Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ten Thousand Swedes

Sometimes to mix things up in a class -- History or English, doesn't matter -- I'll break out Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal. It usually makes for a surprising hit, especially with angst-ridden students. The idea of plague, meaningless, existential absurdity, deranged flagellants, sudden death, mysterious appearances of the Virgin Mary and the Grim Reaper playing chess appeal to the young. It's actually harder to show Bergman's scary vision to older audiences, for whom death seems all too familiar. I'll tell you another thing: finely made Swedish films tend to blow American minds, if precisely delivered with an element of surprise. In the original Swedish with English subtitles, of course.

Rosario Dawson is a memorable actress, depending on which persona she adopts. I like her in Shattered Glass (2003) in particular, playing an ambitious Forbes Digital internet journalist. Steve Zahn is also in top form as her co-worker. This film is better than a stolid lecture on plagiarism any day.

Today's Rune: Strength.

Birthdays: John Ericsson, George Thomas, Sebastian Spering Kresge, Jean Philippe Arthur Dubuffet, Ahmet Ertegün, Don Murray, Geraldine Chaplin, Bob Welch, Wesley Snipes, Emilia Fox.

Hej då!

1 comment:

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

I can imagine that the students were quite intrigued and enjoyed such a movie. After all, the end of days is just words to them or a title of a new movie. They are young and ending things is something that has not even landed in their minds for the most part. I find it interesting that you do this. Not sure why though.