Tuesday, July 31, 2007

End of 2 Eras

Something beyond an amazing coincidence: yesterday saw the death of both Michelangelo Antonioni and Ingmar Bergman.

Two of the greatest filmmakers of all time. Utterly different, equally poetic. The Times Obituaries don't begin to do justice (how could they?) and I particularly take issue with some of the conclusions they reach about Antonioni, but they're not bad overviews of lives SO worth celebrating.

Bergman was borderline workaholic - all those movies and plays. Antonioni more reflective (wonder if he'd like to be called that, though) and more readily misunderstood. Anyway, people misunderstood his work more often.

Bergman had the added appeal (to me) of being a theater artist as well as a cinematic one, as well as being deeply sensitive to music in both stage and film productions. Antonioni's images and storytelling are stunning, breathtaking, poetry - his best work is as good as it gets.

They weren't really rivals in any sense other than maybe among cineastes who might argue over which one was really the very best of all time. Still, I have to think of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, political allies then enemies then friendly-ish correspondents who died within hours of each other, on a July 4th, no less. In the world of film, these guys are no less important, and their simutaneous loss is just as staggering.

Let me know if you want to get together for a viewing or two, in a theater or on video (blasphemy! I know, but sometimes we take what we can get) I have the dvd of Fanny and Alexander and aim to watch it soon...

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