So, there are still no new movies coming to theaters, even though the theaters themselves are starting to re-open a bit. And while it is easy to say, about that, “oh my God, who gives a shit?” – a though crisscrossing my brain on a loop as I’ve tried several different approaches to starting this post – the fact remains that this is a film website, and it’s never going to be anything but a film website, and I’m the sort of person whose interests are so phenomenally narrow that if I didn’t keep writing about movies, I don’t even know what I’d do with myself.
Anyway, it’s time to haul out the big guns and make some idiotic decisions – for I am in a frazzled mood, and that is the right mood for making idiotic decisions – and I can’t think of a better one than to try to cope with the ever-increasing uncertainty and stress of being a human in the year 2020 than to dive right into the filmography of one of history’s most gravely solemn and doom-obsessed filmmakers, Ingmar Bergman.
And because I want it to be real idiotic, it’s not going to be just a little sampling of Ingmar Bergman. It’s going to be all the god-damned Bergman I can lay my hands on. At first I was going to keep in straightforward, and just work my way through the enormous box set of Bergman films released in 2018 by the Criterion Collection, but I’ve decided to set my sights higher: every Bergman feature. Every motherfucking one of ’em. And his telefilms and miniseries, why not those too. I am currently deciding what to do about the filmed versions of plays he directed onstage (the things from the first list on this page, under “Television theatre”) – it feels like they’d be boring to read about, and they’d also slow things down right near the end, the worst possible time to slow things down. I am open to recommendations and preferences in the comments sections.
Also, I have perfectly adequate reviews of Sawdust and Tinsel (1953), The Magician (1958), and Persona (1966) on the site already, so I’m skipping over those. Crisis (1946) and Saraband (2003), those I’m going to replace. So that’s still a hell of a lot of movies, and the downside to marathoning all of Bergman is that it took him a while to find his footing. Like, years, and several films. So there’s going to be a very long chunk of movies neither you nor I have ever heard of at the start, and to get through it, I’m going to start out with a stupidly ambitious review schedule. Alternate Ending’s Bergmania! is going to show up Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays, all through June, starting on the 3rd (just as soon as I wrap up my time with that other arthouse staple, Andrei Tarkovsky, this evening).
And that’s not all! I continue firm in my believe that one cannot live on good movies alone, so Tuesdays are going to continue as a time of celebrating garbage and trashy B-movies. In this case, since there are five Tuesdays in July, I’m going to make good on the innuendo I laid out when I started the Anaconda series in April: it’s time for me to dig through some giant crocodile movies on Lake Placid Tuesdays. I’ve seen the first Lake Placid, but it’s been a much more longer-lived franchise than I realised, so we’ll be jumping right in with 2007’s Lake Placid 2 tomorrow.
Plus, Anime Thursdays, Best Picture Fridays, and on Saturdays, the Australian Winter of Blood will be continuing as they have been these past weeks. Plus, since I can’t imagine spending 2500 words on the dog-ends of Bergman’s filmography, or the Lake Placid movies, like I have been with Tarkovsky and the Coens, I should finally a chance to start catching up on some of those VOD movies that have straggled their way out into the world, especially the ones that would have been theatrical releases in happier days. I’m definitely up for suggestions if you’ve seen anything lately that you loved. Or really hated.
I want to hang onto some surprises, but here’s what some of the schedule’s going to look like including the next four weeks of the Winter of Blood, if you want to play along at home:
Tuesday, 2 June – Lake Placid 2 (2007) Lake Placid Tuesdays
Wednesday, 3 June – Crisis (1946) Bergmania!
Thursday, 4 June – Anime TBA
Friday, 5 June – Best Picture TBA
Saturday, 6 June – Next of Kin (1982) Australian Winter of Blood
Sunday, 7 June – It Rains on Our Love (1946) Bergmania!
Monday, 8 June – A Ship to India (1947) Bergmania!
Tuesday, 9 June – Lake Placid 3 (2010) Lake Placid Tuesdays
Wednesday, 10 June – Music in Darkness (1948) Bergmania!
Thursday, 11 June – Anime TBA
Friday, 12 June – Best Picture TBA
Saturday, 13 June – Razorback (1984) Australian Winter of Blood
Sunday, 14 June – Port of Call (1948) Bergmania!
Monday, 15 June – Prison (1949) Bergmania!
Tuesday, 16 June – Lake Placid: The Final Chapter (2012) Lake Placid Tuesdays
Wednesday, 17 June – Thirst (1949) Bergmania!
Thursday, 18 June – Anime TBA
Friday, 19 June – Best Picture TBA
Saturday, 20 June – Dark Age (1987) Australian Winter of Blood
Sunday, 21 June – To Joy (1950) Bergmania!
Monday, 22 June – This Can’t Happen Here (1950) Bergmania!
Tuesday, 23 June – Lake Placid vs. Anaconda (2015) Lake Placid Tuesdays
Wednesday, 24 June – Summer Interlude (1951) Bergmania!
Thursday, 25 June – Anime TBA
Friday, 26 June – Best Picture TBA
Saturday, 27 June – Dead Calm (1989) Australian Winter of Blood
Sunday, 28 June – Waiting Women AKA Secrets of Women (1952) Bergmania!
Monday, 29 June – Summer with Monika (1953) Bergmania!
Tuesday, 30 June – Lake Placid: Legacy (2018) Lake Placid Tuesdays