Derik Badman's Journal

2021-04-26 08:22

Bergman's Hour of the Wolf was a strange movie, kind of horror adjacent. It explicitly treads ground between what is real and what is imagined, leaving you unsure of which was which. A couple return to their home on an isolated island. He is an artist, clearly troubled, she is model, lover, wife (I forget if that is made clear or if I just assumed that). One day he shows her some drawings he's made of these figures, they have names like "the bird man". Both seem a bit disturbed by them. Things get weird when she goes outside one day and suddenly there's an old woman standing there (not a creepy old woman, just a well dressed woman in a hat) who tells her to read the artist's diary that he has hidden under the bed.

As the wife reads the diary, the scenes cut to the artist, and it's not clear if we are seeing a visualization of what she is reading or just what is happening to him while she is reading. He is visited by three people (pretty sure, three) in succession. Earlier we are given the impression the island is isolated and they are alone, so the people are a surprise. The one says he is a baron who owns the island and invites the couple to his estate/castle for a party. The people at the party are strange, almost maniacal, but also not so strange we can't imagine they are just bored nobles who spend too much time with only each other and have grown to rather hate each other. A former lover of the artist is brought up, he drinks a lot, the wife looks nervous.

At one point we see him painting and fishing on a small cliff overlooking the ocean. A young boy is with him. They don't speak. The boy moves around watching the artist, the artist glances back at the boy angrily. Finally, they fight, the man bashes the boy against the rocks, throws him into the ocean. A son is mentioned in an earlier seen, as if he is far away. But this boy seems more like a puck of some kind, almost inhuman.

Later the man goes back to the house, his former lover is there. The people seem to all take on the guise of the characters he drew earlier (one man leads the artist down a hallway filled with pigeons and then seems to sprout wings as he takes his leave). The baron walks up the wall in one room and stands on the ceiling (a nice effect, probably just a room built to be turned on its side and then upside down). The former lover lies naked, covered in a sheet, pretending to be dead.

He flees, he is frantic, he shoots his wife (just a graze), he flees into the woods, he dies (he kills himself? He is killed by the other people?). In the end (and the beginning really, since it's how the movie starts) the wife is telling the story to the camera. She wonders (more than once in the movie) about the idea that people who live together and love each other for a long time become like each other. She wonders if she loved the artist too much or not enough.

In the end I guess I have to assume the other characters were all figments of the artist's brain, and that somehow the wife began to share in his delusions for a time. So much so that she couldn't help him.

That was a long summary... probably too much... And now I've done all that rather than anything else...

I neglected to mention that the other evening I looked out into the backyard and saw some new fox kits. It appears the foxes that have a den behind our house have five new kits this year. I've seen them a couple times now (usually just one or two). They are still quite small, maybe large kitten size, and seem very curious and playful (they pounce like cats with two front paws aimed together at a target).

As we wrapped up the Dragon Heist 5e adventure last session, the regular D&D group started a new campaign yesterday. Eric is running something using The Black Hack rules, which are kind of... somewhere between BX D&D and d20 with a couple things thrown in. We're experimenting with letting the players be more active participants in the world building where we can make statements about the world. I've decided we ride large birds like in Nausicaa rather than horses. So far just intro/setup for our first mission. I'm playing a sorceress character kind of like one of the one's in The Witcher.