Something Good #51: 19 Faces
The opening of Ingmar Bergman’s 1975 screen adaptation of Mozart’s The Magic Flute consists of eight minutes of faces as the opera’s overture plays.
The faces belong to an imagined audience, seated in a replica of Stockholm’s Drottningholm Palace Theatre. Bergman himself appears, as does his daughter (whose face is returned to more than once through the entire film, and who opens and closes the sequence), as do dozens of other anonymous opera-watchers.
The rigour of this sequence, entirely made up of close-ups without dialogue, is more comparable to an experimental film than what would become a global hit. When I first saw it, it bewitched me, and I decided to capture a frame from every shot of it, not realizing that it consisted of something in the order of 174 shots.
I can’t post them all here, but here are some of my favourites, and a link to the overture to listen to as you contemplate them.
I wonder where these faces are now.
I was excited to see that the latest edition of Cadence Weapon’s newsletter was titled “The lush romanticism of Pet Shop Boys”—one of my all-time favourite bands. I was even more excited to read Rollie’s description of Chris Heath’s book Pet Shop Boys, Literally as “probably the only hardcover book that I own with a full colour matte print on it instead of a dust sleeve.” No dust jacket?! Of course I ordered it immediately. I will report back later on the contents.
And as I am running out of space, this will have to serve as this week’s #nojacketsrequired. More soon.
Every week I will send you Something Good. More or less. This edition first appeared as a blog post where you can see all 174 shots (no space limit) if you so please.
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