So we've gotten two B&W foreign flicks in a row in which a character become so unhinged from reality, he believes himself to be something ontologically other than human. In Gaav Hasaan believes he's a cow, and in Ordet, Johannes believes he's Christ. Both movies seem interested in exploring conflict in small communities, love, madness, death, and pregnant mammals. The latter is a lot more successful for me, mainly because it's a more accomplished film, just technically. It feels a lot like a play, actually, with limited locations and blackouts between scenes. Though I didn't care as much about the characters as I perhaps should have, considering what they're going through (baby death, wife death, madness, thwarted love, etc.), some of the shots were quite gorgeous, and I'll admit the suspense was fairly heightened for me towards the end.
This seems to me like a movie with an agenda. It's very pro-religious faith, but anti-faction. The doctrinal squabbles are erased in the face of true devotion. The child shall lead them, and all that. It's sort of like Signs, except better, because less pat. Not to give anything away, but I like the way the supernatural is absorbed into an otherwise hyper-realist movie. Still not sure I needed to see it before I died, but I didn't hate it, despite its rather problematic and thoughtles positioning of women as alternately angels, chattel, and non-entities ("You can do anything . . . except have sons") .
My only question for you, Nat, is what was up with Mikkel? WAY too old for Inger. He looked like the sixty-five-year-old love child of Lyle Lovett and Tim Gunn.