Sábado, 4 de agosto de 2007

By James Meek (THE GUARDIAN, 04/08/07):

«So now that he’s dead, you’re going to watch his films?» said Dan in the video shop.

«Is that wrong?» I said.

«I suppose not,» he said. He pushed a stack of Ingmar Bergman DVDs across the countertop. They had a whole shelf of them. The boss of the shop is Swedish, although in fairness to him, they have a whole shelf of Fellini and Kurosawa, too.

I’d only seen one Bergman film before: Fanny and Alexander, which came out while I was at university. When he died this week it struck me that otherwise I’d picked up an impression of his art entirely from gossip, echoes and parodies.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Richard Norton-Taylor, the Guardian’s security affairs editor (THE GUARDIAN, 04/08/07):

In the run-up to war, senior British security and intelligence officials as well as diplomats made it clear that they were strongly opposed to the invasion of Iraq – though not clear enough. Why now, why Iraq, they asked; it would merely increase the terrorist threat, as the joint intelligence committee warned ministers less than a month before British troops and bombers joined the US attack on the country. Concern in Whitehall was shared by some perspicacious Americans, including General Tony Zinni, the former head of US central command, which is responsible for operations throughout the Middle East.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Dan van der Bat, a military historian and author of The Atlantic Campaign (THE GUARDIAN, 04/08/07):

The world’s children may soon be needing to write to Santa Claus in Russian if Moscow’s claim to the North Pole, made this week without a trace of humour, is realised, giving new life to the phrase «cold war». No sooner had the Russians made their announcement than the US Coast Guard said it would be dispatching an icebreaker to the Arctic on a «research mission» on Monday.Sending submarines to the pole to plant a Russian flag on the seabed more than two-and-a-half miles down is all very well, but ignores the fact that there are four other countries with territory inside the Arctic Circle: Canada, Norway, the United States and Danish Greenland.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Praful C. Patel, vice president of the World Bank’s South Asia region (THE WASHINGTON POST, 04/08/07):

A few weeks ago, The Post published a heartbreaking story of Afghanistan’s health-care system breaking down as the insurgency seems to advance. Medical workers have disappeared (one was beheaded), doctors are seeking safer places to work and clinics are running out of medicine because deliveries have become too dangerous. The added cruelty of this news is that Afghanistan’s health system had just begun to turn a corner.

Today, 40,000 more Afghan babies a year are living beyond their first birthday than survived to that age in 2002.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Jonathan Rosenbaum, a film critic for The Chicago Reader, is the author, most recently, of “Discovering Orson Welles” (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 04/08/07):

THE first Ingmar Bergman movie I ever saw was “The Magician,” at the Fifth Avenue Cinema in the spring of 1960, when I was 17. The only way I could watch the film this week after the Swedish director’s death was on a remaindered DVD I bought in Paris. Like many of his films, “The Magician” hasn’t been widely available here for ages.

Nearly all the obituaries I’ve read take for granted Mr. Bergman’s stature as one of the uncontestable major figures in cinema — for his serious themes (the loss of religious faith and the waning of relationships), for his expert direction of actors (many of whom, like Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann, he introduced and made famous) and for the hard severity of his images.…  Seguir leyendo »