• Engels The Rite


Ingmar Bergman's THE RITE "a world event", says the Swedish press ... A masterpiece that shocks. It is about a touring variety troupe called "Les Riens", who are prosecuted and summoned to an interrogation because one of their numbers is considered grossly indecent. They are confronted with the judge's accusations, which are extremely vague. The judge's interrogation is harsh and relentless, it humiliates the artists, confuses them, shakes their self-confidence. Who are we? What is the meaning of our lives? In a series of taut scenes with great dramatic power and tension Bergman lets the three artists reveal themselves to the spectator's astonished gaze. In scenes of passion, of blood, of darkness, which are occasionally broken by gleams of hope and consolation, the author gives a vision of what it means to be an artist and of art's sanctity and curse. In the "rite" that forms the finale of the film the judge meets death. Art has avenged itself on reason. The artists, the abused ones, have spoken. THE RITE is depicted with an intimacy, a throbbing pulse in the close-ups, a tension in the acting, which are unsurpassed. (officiële tekst van distribiteur)


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Engels Combine the images of humiliation from The Naked Night with the plan and philosophy of The Magician and you will get a rough outline of what The Rite is all about. A satirical image of art as something on the edge of fairground attraction and real magic, something on the edge of an extraterrestrial ceremony and the lowness of the human body. A grim picture of the clash between the artist and the state apparatus as the stubborn draff of two charlatan and complex worlds. The Rite has a very nice, absolute reduction of the scenery. Everything takes place as if in one space - the interiors are replaced by a minimum of props and a universal canvas. The more attention is paid to the actors, the more the illusoriness of the problems and the constructed world stands out. A trio of successful theatergoers on the one hand, a poor judge on the other. There is no one to feel sympathy for. Only the final ritual arouses a hint of hope – if such an effect can be achieved by art, then surely it must have some inner meaning and power. But its facade is full of dirt, lowness and contempt. Bergman's skepticism about his own world and the world of others grew stronger. The television format aroused him to absolute minimalism, economy and brevity. The emphasis on the sound component increases, whilst the image seems to be subject to the great acting of the central quartet. I suppose I prefer Bergman the esthete to a strict skeptic... ()

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