Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Virgin Spring

The Younger Son and I watched The Virgin Spring tonight, since there was no one else around to object to a foreign film with subtitles. It's a 1960 Ingmar Bergman film starring Max von Sydow. It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Why it has shown up on some of the lists of horror films I've seen is a wonder to me. It is based on a medieval ballad and seems to me to be a fairly straightforward story of rape, murder and revenge. It is said to have been hugely influential in Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left....

We have the Criterion edition. It has a few special features, but we didn't watch any of them.

It's online in pieces. part 1:

part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9

Moria gives it 4 stars. Slant Magazine has a review. The New York Times says,
It might be termed a morality play, so direct and uncomplicated is it. But for all its directness and simplicity—its barrenness of plot and perplexities—it is far from an easy picture to watch...

Senses of Cinema says,
Bergman's film stands almost as an archetypal film version of this “story”, and shows us how so-called ordinary, civilised people can be reduced to carrying out acts of barbarism similar to those of the criminals who committed terrible acts against them.

10/12/2009: Classic-Horror.com has a review.

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