Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summer Film Series: Bergman

Finally, the museum's four-part summer film series is beginning, with the first film, "Through a Glass Darkly" ("SÃ¥som i en spegel"), being shown tomorrow (Wednesday, June 24) at 7 p.m. in room 151 (the large auditorium) of the Lamar Dodd School of Art. The series is titled "Ingmar Bergman's Trilogy and The Seventh Seal: Questions of Faith and Spirituality in Film," and each film will be introduced by Janice Simon, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor in Art, Lamar Dodd School of Art, who is teaching ARHI 6520: Spirituality in Modern Art this semester, a course that addresses many of the same issues as these films.

The title of "Through a Glass Darkly" derives from 1 Corinthians 13 and describes the limited capacity of the living to understand God ("For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known"). The film covers 24 hours in the life of a motherless family after their daughter, Karin, is released from a mental hospital. Are Karin's communications with God manifestations of her insanity? The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1962 and was highly acclaimed. Here's the trailer:

Bergman has become a shorthand for gloominess and incomprehensibility, but if you've never seen one of his films, you really should give him a shot. He's an especially appropriate director for an art museum to feature, considering the strongly composed images he uses, creating beautiful and complex scenes in black and white (and color, in his later work). Dr. Simon's introductory words, too, should help neophytes think about some themes as they watch. Finally, spending some time in a cool, dark auditorium, for free, should provide a nice contrast to the scorching, humid weather we've been having lately in Athens. We hope to see you tomorrow and at all our summer films over the next few weeks. The museum's visitor lot is now closed for construction, so park in E11 or anywhere else you can find a spot around the East Campus area, which is full of earth movers and bulldozers at the moment.

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