Friday, July 27, 2007

Ingmar Bergman sells soap

I haven't done many tributes on the Funhouse TV program to this Old Master, but I do love his work. It may have become fashionable to bash him, but Persona is still one of the great modernist mindfucks of all time (as much as it's been copied) and, curiously enough, you can see the seeds of that film in these soap commercials Bergman made from 1951-1953. One doesn't want to put the auteurist magnifying glass too close to these, but shorter, commercial enterprises have always served as "laboratories" of sorts for their makers, and so here we can see Bergman's love of old silent comedy (and I do mean OLD silent comedy, of the Melies and "trick film" variety), his habit of having performers appear in the foreground to grab the viewer's attention, and his devotion to the stylings of classical theater. The sense of humor found here does manifest itself in some of his movies, but is a bit overdone in his only full broad comedy All These Women(1964).

Here are the three best of the bunch:
His evocation of early cinema

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A wonderfully strange one in which the first half of the commercial is played back in the second half. Fragment it, Ingmar!

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And this wonderfully playful item, in which a 3D gal comes right out at the viewers to sell them, what else, "Bris"!

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All eight of the spots can be found

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