Cries & Whispers (1972)

Cries & Whispers would have been a good movie for Mystery Science Theater 3000 to take up. After all, if this movie is going to have characters stand around not saying very much, and then have them sit around not saying very much, and then have one of them lie in bed dying of cancer and not saying very much, and then have two sisters talk to each other without giving the audience the benefit of hearing what they are saying, the MST3K team might just as well have supplied some witty dialogue.

I suppose Ingmar Bergman, while making this movie, said to himself, “Boy, all my movies are profound, but I’m really being profound in this one,” and I suppose those people who make up the art-house crowd shared in that opinion. I mean, what can be more profound than making a depressing movie about the slow, agonizing death of a cancer victim; a maid who comforts that cancer victim by giving her the benefit of a couple of naked breasts; a woman who cuckolds her husband until he impales himself, who then actually asks her to help him (How exactly?); two sisters teasing us with a little lesbian incest; one of those sisters telling her maid to quit looking at her just before she gets completely naked while the maid looks at her; and that same sister picking up a piece of broken glass and shoving it up her vagina so that she can smear the blood all over her face in front of her husband?

As for this last, I thought that after she forced the broken glass up her vagina she was going to invite her husband to have sex with her. Normally, such a twisted thought would never cross my mind, but it seemed like a reasonable expectation at the time. If Bergman had put that in the movie, that would really would have been profound.

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