Vermont Arts Council
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VTIFF Screening: Cries & Whispers

July 14 at 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

$5 – $10

It’s Ingmar Bergman’s Birthday!!

Since we’ve been highlighting comedians and comedies in recent weeks, it seemed like a good idea to throw in a movie that has not one single laugh or moment of levity in it anywhere. Plus, it’s Ingmar Bergman’s birthday, so…Cries & Whispers! And while it may not have laughs, it’s one of the greatest films ever made (imho).

In a country house in turn-of-the-20th-century rural Sweden, a woman is dying of cancer. Her two sisters and her maid tend to her. That’s pretty much it, except for the harrowing deep dive you take into the souls of all these women, and feel all the pain, rage, yearning, disconnectedness, fear, passion and love that they’re mostly unable or forbidden to express.

Other than Kari Sylwan – a dancer who so fabulously plays the role of the maid, Anna – the three main leads are major players in Bergman’s repertory company: Liv Ullmann (12 films with Bergman), Harriett Andersson (9 films) and Ingrid Thulin (9 films). They are simply breathtaking, acting at a level that’s hard to conceive, but a pleasure to behold. They convey these women just by being. They say more while sitting still than most actors do with a three-page monologue.

The film was distributed in the U.S. by the late, great Roger Corman (thanks for everything and RIP, Roger!!), whose usual fare was along the lines of Student Nurses and Caged Heat. He jumped at the chance to bring Bergman’s film to the U.S. It turned out to be the most unlikely of hits. A humorless Swedish movie about a woman dying of cancer? A movie with almost no music but plenty of ticking clocks and painful shrieks? It not only made money, it fully crossed into the mainstream, earning Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay, and winning the fully deserved Best Cinematography Oscar for Sven Nykvist (in fact, if you’ve ever wondered why The Screening Room is red, this movie is the answer).

As is our birthday-screening tradition, please stay with us afterwards for birthday cake and a round of “Happy Birthday.” Ingmar would’ve wanted it that way!


July 14
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
$5 – $10
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Vermont International Film Festival
(802) 660–2600
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Creative Zone
Chittenden County Zone


The Screening Room @ VTIFF
60 Lake Street, 1st floor
Burlington, VT, 05401
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