VIRGIN SPRING, THE: DVD
When Karin (Brigitta Pettersson), a devout young girl in 14th century Sweden, is raped and killed by a band of lawless herdsmen, her deeply religious parents find their most sacred beliefs challenged. Her father (Max von Sydow) is consumed by a thirst for justice and a violent need for vengeance in a society that is conflicted by the clash of Christianity and ancient mysticism.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
The Virgin Spring unites Bergman with his favourite actor, Max von Sydow as well as the brilliant cinematographer Sven Nykvist. A fugue about various aspects of guilt from innocence to rape, murder and revenge, the film, written by Ulla Isaksson and based on an ancient ballad, echoes with the themes Bergman explored in The Seventh Seal three years earlier.
In The Virgin Spring, it's a more naturalistic conflict about god's willingness to countenance the existence of evil. Here in 14th century Sweden, it's a struggle between the Christian edict, 'turn the other cheek' and the more primitive laws of 'an eye for an eye'. Seamless performances from a stellar cast and Bergman's innate sense of cinema generate an intensity that's hard to shake. The film's visual power takes us back to the Middle Ages with unsettling veracity.
Bergman's instinctive approach to filmmaking - like his gripping use of long wordless moments filled with pictures of great power- is in evidence, with some unforgettable scenes that even today, almost 50 years later, have fresh impact. The setting, the images and symbols, the characters and the storytelling all stand out in this potent piece of cinema.
Published February 21, 2008
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VIRGIN SPRING, THE: DVD (M)
CAST: Max von Sydow, Brigitta Valberg, Gunnell Lindblom, Brigitta Pettersson, Axel Duberg, Tor Isedal, Allan Edwall,
PRODUCER: Ingmar Bergman, Allan Ekelund
DIRECTOR: Ingmar Bergman
SCRIPT: Ulla Isaksson
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Sven Nykvist
EDITOR: Oscar Rosander
MUSIC: Erik Nordgren
PRODUCTION DESIGN: P.A. Lundgren
RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes
PRESENTATION: (1.33:1) 4:3; DD mono
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Hopscotch/Roadshow
DVD RELEASE: October 20, 2005
RIVERSIDE SNEAK PEEK PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 4 consecutive Tuesdays - March 10, 17, 24, 31, 2015 - at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.