The Virgin Spring (1960) DVDRip Swe sub Eng (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi
The Virgin Spring (1960) DVDRip Swe sub Eng (SiRiUs sHaRe).srt
Jungfrukällan aka The Virgin Spring
Set in beautiful 14th century Sweden, it is the sombre, powerful fable of peasant parents whose daughter, a young virgin, is brutally raped and murdered by goat herders after her half sister has invoked a pagan curse. By a bizarre twist of fate, the murderers ask for food and shelter from the dead girl's parents, who, discovering the truth about their erstwhile lodgers, exact a chilling revenge.
Max von Sydow ... Töre
Birgitta Valberg ... Märeta
Gunnel Lindblom ... Ingeri
Birgitta Pettersson ... Karin
Axel Düberg ... Thin Herdsman
Tor Isedal ... Mute Herdsman
Allan Edwall ... Beggar
Ove Porath ... Boy
Axel Slangus ... Bridge Keeper
Gudrun Brost ... Frida
Oscar Ljung ... Simon
Legendary Swedish director, Ingmar Bergman's probable precursor to Wes Craven's notorious 1972 shocker 'The Last House on the Left' is a far more compelling and emotionally draining film that adroitly and continuously switches the viewers sentiments up until the despondent, tranquil and haunting ending. While one minute the viewer is laughing along with the youthful, if naïve, exuberance of the young Karin (Birgitta Petterssen), the following minute will encourage different emotions as Bergman plunges the viewer into the middle of a nightmarish crime perpetrated by nothing less than the evil inside man. Although the portrayals of the acts committed in 'The Virgin Spring' are far less graphic than the modern viewer may have become accustomed to, they still retain an immense power to horrify as one cannot ignore the great lengths Bergman has gone to in order to give his characters a base in order to harden the impact of what we see. With just the simplest of dialogue, the viewer continues to learn about the relationships and personalities of each of the characters so that we may appreciate the consequences and, in some ways, forgive the actions that we see. This film is, after all, a tale of morality and repentance and therefore, even while in some cases the actions may be evil, it is necessary to accept the goodness that is still there. This thought is made no clearer than during the solemn and subdued final scene which fades out abruptly and leaves the viewer in a state of quiet reflection.
Bergman's pacing and subtle direction which at one point leaves the viewer in suspense for what seems like an eternity is surely the reason for the greatness of this film. As if he were playing chess, he manipulates not only the characters, but the emotions of the viewers with intelligent and surprising maneuvers while pressing home his own sentiments regarding the story so that we may at least take into great consideration the events that we have seen. Bergman has an amazing ability to flip the atmosphere of a movie in a split second using various lighting and camera angle techniques as well as motivating his performers to follow suit. The simple expression changes on the faces of Birgitta Petterssen, Max von Sydow, Birgitta Valberg and Gunnel Lindblom at various points throughout the film quickly alter the mindset of the viewer and indicate that all is not well; so beautiful in undeniable simplicity.
'The Virgin Spring' is nothing short of a masterpiece and a film that few will be able to forget. 9½/10
Pauline Kael (who she? They cry in unison) denounced this stunning film as revolting and the subject matter is harrowing and explicit for it's day. Just because it is, doesn't mean the story, although a legend; is not worth telling. The murdered girl is just like a dear friend of mine so it's particularly distressing to sit through. I can see where Tarkovsky got his floating pollen from, or maybe both he and Bergman were influenced by Dreyer. Great scenes include the guilty boy staring up at the stars while a grandfather torments him with a speech about conscience and the cruelty of the heavens, and Sydow's stabbing of one of his daughter's killers. It happens unsparingly in front of the camera, and is absolutely searing and indelibly imprints itself upon the memory, as it shows the slow, hard reality of taking a man's life from him. Sydow is also superlative after he has killed the child and stares down at his hands, unable to reconcile them as being his own. He brilliantly conveys a man who expected to be rewarded for his virtuous life in service of the lord and his bitterness over God's perceived betrayal. Or is it about betraying ones self?
