The Intersection between Film and Opera in the 1960s: Ingmar Bergman’s Hour of the Wolf as an Example of Formal Imitation
Chapter from the book: Petersson, S et al. 2018. The Power of the In-Between: Intermediality as a Tool for Aesthetic Analysis and Critical Reflection.
The topic of this article is the intersection between media genres in 1960s Sweden. In a case study of Ingmar Bergman’s Hour of the Wolf (1968) it is shown how the music contributes to intermedial qualities through the film’s connection with opera. It is argued that the film, by how the music is related to sound effects and images, can be seen as an example of formal imitation. The imitation of opera is created through technical media of film, such as foregrounding of media in the audio-visual space, and manipulations of sounds, music, and images. Of special interest is how, by alternating between synchronicity and counterpoint between images, sound effects, and music, Bergman attracts attention to the media as visual and sonic experiences and creates formal structures that deviate from the overall character of the film. The intermedial dimension of the film revealed by the analysis is contextualized in relation to the historical discussion of mixed versus pure medialities. The film is seen in the light of an interest in media genre mixedness versus media genre specificity in 1960s Sweden.