Sunday, October 17, 2010

92 down

About 35min into #93.  One thing I noticed in 92 was that Block doesn't respond to the return of Raval at the end of the film.  Instead, he actually turns his head away once the dying seminarist's screams first become audible.  I've got to think that Bergman has the knight react this way because, by this point in the film, he interprets any type of bad omen as the fulfillment of Death's promise to return and finish their game.  He's resigned, beaten down by what he experienced during the death of the witch, and his subsequent conversation with Death there.  When he hears Raval's screams, he doesn't need to react because he's already dead.  His last-ditch attempt to cheat is not for him, but for Joff, Mia and Michael, and is the only charitable act he makes in the film.*

* Jons is the one that saves Joff.  Jons is the one that saves the MG.  Jons is the one that helps Plog against Skat.  Jons is the one that wants to fight the soldiers to save the witch.  It's some of the most telling irony in the film that the man who doesn't believe in God is the one that is constantly performing good deeds, while it's the man who desperately wants to be faithful that is so consumed by doubt that he's become paralyzed and unable to act.  Bergman was a notable Atheist and it's been said that he based the character of Jons on his own beliefs.  That's very evident throughout the film.

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