Monday, July 30, 2007

Ingmar Bergman, good bye.

One wakes up to news, everyday.
Sometimes they are bad, sometimes they are worse, and we realize that the phrase good news is an oxymoron.
Today I woke up to the news that Ingmar Bergan has passed away.
He was one of the few true luminaries of contemporary film-making.
I will always associate Bergman with the rain. Whenever I went to see one of those brief screening of his movies at the Cinemateca de Cuba, near the corner of 23 and 12 in el Vedado, it invariably rained.
Then I would jump the fence and cut through the cemetery, under flickering lights and rain, just like in the atmosphere of a movie. I would jump the fence out, like a spirit out of the grave, and walk all the way up 26 till la Ciudad Deportiva.
Well, that if I didn't meet with friends at Jalisco Park.
In that case the walk would be around the cemetery, from Zapata and 12, to 26, sometimes waking up the dead while percuting the iron fence with a stick. Yeah, those nights were straight out of Bergman's visions.
Bergman taught us about inner life, and it was our lifesaver in the demonic experiment that castro unleashed on all of us.
His movies were not shown very often or for very long in Cuba. They would just made up a "cycle of Swedish cinema" and lump a few Bergman movies with some other Swedish image-smiths. Ah, yeah, I just invented another word. Or image-cobblers, if you like that one better, or image-stitchers. Have it as you want it.
Oh well, Ingmar's no more. Now's just Bergman, the visual monument builder.