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Sun
04
Nov
2018
 

In a 17th-century Danish village, an old woman is accused of witchcraft. In the shadow of her flight, capture, confession, and burning at the stake, the young wife of the town's aging pastor falls in love with the pastor's son. Her confession of this illicit affair to her husband brings on her husband's death. At the funeral the pastor's mother denounces the young widow as a witch. Will the widow's lover come to her defence, or has the day of wrath returned?

Sun
04
Nov
2018
 

How do we understand faith and prayer, and what of miracles? Ordet is set in August 1925 on a Danish farm. The widowed Patriarch Borgen, who's rather prominent in his community, has three sons: Mikkel, a good-hearted agnostic whose wife Inger is pregnant, Johannes, who believes he is Jesus, and Anders, young, slight, in love with the tailor's daughter. The fundamentalist sect of the girl's father is anathema to Borgen's traditional Lutheranism; he opposes the marriage until the tailor forbids it, then Borgen's pride demands that it happen. Unexpectedly, Inger, who is the family's sweetness and light, has problems with her pregnancy. The rational doctor arrives, and a long night brings sharp focus to at least four views of faith. Carl Dreyer's acclaimed Ordet, If you are a believer or an atheist, Ordet, regularly voted as on of the greatest of all films, will shatter you either way.

Sun
04
Nov
2018
 

A drifter obsessed with the supernatural stumbles upon an inn where a severely ill adolescent girl is slowly becoming a vampire. Dreyer shrugs off conventional linear narrative and takes an experimental approach, plunging us into a waking nightmare that isn't so much black-and-white as it is misty grey. When cinematographer Rudolph Maté showed Dreyer some frames made hazy by accidental exposure to light, the director had him place a layer of gauze in front of the lens to replicate the effect for the rest of the film.

Many of the images from this movie have passed into horror iconography: an old man standing by the river tolling a bell with a scythe over his shoulder; Grey's dream of being buried alive; the evil doctor suffocating in flour dropped from the mill above. It's hard to spot where nightmares end and reality begins. This really is a film that exemplifies the idea of dreaming with our eyes open.