2015 Blind Spot Series: Winter Light + my 2016 list


What I knew going in: Absolutely nothing. It was just a random title I selected from Bergman's films.

Well, here is is. My final Blind Spot film of 2015. I love participating in this so much. When I threw my list together, I saved this one for last because it had "Winter" in the title and seemed fitting. But this is definitely not a cheery movie by any means.

Pastor Tomas Ericsson (Gunnar Bj√∂rnstrand) is having a bit of a spiritual crisis. He goes through the motions at his small church with an even smaller congregation. He's a widower, and frequently refuses the love of a woman, Marta. (Ingrid Thulin) who says she's in love with him. He's also faced with counselling a depressed man named Jonas (Max Von Syndow) though he doesn't know what to say to him since he's barely a believer anymore.

This movie is bleak. I'm so torn on how I feel about it. On one hand, I think it was wise of Bergman to have a run time of 81 minutes as this is a very depressing story, but on the other hand, it doesn't feel fully fleshed out. It's fascinating on the surface. I'm not sure what exactly I wanted from this film. I think this is one I'll probably have to revisit again at a later time to see if it comes to me.

Acting wise, it's solid. Syndow doesn't get much to do but you can clearly see the depression etched on his face. Bj√∂rnstrand also perfectly portrays his spiritual crisis in a very subtle way.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B- (Part of me wants to give this a C, but I think there's something there, and I just need to take more time to reflect.)


Memorable Quote: "I never even knew her." - Marta (Ingrid Thulin)




And now for my 2016 list for this event set up by the very gracious Ryan McNeil over at The Matinee. This is my 3rd year, and I finally narrowed my list down. Sorry, All About Eve and Videodrome. You were close. 


1) Au Revoir Les Enfants
2) One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Next
3) The Apartment
4) Marnie
5) Funny Face
6) Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
7) The Passion of Joan of Arc
8) The French Connection
9) JFK
10) The Miracle Worker
11) All The President's Men
12) Chinatown

Okay, Netflix. Throw a few more of these on Instant to make my life easier.

21 comments:

  1. Oh, The Apartment is great. Easily one of my top ten.

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    1. I've seen bits and pieces of it, but I look forward to watching the entire thing.

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  2. Ingmar Bergman films are usually, shall I say, moody. My favourite is The Seventh Seal but it is still a moody piece for sure. Your picks are great. I still have to see Au Revoir Les Enfants, JFK and All The President's Men. I had the privilege to see The Passion of Joan of Arc at a Church with Chorus Niagara-it was magical to say the least!

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    1. Oh wow, that sounds like an amazing way to see a film! You're the 2nd person to mention The Seventh Seal, I'll have to add that one to my watch list.

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  3. Winter Light I think is one of Bergman's best films though I think of it as part of one bigger thing since it's from a trilogy of films about faith with Through a Glass Darkly and The Silence as those 3 films together are amazing.

    As for your 2016 Blind Spot list, you got something good as there's 8 of them that I've seen and totally recommend. The ones I haven't seen are: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Funny Face, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and The Miracle Worker.

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    1. I saw that it was part of his trilogy of faith, I'll have to check out the other two. There's definitely something there with Winter Light, I'm just not sure if I quite have it yet. I had to get this posted this month. lol

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  4. I watched The Seventh Seal by Bergman for my blind spot this year and also Persona just 'cause, they were really interesting but too, obscure in a particular way for me to really enjoy them. From your list for next year I've watched One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Marnie, Funny Face, All the Presidents Men and Chinatown, I think you're in for a good year!

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    1. I hope so! I really like Persona too. I think it's my favorite Bergman, though Smiles of a Summer Night is close.

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  5. Haven't seen this and need to catch up on Bergman, myself. Sounds perplexing. Then again, it is Bergman. What else could it be?

    I've seen five on your new list (2, 3, 8, 10, 12). Just watched The French Connection for my Blind Spot list this year and really enjoyed it.

    I've sorta seen Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? That means I've seen most parts of it, here and there over the years, but never gave it a proper watch. Same for JFK. Haven't decided yet, but I might do those for 2016 myself.

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    1. The French Connection is currently the only one on Netflix Instant so I'll watch it early on too. Hopefully they throw a few more of these on Instant.

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  6. Congrats on making it through your Blindspot! I failed at my list so hard this year, unfortunately. lol

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    1. lol better luck next year, it's hard to fit them in sometimes. I had to rush my Winter Light review even though I would've liked to have thought about it longer.

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  7. I've seen very little Bergman. Hard to get into for me. Persona is the only one so far that really grabbed me.

    As for next year, JFK and Chinatown are counted among my favorites ever. The Apartment is Top Ten of All Time for me. Can't wait to hear your thoughts.

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    1. Thanks! I've already knocked All The President's Men off my list and it was great. I hope this year continues that trend.

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  8. I worry that Winter Light is not the best place to start with Bergman. I've avoided it so far, but I'm trying to see his films in order. I don't know why.

    I found I didn't have enough time to really write about my Blind Spot films this year as the year wore on and I became busier. But some of the ones you've picked for next year are All-Time Favorites for me: Au Revoir Les Enfants, Funny Face, The French Connection, Joan of Arc... and others. I hope you enjoy!

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    1. Thank you! I'm really glad I started Bergman with Persona. That felt like a good place.

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  9. JFK is on my list too as you may probably know but I think it will be hard for me to muster the courage to sit through its 2010 minute runtime so I'm probably seeing it when I have absolutely nothing to do :D
    But out of this list, Chinatown would be my number 1 recommendation. I think it has probably the greatest screenplay ever written and the film itself is endlessly engrossing to watch.
    The French Connection is another great, very gritty and very 70's. They just dont make movies like these anymore. It also contains what is probably my favorite car chase scene.

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  10. I actually didn't realize it was that long. 3 hours of Kevin Costner, what have I done? Lol

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  11. The Apartment! The French Connection! Great list here.

    Glad you liked Bjornstrand in Winter Light btw. He's amazing.

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    1. He is. I've seen two of my Blindspots so far for 2016. Off to a good start.

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