Höstsonaten

I got a lot done in grading papers. I made a lot of progress before my early class started. I went out to eat a turkey burger before going over the lecture notes again. I delivered another lecture and was extremely tired. When I got home and turned on the lamp, it made a popping sound, and some smoke came out of it. I had to take it outside so as not to let the smoke alarm in the apartment go off. I sat down to watch Ingmar Bergman’s “Autumn Sonata.” It was still a strong movie, and the high definition made it look very good, although I’m not sure I wanted a better look at the actors’ facial blemishes. Ingrid Bergman looked like an aging woman, but her performance was a good one. Her crying eyes looked so terrible. Liv Ullmann gave one of the memorable appearances as a wounded woman. The lesson is that you shouldn’t drink too much when your mother comes to visit. Watching this again, I had to wonder how much of Charlotte’s character was part of Ingmar Bergman’s character. The story starts off as a happy family reunion but turns into a night of misery. Charlotte seemed like a mother who would be tough to be around for any child, much less someone as vulnerable as a Liv Ullmann. I still felt sympathy for Charlotte, who gets ambushed by her daughter in the middle of the night. Her other daughter Helena is ill, and Charlotte treats her quite horribly. The two daughters seem too fragile for life, however. In high definition, I saw the blemishes on the actors’ faces, which I didn’t really want to see. The color photography by Sven Nykvist looks beautiful, as usual. I don’t know how Ingmar Bergman went through all those decades making such emotionally grueling films. He put Liv Ullmann through hell. He gives us some Chopin music, the Prelude No. 2 in A minor, telling us that the composer was not sentimental, and his compositions held a lot of mysteries. The scene in which both Evan and Charlotte play the piece is very powerful. Eva’s rendition shows a person with emotions bottled up inside her, where Charlotte lets it out. There is something to be said about someone who is perceptive about music and the arts. That person can still be a turd, but deserves some credit for being able to see things. There were a few light moments that involved the water coming out of a shower and also a paperback book. Those humorous moments pass awfully quickly in Bergman films. I thought that Ingrid Bergman gave one of her best performances in this film. I still remember many things about it after all these years. What I heard about “Autumn Sonata” was that it was the product of a very difficult time for Ingmar Bergman, who had legal difficulties concerning income tax at the time, and he had some conflict with Ingrid Bergman. The concept was that the daughter would end up giving birth to the mother, who was a new person after the painful meeting. I still like this movie quite a bit for its haunting and lonely quality. Both women are preoccupied. Charlotte was obviously vain, but Eva had her faults, too. What is terrible is the thought that the two will never reconcile. A lot of damage is done with a lifetime. I heard that the Royals and the Mets won their third games of this round of the playoffs. The Cubs would have to pull off a miracle. They had been looking so good until this series. Do the fans of this young generation know very much about the pennant race of 1969? I was sleepy and without much light in the apartment, so I was glad to get to bed. Some of the people who died on October 21 include Jack Kerouac (1969), Francois Truffaut (1984), Fred Berry (2003), and Elliott Smith (2003). Today is a birthday for Ken Watanabe (56), Carrie Fisher (59), Judge Judy Sheindlin (73), Vivian Pickles (84), and Whitey Ford (87). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for October 21, Bob Dylan recorded his first album in 1961. In 1992, Elton John filed suit against Hard Copy for reporting that he moved to Atlanta to be near an AIDS treatment clinic. Today is the day that Marty McFly arrived from 1985 to discover that the Cubs had won the World Series.

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