Grave of the Fireflies

Ghosts and Fireflies

What lingers in the mind is the color. A reddish-pinkish hue, the hue of dying embers. And the glow of the fireflies who rise up with a dreamy slowness like sparks floating upwards. The fireflies die quickly—their lifespan may be a season—and they are easily crushed even by a small child, which is a giant to them. Children, like the fireflies, are also the victims of forces much larger than them—war, hunger, the banality of bureaucracy, the general indifference of the adult world.

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Blind Spot 2016: THE SEVENTH SEAL

The Seventh Seal 6

Death is always behind them.

Perhaps no other film is more emblematic of the “Foreign Art Film” than Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 opus, The Seventh Seal. Endlessly referenced, parodied, and canonized, it seems that everyone who loves film has to see this. So as far as Blind Spots goes, this is a big one.

The film itself had become in my mind, before I had yet seen it, already burdened with the imposing weight of Greatness. And the stark image of Death with his arm stretched out and the black cloak billowing was already so familiar, that I expected an overburdened seriousness to pervade the film.

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