Thu Dec 21 – 7:30 pm
Fri Dec 22 – 9:20 pm
Cinematheque: "Winner of the 1960 Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film, The Virgin Spring is one of the most powerful and important works in the Bergman canon, and the film with which the great Sven Nykvist became the director's regular cinematographer. Based on a 13th-century folk ballad, and offering (like Bergman's earlier The Seventh Seal ) an immaculate recreation of a barbarous and superstitious medieval milieu, the film stars Max von Sydow as Töre, a wealthy landowner whose beloved virgin daughter is brutally raped and murdered while on a religious pilgrimage. A twist of fate finds the three killers seeking shelter at Töre's farm; when he discovers their responsibility for his daughter's death, he exacts a vengeance of Biblical proportions. The film ends on a hauntingly hopeful note suggestive of divine forgiveness; with his "faith" trilogy of Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, and The Silence , Bergman would soon forswear the existence of the divine altogether. The Virgin Spring won the International Critics Prize at Cannes, where it (and Buñuel's The Young One ) was announced as "too good to be judged" in the competition for the Palme d'Or. "One of Bergman's finest films, certainly a masterpiece" ( James Monaco). B&W, 35mm, in Swedish with English subtitles. 88 mins.