Fellini & Bergman films?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jim Rankin, Apr 17, 2002.

  1. Jim Rankin

    Jim Rankin Stunt Coordinator

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    I am trying to further my cinema horizons and would like input from this forum on their films. I have seen part of Nights of Cabiria - and The Seventh Seal on either Sundance or IFC - both films have stayed with me over the course of the last few weeks. Normally when I tackle a director's films I try out their most accessible films first, and then move into some of their more obscure titles. This has worked like a charm with Kurosawa, Hitchcock, Lean, Gilliam and Scorsese.
    What films in your opinions would be good ones to start with, that best represents their style of film making and would make the deepest impression? You guys have been great with advice in the past in particular with Kurosawa's films and I really don't have anyone where I live to turn to, as most of my friends and family go for the more mainstream fare. Thanks in Advance, and I look forward to your input.
    Regards, Jim
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Bergman: Persona

    Fellini: 8 1/2

    Then work your way from there!
     
  3. Luc D

    Luc D Second Unit

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    Jack,

    don't you think someone new to the cinema of Fellini and Bergman would be a bit put off by two pretty challenging films? I would suggest starting with Fellini's Roma and Bergman's Wild Strawberries. Once you watch those I think you can start to get accustomed to their "cinematic language" and move on to their more personal, and at times more difficult films like 81/2 and Persona.
     
  4. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    I agree with Luc, don't let "Persona" be your first Bergman movie, "Wild Strawberries" is a better introduction, so is "The Seventh Seal", IMO. I have no clue about Fellini, I haven't seen any of his movies. *stands in the corner in shame*
     
  5. Russ Lucas

    Russ Lucas Stunt Coordinator

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    I think La Strada is a good starter Fellini.
     
  6. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    What's "difficult" is real subjective. I have mentioned in this forum before, The Seventh Seal holds the unique honor of being the only film that I find incredibly boring and overrated the first time I watched it when I was 20 years old and I watched it again when I turn 50, fell exactly the same way, and ditto for the few times that I watched it over the last 30 years.

    8 1/2, on the other hand, was the first Fellini I've ever seen and that was in my early 20s, and it was great from the get go, I think one just have to "dive" in and discover, I acutally think that's part of the joy.
     
  7. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    I also recommend La Strada as a starter on Fellini. Films from his early period are more accessible on first viewing than most of his later films, and La Strada is an early masterpiece.
     
  8. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    I think 8 1/2 is not only Fellini's best, it's also quite accessible.

    I'd start with any Bergmann except Cries & Whispers which is not only his worst film but very inaccessible.

    All of this IMO only.
     
  9. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    Cabiria is an excellent starter for Fellini, another might be Amarcord, which was my first.

    Persona is one of Bergman's most complex films. Wild Strawberries or Seventh Seal would probably be a better starting point.

    But as someone pointed out, there's no "right" way to watch films. Generally I just watch them as I've been able to find them.
     
  10. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    I think Jack was just kidding... or maybe not.

    For Bergman, The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries are good starts.

    For Fellini, I'd go with La Strada.

    ~T
     
  11. Jim Rankin

    Jim Rankin Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks guys for the input so far, I really like hearing your opinions - Does anyone know who puts out La Strada? I know that Wild Strawberries, Seventh Seal, and 8 1/2 are available via Criterion. Also as a side note I got my copy of Rashomon in the mail today (I know I am slow:b ) I can't wait to spin that sometime this weekend.
    Steve, I can appreciate what you say about diving in - but I'll give you an example for me personally where that didn't work. Brazil was my first Terry Gilliam film - I absolutely hated it!! Later on I had seen 12 Monkey's, Time Bandit's and Fisher Kingwhich I immensely enjoyed - I decided to give Brazil another spin and now it's not only my favorite Gilliam film, but one of my top 10. Once I got a handle on the director, in this case Gilliam's quirky humor it let me appreciate some of his deeper, darker fare. I know some people could make an argument that I am being "spoon fed" - but if the end result is eventual appreciation of a director's films - then I believe it is worth it. That is why I love this forum so much, it open's my eyes to films that normally would be missed! Thanks again guys![​IMG]
     
  12. Luc D

    Luc D Second Unit

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    You shouldn't feel embarrassed about trying to broaden your film culture, Jim. Your method of going about discovering these filmmakers is very good one. Going into a film like Persona without really knowing what you’re getting yourself into can really alienate a viewer. Taken lightly or out of context some of these films can be very difficult to watch, even if you have a background in film.
    Besides it always puts a smile on my face to see people actively go out and discover these films (the kind of films that define the cinema) rather than just mindlessly follow most of the drivel that the film industry tries to sell us. [​IMG]
    If you like, I'd be happy to recommend other great films and filmmakers that are passed over by the more mainstream audiences.
     
  13. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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  14. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    >>Steve, I can appreciate what you say about diving in - but I'll give you an example for me personally where that didn't work.
     
  15. Jim Rankin

    Jim Rankin Stunt Coordinator

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    Luc, You have PM![​IMG]
     
  16. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    This thread would be good for me as well. Unfortunately, I have no means to rent 8 1/2. Best Buy has like seven copies for sale though. Anybody want to convince me to buy it sight unseen? [​IMG]
    I've seen The Seventh Seal and highly recommend it. I'm looking foward to Wild Strawberries though.
     
  17. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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  18. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    >>But if Cries & Whispers is really one of his best, then I may move them down a few notches.
     
  19. ShawnCoghill

    ShawnCoghill Stunt Coordinator

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    I say Dive In!!! Watch whatever you want!! Sure some of their films may tend to strech one's ability to decern reason,meaning,and what the heck there saying.But if you buy them on dvd,or whatever,you watch what stands out,if your not hitting on an 8 1/2 ,then wonder over to Nights of Cabiria or Variety Lights.Repeat viewings are not against the law of film.Same with Bergman and since his Film repetoir is so extensive,search around.Shoot Im sure we all know how hard it is to see every film by these to great talents.I still havent seen many of there works.But I say Find one that hits you well,watch it,think about it,watch it again,if its still perplexing you move on for a time,and mabye go back to it later.
     
  20. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    Steve_Ch
     

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