My experience at Swedish Film Festival
Attending the Swedish Film Festival, held recently at Ewha Women’s University, was a source of great joy and satisfaction for me.
It gave me substantial food for thought about art in general and cinema in particular. Among other things, I was greatly impressed by the vibrant camera-work, cinematography and the daring editing style in the few movies I saw.
I also gathered that the authors probed the depths of human psychology and asked hard questions. The films were provocatively imaginative, beautiful and moving. My impression was that imagination was allowed a full measure in these films. And I felt that the cinematography and editing were in step with the ever-growing tempo of contemporary life.
As a great fan of Ingmar Bergman, however, many parts of these films were reminiscent of his works. On my part, I was often reminded of Bergman’s scenes contained in my memory.
However, I must admit that I may be wrong in my impressions and judgment. Although I can imagine Bergman has contributed prominently to Swedish film, tradition and individual talent are two different things in creating new works of art.
It’s globally recognized that Bergman is one of the greatest filmmakers the world has produced. He is widely known for the hard questions he asked in his films. In my view, the significant fact is that he embodied these philosophical, religious and existential questions in film form in a superb artistic manner.
Bergman was also eminently successful in making his films both artistic and entertaining. I believe entertainment is an essential ingredient of a successful movie. Furthermore, Bergman drew substantially from the dream world and the subconscious human psychology. His films like ``The Seventh Seal,” ``Fanny and Alexander” and ``Persona,” among others, still haunt my memory and offer renewed pleasure whenever I see them.
For me a great work of art is a deeply moving one which is long remembered and appreciated. Great works of art appeal powerfully to our senses, intellect, emotions and imagination, and provide new insights into the human condition and the complex aspects of human nature and experience.
Great works of art uplift and enrapture our soul, let it experience, though briefly, a timeless moment of ecstasy and give it the sensation of floating one foot above the ground. They thus momentarily release the agonizing human soul struggling to grapple with indomitable questions. We see all these aspects in Bergman’s works.
Speaking of other aspects of film, photography is a primary medium for cinematic expression. Motion pictures, after all, started out as photography; the cinema could hardly be imaginable without photography. A motion picture conveys its message primarily through photography.
The film director is largely judged by the quality of the visual image he creates. Cinematography alleviates our expectations for photography when we go to a movie. Of course, other elements of the cinema work together to make the motion picture into the composite form of art that it is.
Imagination is a mysterious source of creativity. It is a vast depository for creative ideas and inspiration. Often I dare imagine that imagination incorporates our memories, including collective memories from time immemorial, the subconscious world, and what not. Cinema fulfills our need and liking for dreams and daydreams, and nightmares for that matter. Cultivating imaginative faculties, therefore, would be crucial for artists and other creative people.
In conclusion, the Swedish Film Festival was an exciting fiesta for many people.
The writer is poet and an experimental filmmaker. His email address is email@example.com.