Bergman admitted that the ending with the spring was somewhat tacked on and over didactic, even bogus, as he had already said what he had wanted to say on the matter of religion in previous films and that the matter was 'closed' in his mind to a certain extent. Perhaps this is why Kael questioned whether the film really needed to exist. I can't answer that one but it is a film of authority and power which makes you question what you would do in similar circumstances, and how you might reconcile your actions with your faith. Leaving aside the religious issue, which Bergman does appear to be half hearted about, it unquestionably sides itself with the need for forgiveness and the moral duty to do good. Recommended, and great performances.
This small film may not be as ambitious as Bergman's more renowned The Seventh Seal, but I have seen so many movies from throughout history and I have seen very very few that affected me so deeply. It is such a simple story, but Bergman's direction makes it a film that stays with viewers forever.
The opening shot of the frightening Ingeri is chilling. We don't know anything yet about any of the characters or the story, yet this is still scary, because of the dark lighting and the actress's brilliant mannerisms. Ingeri clearly looks possessed, and when we find out later that she placed a horrifying curse on Karin it makes sense. The use of lighting and imagery throughout the movie is incredible. When Karin was first introduced, I immediately fell in love with her. She was so gentle, and so caring, and looked like an angel, especially with the way shots of her were lit. She invites Ingeri to go to the church with her, because Ingeri doesn't get to go out much.
This review contains spoilers: When the story reaches the woods, Karin's sweet, innocent nature is further established when she gives much of her food to the swineherds and gives them company. Knowing what was going to happen made this scene unbearably tense, and of course that gets much worse when Karin realizes their intention and tries to escape, but is cornered and then falls over a branch and is left vulnerable. The camera cuts away, but next we see the men, after having laid her on the ground, lifting up her legs and spreading them apart. That's certainly not graphic compared to some things we see nowadays, but I found it devastating to watch because it was Karin, such a beautiful girl who deserved nothing of this sort. While Karin is getting raped, we see Ingeri across the river, holding a stone at first but then letting it fall and simply watching contentedly as Karin continues to get violated. With all the sincere kindness Karin has show Ingeri, the hatred she receives in return is absolutely appalling.
Then we see Karin get up after the rape, and her dirty tear stroked face is such an awful contrast to the smiling picture of beauty we saw earlier. As if taking away her purity wasn't enough, one of the men picks up a huge stick and strikes a fatal blow to her head, and then they steal her dress. Bergman's mise-en-scene throughout this scene is outstanding.
Later after Tore finds out the truth about his guests, the scene with him preparing for his bloody revenge will scare even the most jaded viewer. The mise-en-scene is once again amazing during the murders, especially the use of the fire. After he is subdued by his horror at his own rage, I was moved by Mareta's quietly saying "Let us go find Karin".
Karin's dead unclothed body, with her eyes chewed out by buzzards, is one of the most unforgettable images in a movie absolutely packed with them. When Tore picked up the body, and the spring magically appeared, it put a bittersweet smile on my face, as though God was saying everything would be okay. The final shot with Tore asking God for forgiveness as he had the body of his only child was moving beyond words. I've read criticism of the ending, as some feel the spring didn't belong and it was not like Bergman to include something affirming a belief in God like that. If it had not been there, the film would have been that much more cryptic, but I feel it was incredible either way. I actually woke up in the middle of the night after I watched this movie, recalling images after that rape and thinking "I can't believe those monsters did something so horrible to such an innocent young girl" but then I reminded myself that the film is teaching us not to be full of hate and vengeance. I compared the rape images to the one of Tore murdering that young boy. Wes Craven's horrible remake Last House on the Left used the tagline "Keep telling yourself 'It's only a movie'", but this is the film that needs that tagline. I had to tell myself that to keep from being depressed.
This one movie is enough to show why Ingmar Bergman is considered a filmmaking immortal.
Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring is one of the most unpleasant films to watch that I have seen. The narrative is quite simplistic, but it is a very multilayered film when it comes to interpretation. In fact, like a lot of his films, I am not sure I understood everything that was said. For instance, I am not sure what exactly was being said about Christianity or religion in general in this film. It ends quite pro-Christian, where one would expect a Bergman film to be ambiguous about this subject. I must contemplate it further, but, also like his other films, I never expect to understand it fully. Thus, I could theoretically watch all of his films as many times as possible and I would still get something from them. Anyway, I would just like to say that, if you are a Bergman enthusiast, you have to see this film. Just be prepared to feel sick during your viewing. 10/10