Sunday, January 31, 2016

Red Light, Winter Light

Early yesterday I rewatched WINTER LIGHT. It had been on my mind because we talked about it in an ADVENTURE TIME meeting last week. And then when I saw Bill up at the Grocery, he and I talked about it; it's Bill's favorite Bergman film. In the evening, Dr. Theresa wanted to watch a movie so we scrolled through a bunch we've recorded off of TCM. "What's RED LIGHT?" said Dr. Theresa. I didn't remember. RED LIGHT is a George Raft movie, kind of noir, a revenge movie, a crime film... and just like WINTER LIGHT it turned out to be about a crisis of religious faith, with a similarly impassive lead performance. Strange coincidence! George Raft has a big speech in a church, concerned with what WINTER LIGHT calls "God's silence." Of course, George Raft ends it by hurling a candelabra through a stained glass window - a flashier gesture than Bergman's characters are comfortable with. Spoiler alert: God kills Raymond Burr. He's the bad guy in RED LIGHT. Raymond Burr, I mean, not God. Do you think I'm kidding? A cop standing over Raymond Burr's smoking corpse says (I paraphrase), "Well, I guess this proves it: God exists!" So, a fairly big departure from the ending of WINTER LIGHT.