31 July 2007

"De Düva" (The Dove): So Long, Ingmar...

Everyone knows I'm a movie buff, but I must admit I was never much of a disciple of those European auteurs who were (and are) the darlings of boomer film critics who refuse to admit that anything good was made after the 60s and 70s.

The late Ingmar Bergman certainly deserves his canonization as an influential and thoughtful filmmaker, but truth is, his leisurely-paced exercises in monochromatic Euro-angst have left me--for the most part--cold, unmoved, and hopelessly bored (although I will admit that my tastes have "matured" somewhat over the years and I've warmed up to "The Seventh Seal" and "The Virgin Spring", if only because the former was parodied in "Bill And Ted" and the latter provided the basis for Wes Craven's "Last House On The Left"). Plus, every other damned poseur in my first year film class seemed to think they were the only person who knew who Sven Nykvist was.

Go ahead and blame the influence of too many horror movies and comic books on shaping my sensibility (it's not that I don't like existentialism, it's just that I prefer mine with a healthy dose of gunplay and reanimated corpses), or, as I do, blame SCTV's brilliant parody "Whispers Of The Wolf" on Count Floyd's "Monster Chiller Horror Theatre", which ruined Bergman's "Persona" and "Hour Of The Wolf" for me (c'mon, I'm not alone) for life.

So rather than revised my personal history and refashion myself as a mournful Bergman latecomer, I'd like to pay tribute by reminding readers of the existence of another great parody, one done with a great deal of affection, entitled "De Düva" (The Dove), which was produced in 1968 and nominated for an Academy Award. It stars the much-missed Madelaine Kahn in what the IMBD lists as her first professional role, and was directed by George Coe, who later joined the original launch of "Saturday Night Live" and today is a character actor who's appeared on everything from "King Of Queens" to "Bones" to "Gilmore Girls" to "Smallville".

You can check out the brilliant short here (and see the Grim Reaper play badminton) at Bergmanorama.com (requires Windows Media Player).

And a nod to Slate for the tip...