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Film Interpretation

Category / Psychological Drama

Gosta Berling Saga, Medium Image

The Saga of Gösta Berling, 1924, dir. by Mauritz Stiller

A spiritual being, thrown into the material reality, inevitably becomes traumatized – mutilated.  Similarly to how in Japan they used to bind little girls’ feet, to conform to the notion that the feet of a fashionably attractive woman must be small (rendering an adult Japanese “beauty queen” practically a disabled woman), or how in Burma, […]

efter_repetitionen

Efter repetitionen, dir. by Ingmar Bergman, 1984

I once met a rather well-educated and experienced film critic who told me that in her opinion, Ingmar Bergman’s films of the later period were way too complex to be ever understood by any audience, no matter how sophisticated and intellectually advanced. According to that critic, “Efter repetitionen” (“After the rehearsal”, 1984) served as a […]

12_Angry_Men

12 Angry Men, dir. by Sidney Lumet, 1957

Works of art in any medium, including film, may be sorted in two broad categories according to the methods chosen by their creators: art addressing intellect and art targeting emotions. Having stated that, I feel I must immediately emphasize that intellectual art obviously doesn’t preclude emotions, and neither is emotional art the enemy of intellect. […]

Dogtooth, Large Image

Dogtooth, dir. by Yorgos Lanthimos, 2009

I want to begin by deciphering the meaning of the film’s iconic logo, used in its opening credits and posters. If we understand the meaning of that image, it will be a lot easier to recognize the message conveyed in this work of cinematic art. Here’s the full image, combined of three elements: In the […]

The Vanishing, Large Image

Spoorloos, dir. by George Sluizer, 1988

A note on the method: one of the key questions we must ask when analyzing any work of art is whether the artist expresses a pessimistic or optimistic point of view. It’s typically “either – or”, because the mixture of both is practically never even, and tends toward either optimism or pessimism (most commonly the […]

La Pianiste, Large Image

La Pianiste, dir. by Michael Haneke, 2001

There’s a certain type of predator whose function is to lure potentially enlightened people away from enlightenment.  The predator, socially deprived of traditional ways to achieve dominance, is motivated by the urge to dominate and will occupy the professional position of authority related to a certain spiritual phenomenon, and will dedicate all its energy to […]