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 Ingmar Bergman and Marcel Carne

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michel sanvoisin


Nombre de messages : 85
Localisation : rue des moines, paris
Date d'inscription : 11/11/2006

MessageSujet: Ingmar Bergman and Marcel Carne   Mer 3 Oct - 11:33

hi everyone

this is a link to a very interesting article written by John Orr about the connection between early Bergman's films like The Silence and Marcel Carne's classical movies. you could read it here on Cinema & Literature blog.

But it is borrowed from FILMINT. a movie magazine from its issue 27 (Film International).
Some excerpts and you could read the rest of it on these websites :

Citation :
...If there is a tilting towards Carné’s romantic fatalism in Bergman’s early films like It Rains on our Love (Det regnar på vår kärlek) (1946) we could argue that The Silence, which is much more abstract,echoes the fatalism with little trace of the romance. Like Quai des brûmes (Port of Shadows) (1938), the latter is also a brilliant dissection of jealousy en famille
with a subtextual prehistory. Carné’s jealous guardian Michel Simon is
horrified by his young ward’s attraction to Jean Gabin because, we
guess, it exacerbates a forbidden desire for the teenage girl in his
charge (and may echo transgressions already committed). Bergman
achieves the same with Ingrid Thulin as Ester, a jealous older sister,
humiliated by Anna (Gunnel Lindblom), and her sibling’s desire for a
complete stranger in a foreign city. If we take the interior look of
Bergman’s picture, we can see thatCarné’s legacy, complete with hotel mise-en-scène
permeates its dream-like hotel atmospherics (at which the Frenchman
specialized) and its sense of an enclosed, designed world full of
sharp, off-kilter detail. In both its look and its feel The Silence also references Hôtel du Nord(1938) and Le Jour se lève (1939)....
After the Second World War the young Bergman proclaimed
Carné’s poetic realism as the way forward for cinema, while as late as
1994 at the Göteborg Film Festival the veteran Bergman still named Quai des brûmes in
his eleven all-time favourite films (Bergman 1994). Likewise, Bergman
has also expressed his dislike of the films of Jean Renoir, Carné’s
close rival, who openly denounced Quai des brûmes as ‘fascist’ on its release in pre-war France. In his 1968 interviews with Swedish critics for Bergman on Bergman the
Swedish director acknowledged the impact of existentialism on his work
and claimed Camus’s version of that fashionable but elusive philosophy
to be more ‘refined’ than Sartre’s (Bergman 1973: 12–13). With
Antonioni we can explore a different configuration. What he shares in
common with Carné is the designed architectural look of his images.
While Carné’s studio films are usually an atmospheric studio
abstraction from city locations – a Le Havre, for example, that is half
real and half imagined – Antonioni is master of the location shoot that
renders strange the actual physiognomy of a living city – Milan in La Notte (1961), Rome in L’Eclisse (1962) and London in Blow-Up (1966). While Antonioni fuses Carné with the architectural look of neo-realism, The Silence, on the other hand, crosses Carné with the Kammerspiel effect
of the Scandinavian masters – Ibsen, Strindberg and Dreyer. Yet both
modernist directors then go on to transcend their sources. They move
away from the staged melodrama of classical film into a world of
oblique signs where plotlines are never clear and strangeness
overpowers the familiar, a world that is existential and uncanny at the
same time...

Hotel passions: Carné and Bergman

modernist departures are compelling because they retain Carné’s trope
of hotel destiny while utterly transforming the sensibility. While the
hotel room remains the key site of fate for Bergman it is no longer the
site of romantic doom. In Carné we are transfixed in the hotel room
that is the last haven of desperate lovers Jean (Jean Gabin) and Nelly
(Michèle Morgan) before the fugitive Gabin perishes or by the daily
dramas of the Hôtel du Nord, where Arletty is finally shot to death in
her room.No contrast is greater between Bergman and Carné than this: the morning-after scene between Jean and Nelly in Quai des brûmes, their poignant leave-taking before he boards ship for Venezuela, and the steamy, oppressive pick-up sequence in The Silence where
in defiance of Ester, her dying sister, Anna picks up a predatory
waiter (Birger Malmsten) and later makes love to him in a room down the
hotel corridor. In Carné’s film, Gabin is the rock-like male subject,
tough fugitive and army deserter on the run whose fate we hypnotically
follow. In Bergman’s film, Malmsten as the opportunistic cafe waiter,
who had played ersatz Gabin roles in earlier films like It Rains on our Love and Three Strange Loves (Törst) (1949),gives his best performance for Bergman a decade later when he transforms Gabin into pure object,
when he objectifies the icon as a voiceless object of female desire, a
blank predator. In the realm of God’s silence this bleak film inhabits,
the echo of human perfidy is to be found in those tactical silences of
calculated lust, which Malmsten calibrates to perfection. Bergman thus
replaces Carné’s doomed romanticism with a tight claustrophobic power
play. The quartet of two warring sisters, bemused son and his mother’s
silent lover in proximate hotel rooms is a veritable antechamber of
hell, Bergman’s Huis Clos. Here Bergman uses narrow
recessional shots, both in the long hotel corridors but also in the
sisters’ adjoining rooms where he often shoots in deep-focus from
Ester’s bed through the open partition door to the far mirror over
Anna’s dressing table. The mise-en-scène is so totally interior (and studio-bound) there is not one
exterior shot of the hotel in which the two sisters and young boy are
caged. In this drastic economy of scale any homage to Alexandre
Trauner, Carné’s great set designer of street exteriors, is conspicuous
by its absence. We should also note the poetic harshness of Sven
Nykvist’s high-contrast photography, in complete contrast to the soft
oneiric diffusions of light in Carné’s Le Havre of mist and shadow.
Bergman’s monochrome extremity is pitiless and takes no prisoners...

Thanks to John Orr for this really well-written article.
bye bye now...
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