to explore the world, without passing such dreadful judgment upon it. I always get the sense that Dreyer is somehow willing to believe in something bigger than himself, while Bergman simply can’t comprehend any world view other than his own. Essentially God doesn’t give a shit, and life is meaningless.

I do like some of Bergman’s work, but I like Dreyer’s treatment of God, Religion, and life more. Dreyer just seems less cynical than Bergman, perhaps more willing to accept the role of faith and religion in life, whereas Bergman just wants to cast it aside.

I realize that both men were essentially agnostic, but somehow I admire Dreyer’s films for their willingness to accept religion as a part of life, where I find myself unable to relate to much of Bergman’s work for it’s dismissal of religion. Also I like Connect Four more than chess, maybe if Bergman used that I would have felt it more.

this realization is somewhat ironic given my current agnosticism, but for whatever reason I admire Dreyer’s seeming willingness to tackle religion as opposed to Bergman’s seeming dismissal of it.

On filmaffinity.com I gave the film a 6/10. It just didn’t resonate with me, and felt disjointed. I think I like Bergman’s treatment of life, moreso than his treatment of religion.

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Jesus loves me this I know…

37. Ordet (Carl Dreyer, 1955)

This is one of those what-the-fuck movies(well if you believe in God and all).

I used to be quite religious, a virtuous and angelic Evangelical Christian.

Life has taught me that such an approach has distinct limitations, and given my personality and taste prior to my conversion, there was simply too much I found inhibiting. I have never felt comfortable with the bible’s stance on sexuality, or on rebellion. I admittedly admire the character of Christ very deeply, but aside from the occasional cool story(namely Jacob wrestling with God), I have never felt wholly secure in my belief.

It’s probably the punk in me but I have always admired people who were both gay(or bisexual) and rebellious(ie Lou Reed, Michael Stipe and Madonna), and I never felt I could reconcile my feelings with my belief in Christ(or God, or Christianity or whatever).

I think I am at the point where I am humble enough to admit that I have no fucking idea about how the universe works. I can only say with certainty, that any system that doesn’t involve stabbing, shooting or rape is valid on some level. Christ is a compelling figure, and at some point I would like to be more like him, but not out of my belief and my desire for salvation, but rather because the love and compassion Christ showed made the world a better place, and at some I hope to do the same.

As for “Ordet“, it’s basically about a crazy dude who thinks he’s Jesus, and in the end he raises the dead. I have no idea what to make of it. So I will simply quote one the greatest rap songs in history by the once amazing Outkast: “faith is what you make it, that’s the hardest shit since MC Ren“. In other words, belief and faith are deeply personal experiences that can’t be truthfully explained or rectified within the context of any church, belief system, or orthodoxy(if I use the word orthodoxy I sound intellectual, so there), so why get bound up in trying to explain shit(especially in conventional terms).

On filmaffinity.com I gave the film 9/10, a simply great film for those who have any interest in God, or life in general.