Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Sight & Sound Challenge: Cries and Whispers (1972)

Film: Cries and Whispers (151/250) 
First Time/Rewatch: Rewatch

For whatever reason, I didn't think too highly of this film the first time I saw it. I liked how it looked but thought it was too slow. I can only assume that I was only half-watching and fell asleep halfway through as I am wont to do. Yes, this film can be called slow, but it's rich with detail. The relationship between the sisters, their relationships with the men in their lives, the guardian angel like presence of the maid...the story invites you in, and you go willingly, even knowing that it will be challenging and painful. And the visuals are perfectly married to the story. The blood red walls and furniture indicate the sickness and death that permeates this house. The sisters and maids in white, like nurses or angels. It's twisted, it's harrowing, it's solemn. The image of the maid comforting the dying woman at her bosom looks like a Renaissance painting. Visually, it's just about perfect. While some films are dream-like in their gauzy beauty,  this film is like a fever dream, the kind you wake from shaking in a cold sweat. And still, despite its cruelty and pain, so so beautiful. 

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