“Too Nordic. Too gloomy.”

More of an aside to our regular scheduling, but it made me smile.. Hey, it’s Saturday and I’m easily pleased [You are?! – Ed]. John Patterson in the Guardian compares and contrasts the arthouse films of Ingmar Bergman, “the northern Protestant miserablist”, and Federico Fellini, “the Catholic of the exuberant south”, commenting – “One of them needed to liven up, and the other to calm down.” ANYhoo.. with the re-issue of Bergman’s The Seventh Seal to mark its 50th anniversay, he suggests a make-over is in order..

So, in the absence of Fellini, I recommend that all of Bergman’s movies be resubmitted to John Waters and the makers of Hairspray, for a once-in-a-lifetime makeover. Thus The Seventh Seal, which is so bogged down in medieval misery and feudalistic faffing about, would be a whole new prospect for moviegoers if it was bulked up with a few song and dance numbers and a fat drag act in the lead. I can really see the late, great Divine, 300lb star of the Waters original, all togged up in that Death outfit, but with added sequins, a straining lace-up leather cleavage-section, and a pink frightwig. Max Von Sydow wouldn’t look half as chipper if he was confronted with the likes of that on the beach.

  • Rory

    Woody Allen’s already done it.

  • Pete Baker

    As the linked article suggested, Rory..

    “Bergman’s work was often so po-faced as to be laughable to anyone who’d seen a few films by Woody Allen (whose debilitating Bergman fixation would later prove to be his creative Achilles heel), while Fellini just seemed like he was trying too hard to impress us.”

    But you’ve already read that.

    ANYway.. It’s a light-hearted post.. in general..

  • merrie

    I think the article was silly really, though I did like the bit about “[the] dozen luridly painted, first-century hermaphrodite hookers dancing naked around a phallic birthday cake” – what Fellini film was that in?

    And I think he should leave “The Seventh Seal” alone. Yes, it’s morbid, but so was the period of the plague and it is one of the great films of all time.

  • Hickenlooper

    Or why not just sit back and watch what Protestants and Catholics can really do when they get together? No, not the daily report from Stormont. Rather the superb “Babette’s Feast” with the delicious Stephane Audran in the starring role ( she plays the Fenian). Mmmm. Yummee!

  • Rory

    Oh God, Hickenlooper, Babette’s Feast! Wow! Almost a definition of what cinema is (or should be) about. Sparse (if any) dialogue and a true feast for the eyes. And yet it says more than a thousand studies or learned books ever could.

    I’m off to dig it up and watch it, hungrily, again.