Ingmar Bergman's The Silence
Pictures in the Typewriter, Writings on the Screen
Maaret Koskinen, a professor of cinema studies and film critic for Sweden's largest national daily newspaper, was the first scholar given access to Bergman's private papers during the last years of his life. Bergman's notebooks reveal the difficulties he experienced in writing for the medium of moving images and his meditations on the relationship (or its lack) between moving images and the spoken or written word. Koskinen's attention to this intermedial framework is anchored in a close reading of the film, focusing on the many-faceted relationships between images and dialogue, music, sound, and silence.
The Silence offers filmgoers an entryway into the cinematic, cultural, and sociopolitical issues of its time, but remains a classic - rich enough for scrutiny from a variety of perspectives and methodologies. Koskinen draws a picture of Bergman that challenges the traditional view of him as an auteur, revealing his attempts to overcome his own image as a creator of serious art films by making his work relevant to a new generation of filmgoers. Her exploration of the film touches on issues of censorship and the cinema of small nations, while shedding new light on the shifting views of Bergman and auteurist film, high art, and popular culture.
About the Author
"The monograph rests on the opening up of a new resource, the Bergman Archive, and Koskinen deserves our gratitude for her role here, in preserving this unique body of work for public access."—James B. Tueller, The Northern Mariner, 2011
"Koskinen's study of the genesis and enactment of The Silence is quite probably the best Bergman case study ever written. It benefits enormously from the writing notebooks shown to the author by Bergman in 1998 and it is almost literally a study of a masterpiece being born. But it is more than that, for Koskinen highlights context and consequences…. This is a brilliant summary of the relationship between the film's creation and the film itself, and shows that Bergman's writing is itself indefinable, part literary, part cinematic, endlessly battling the forbidding link between word and image with great fertility."—Senses of Cinema
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