Friday, August 3, 2007
bergman on bergman
from bergman on bergman: interviews with ingmar bergman:
it's of no interest, perhaps, but yesterday evening i was reflecting on the origins of the silence. i can no longer lay my hands on the work-books for it, i don't know what i've done with them- but i remember that it was about christmas time, and that the silence, just like winter light, began with a piece of music: barok's concerto for orchestra.
my original idea was to make a film that should obey musical laws, instead of dramaturgical ones. a film acting by association-rhythmically, with themes and counter-themes. as i was putting it together, i thought much more in musical terms than i'd done before. all that's left of bartok is the very beginning. it follows bartok's music rather closely- the dull continuous note, then the sudden explosion.
then i've always been fascinated by a strange city. as a boy i was often in germany , berlin exerted an almost demonic suggestiveness over me, due to an early collection of short stories about berlin by siegfried siwertz. so berlin wasn't a real berlin at all, but a city of black destruction. then there was fallada's kleiner mann was nun? and a wolf among wolves, not to mention brecht and weill's dreigroshchenoper, which also isn't really about berlin, as much, but london, and yet is entirely berlinerisch. my youth was spent to an accompaniment of lotte lenya and lewis and that old telefunken record of ruth's band.
as the train was approaching berlin from sassnitz, i remember standing looking out into the dawn over the huge grey suburbs as the houses grew taller and the train passed over viaducts until one felt the enormous dark suggestiveness of it all- you must have felt it too, i suppose? the sense of sinking into an enormous city, absorbing it, becoming anonymous within it*. (pages 180-181)
*also see edgar allen poe's a man of the crowd