Got up today, enthused, thinking that I have to see another Ingmar Bergman film as soon as possible. Literally, brushed my teeth, looked at the choices in my pile – Cries and Whispers, Scenes From a Marriage, The Virgin Spring – and put Hour of the Wolf in the player and pressed I>, not having any idea what I was in store for.
I don’t know what I expected, but as usual – after two days of knowing what usual is for this filmmaker – I discovered that the beginning of the film – a documentary of sorts – followed by the noises of a film set (while the credits present themselves) – is actually a re-enactment of the disturbing disintegration of a relationship, scuttled by the knowledge of the man’s previous relationship. The revelation of the importance of the previous liaison – the one before Liv Ullmann – coupled with the lies that his diary reveals – unravels their bond of trust.
My daughters arrived home from school during my complete immersion in the collapse of Johan Borg’s mind, body and soul. I had to pause the film, settle them elsewhere, reacquaint myself with the deterioration of his reasonable mind, and press PLAY.
Crikey. This is extremely intense.