More than any other film artist, Bergman's work is rooted in the past. His early films grew out of the culture that surrounded them and they were invariably concerned with traditional themes. [Prison, Thirst, and To Joy], all released in 1949, were each in its own way a kind of allegory, a journey through defeat and despair towards some kind of hopefulness at the end. (p. 135)
[In] his early work, one was struck especially by Bergman's imagery, by a recurring pattern of images that seemed to have for him a special force. It would be simplistic, however, to attribute to these recurring images a fixed symbolic significance. While it is true that in his early films Bergman was fond of...
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