Bergman: The Big Eye Closes

Seems like it always happens like that, when you’re in a hurry, trying to prepare the treacle-thick tisane of caffeine which Doc Edell told you makes the thoughts jump more quickly across the synapses, like Jesse at the Nazi Olympics.  Then it hits your eye and you know a continuity, a certainty that was always in your life, is gone. 

And you sit there stunned.  You almost have to chuckle.  Can G-d really do that, in a split second?  Can it really be? Bergman is dead.

You’ve felt it before.  When Fellini went, and Moravia, and Lennon, and Krishnamurti.  A vast emptiness on the earth, for a vast brain has dissolved.                                                        

You remember the movies: “Persona”, “Wild Strawberries” ( a film made 30 years ago and taking months to make to deal with the obsessive fear he had about an event that took place a day or two ago), “The Virgin Spring”(which I recently re-viewed after 30 years, and, as with the Stones,  you have to say its ‘just another masterpiece”); “The Magician”, in which Max von Sydow looks as gaunt as a frutarian, “Sawdust and Tinsel”, on and on the masterpieces roll off the assembly line at GeniusMovies Inc. (GM). Sven Nykvist, and an acting troop like having the Royal Shakespeare all to yourself on a desert island to shoot your latest absurdist one act play. Pretty good Scandi-competition for Brits., “Please get Ms. Christie and Mr. Bates on the phone.  Yes, I’ll wait. That long!? Oh, all right, I’ll ring back.” Lotta a quality there. USDA No.1 Grade Foreign Film.  Good value for the dollar right now with the distributors, ‘specially with the Franc gettin’ pummeled with the Valery D’Estaing scandal right now.  — Oh, yeh, whose she, some French actress? — Yeh, I think she was in that Bunuel film with Moreau and DeNeuve.—O.K. Well, tell ya what, I’d take 5 Bergmans, and 3 Antonionis if you throw in “Umberto D.” and “Il Bidoni”.—It’s a deal! 

You see, Silverwolf must cover his sorrow with his prolixity and puerile levity, always trying to steal the show, even from his teacher and mentor in an art he never practiced. But Silverwolf has learned to die to the past.  The standard bearer stumbles, the banner tumbles, but is grabbed by the wolf before hitting the ground(in Texas it must be burned if it makes contact with the earth). The cliches come, the old bromides are repeated, “One door closes, another door opens.” Silverwolf thinks “As long as an artist’s work is being perceived by the public, or comes in contact with any human consciousness, that artist is still alive”. Skol, brother!


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