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Film: Virgin Spring
Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 7:00pm

Based off a medieval sonnet about the rape and murder of a farming family's only child and her parents' subsequent vengeance-cum-spiritual awakening, Virgin Spring presents a spare, pastoral setting in which a young girl's metaphoric, doomed journey through the forest primeval represents the terror of filial dissolution from the parents' point of view. Bergman and his screenwriter Ula Isaksson set this theme against Scandinavia during a period in which the region's religious identity was writhing in its own parallel domestic divergence, caught between Norse paganism and blossoming Christianity. (As we all know now, there was no place in Europe where Christianity established a more tenacious foothold, excepting perhaps Italy.) According to Bergman scholars, Virgin Spring itself represents the primary nexus between Bergman's austere but accessibly recherché works of the 1950s and his downright ascetic 1960s cinema. In case you needed to know, Christianity wins hands down, across the spread. When Max Von Sydow's patriarch, upon discovering that the trio of herdsmen seeking refuge from the wintry elements in his guest shack have defiled and killed his daughter on her way to deliver sacred candles to church, seeks revenge of the highest caliber on the three murderers, he spends 30 seconds contemplating God's cruel whims before declaring his intentions to build a stone cathedral on that very site. Quavering faith is scarcely in question, though—the titular spring gushes from the very spot where the dead girl's head rested as if in divine approval of Sydow's vow. While an undeniably powerful conclusion, one can be forgiven for wondering if Bergman's taciturnity toward the film in print suggests he preferred cinematic ellipses and question marks, as well.

--Slant Magazine

Virgin Spring (1960 Ingmar Bergman)
Format: 35mm Film
Runtime: 89 minutes
When: February 27th & February 28th at 7:00 and 9:30 pm, March 1st at 3:00 pm

5th Ave
510 SW Hall St.
Admission: Free for PSU Students, Faculty and Staff with ID; $2 for Other Students, Seniors and Children; $3 General Admission

For more information:

PSU Film Committee