Saturday, August 2, 2008
Cries & Whispers (1972)
In the original trailer for John Waters' twisted film Pink Flamingos, no actual footage is shown, but only the audience's reaction upon leaving the theater. One young man says "...it's better than Cries and Whispers!" So I had to find out why anyone would compare one of John Waters' films to one of Ingmar Bergman's. And while there are some mildly shocking scenes in Cries and Whispers, I now realize that he had simply chosen a critically acclaimed film from the same year, perhaps as a joke, or perhaps to make a statement about the relative values of two completely different movie-going experiences. Bergman's film is dark and depressing. Watching slow, agonizing deaths, self-mutilations and descents into madness is not my favorite way to spend an evening, but the more I thought about it afterward (OK, the more I read about it) the more things I found in it that I admired.