Through a glass darkly (1961)
Private rumination and the stage of our world as we interact others, the play of life, our roles to ourselves and our roles toward one another. Frequent themes for Bergman, as we gather together in unison to find God, what of the private relationship with the concept? What we find in private we struggle to bring forward, to place on the altar of public knowledge, electing much of the time toward keeping our private visions as ours alone, a secret we share only with ourselves when we're left alone to wonder. When the mind is free to wander it goes to place we can barely describe, let alone rationalize. Has the mind slipped into malfunction which medicine will cure? Or has the hand of the divine reached from beyond the curtain of our stage to touch its chosen people and show them a glimpse of eternity? A crack in the wallpaper of life, whispering to we who stand on the outside. What of our works? Our novels and plays? Are they a part of the wallpaper or are they within the wall with the voices? As minus puts it, his works flow out of him, but where do they originate? As Bergman entered the 1960's, arguably the decade which bred his most intense and personal statements, the first installment of his 'silence' trilogy was Through a Glass Darkly. The film, centering on an artist, his two children and his daughter's husband on a family getaway finds its roots in the chamber isolation of its four and only players, each isolated in their own private despair. The three blood relatives each languish in forms of self-pity, while Von Sydow provides the foil. His pity belongs to his wife, his despair is her condition which he feels helpless to mitigate.