Jungfrukällan (The Virgin Spring) (1960)
Average Rating: 8.1/10
Reviews Counted: 16
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 1
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Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 1
Average Rating: 4.2/5
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Inspired by a medieval Swedish ballad, Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring (Jungfrukallan) begins with a scene of unspeakable brutality and ends with an image of uncommon beauty. 15-year-old Birgitta Peterson, on her way to church to light candles for the Virgin Mary, is raped and murdered by two older men. The men look for shelter at the home of Birgitta's father (Max Von Sydow), who murders the bestial killers in cold blood. When the deed is done, Von Sydow, a deeply religious man, begins to
Jan 1, 1960 Wide
Jan 24, 2006
Max von Sydow
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Sven Nykvist's luminous black-and-white photography conspiring with the austerity of Bergman's imagery to create an extraordinary metaphysical charge.
The period details are magnificently worked into the narrative, and the pace and economy of the tortured Swede's storytelling make his metaphysics infinitely easier to take.
Easily lost amid a brilliant career, The Virgin Spring once again shows Bergman's control in capturing the furthest ranges of emotion.
Bergman's instinctive approach to filmmaking %u2013 like his gripping use of long wordless moments filled with pictures of great power, is in evidence, with some unforgettable scenes that even today, almost 50 years later, have fresh impact.
Winner of the Foreign-Language Oscar Picture, the film represents the first peak of Ingmar Bergman's creativity, released right after The Seventh Seal and before Through a Glass Darkly, all three masterpieces.
[Auds] will be rewarded by the depth of the director's moral and religious questioning, the emotional power of the story and acting, the haunting and symbolic imagery, and the excellent black-and-white photography of Sven Nykvist.
Although the 'jiggery-pokery' does mute the 'actual, horrible story,' Bergman still poses worthy questions, offering no answers, a key difference between art and baloney, or spirituality and dogmatism.
It is also a crucial film because it was the first to be shot entirely by Sven Nykvist, who would become Bergman's longtime cinematographer and would be largely responsible for shaping the visual aesthetic of his later works.
The master guides us through this heartbreaking tale with a delicate hand and a gorgeous, poetic touch. It's actually one of his simplest and most moving works -- a film to be savored and pondered.
Represents the primary nexus between Bergman's austere but accessibly recherché works of the 1950s and his downright ascetic 1960s cinema.
Brutal and miraculous.
Troubled, dark ambitious and highly intelligent film from the great Swedish director.
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