Gelley, Ora. "Ingrid Bergman's Star Persona and the Alien Space of Stromboli." Cinema Journal 47.2 (2008): 26-51.
Gelley tracks the course of Ingrid Bergman's career, moving from her beginnings in Sweden, to her time in WWII era Germany, to the peak of her popularity in Hollywood, and finally to her films and romantic entanglements with the famed director Roberto Rossellini. Over the course of this article, Gelley addresses many issues but places a continual focus on the shifting acceptance and use of Bergman's sexuality. Gelley states that while off-screen (until the time of her affair with Rossellini) Bergman was portrayed as innocent and virtuous, on screen she often took on the roles of “the other woman,” prostitutes, or women with questionable morals. Bergman’s sexuality was not only affected by the roles that she took on, but also by the methods of acting that she (and at times her directors) chose to utilize in each of her films. The restrained movement that characterized her collaborations with Hitchcock allowed her to achieve success in Hollywood and with the American people. However, when Bergman began to work with Rossellini her movement and acting method reflected an actor, and subsequently a group of characters, that embraced her own sexuality. While Gelley argues that it is this acceptance of female power that alienated Bergman from her Hollywood fan base, it also allowed her characters to become not only representations of strong women, but also to become central to Rossellini’s commentary on the state of Europe after World War II.
Addressing Bergman’s work in Spellbound, Gelley highlight Hitchcock’s influence, arguing that it was Hitchcock who urged Bergman to restrain her movement and focused the camera and subsequently the audience on the drama of her minuet facial expressions. With her body either out of frame of covered by unflattering outfits, Hitchcock neutralized Bergman’s capacity for the expression of overt sexuality. This fascination with Bergman’s face might have begun with Spellbound, but in Hitchcock’s next film with Bergman, Notorious, the director took the idea of the close-up to the extreme, including approximately 191 close-ups and extreme close-ups in a 101-minute film. Like Notorious, in Spellbound the close-ups ultimately undermine the strength of the female character, neutralizing the power that she posses within the plot of the film and instead relegating her to role of a emotionally involved, but ultimately passive player.
Bradshaw, Peter and Andrew Gilchrist. "How to make a surrealist film: Grab a giant seashell, send for a rotting donkey, and don't forget to press your dinner jacket...Peter Bradshaw and Andrew Gilchrist offer 10 tips for any budding Bunuels." The Guardian (London), 5 March 2007,16. Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 9 April 2008. .
Bradshaw and Gilchrist offer “budding Bunuels” ten tips for perfecting surrealist films. Their article might approach the issue of surrealist filmmaking from a humorous perspective, but there are several legitimate points within the article. The authors argue that filmmakers should dress their characters in formalwear, repeat scenes, change scenes abruptly, let a seashell star in the film, slice open an eyeball, and sell tickets made of sandpaper to the premier of the film, just to name a few. While, the authors openly mock the ridiculousness of many surrealist traditions, each one of their tips is grounded in the past action of a surrealist star from Bunuel to Dali.
In addition to hiring a seashell and appearing in full scuba gear for your film’s premier, the authors argue that each surrealist film should include a dream sequence. They specifically single out the dream sequence in Spellbound, which was created by Dali. While the article, by mentioning the film by name seems to imply its superiority, or at least superior notoriety, when compared to other surrealist films, the inclusion of Spellbound in this top ten list of surrealist tips emphasizes the lack of opportunity for originality that plagued Dali and other surrealist filmmakers who worked within the Hollywood system. In Spellbound, Dali was used for his name recognition rather than his vision as a surrealist thinker. Instead of allowing Dali artistic freedom to create the alternate world that he had imagined, the producers of Spellbound changed Dali’s vision and subsequently demeaned his contribution to the film. Instead of allowing him artistic control, Spellbound used Dali’s name as a vehicle for publicity and conformed his vision to the restrictions of a surrealist greatest hits list.
tagged bunuel spellbound surrealism by merhaupt ...on 10-APR-08