Monday, August 06, 2007

RIP: bergman and antonioni

aug 6th, 2007

amidst all the hoopla of the housing bubble in the US and 'sanju baba'
(what an infantile name!) in india, we have lost two of the leading
lights of cinema, ironically on the same day.

bergman, though a little ponderous, has left us with unforgettable
images, and the genius of his cameraman sven nyqvist. it is
practically impossible to forget the image of the white-faced and
burka'd Death playing chess with the knight in 'the seventh seal'.

similarly, antonioni's extra-long shots were full of pregnant silence.
i remember vividly the scene in 'the passenger' where the camera pans
in a long sequence, and the viewer knows that jack nicholson is being
murdered off camera.

they were among the greatest of the european masters of the last fifty
years ago, in the same class as kurosawa, eisenstein, truffaut,
bunuel, ray, tarkovsky. you notice that i am not as enamored of orson
wells (or john ford) as many yanks are. although kubrick is up there
in my galaxy of the greatest geniuses of cinema.

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