40. “Now, is this Ingmar Bergman’s first American film?”

The episode:Cheating,” the short in front of “The Wild World of Batwoman,” ep. 515

The riff: Wondered aloud by Crow as the film’s central character Johnny receives some disturbing news by phone in a darkened room.

The explanation: This riff really requires the viewer to be familiar with the style of Bergman, the famous Swedish director who pioneered many facets of arthouse cinema. Crow refers to both the physical darkness in the scene (it’s almost impossible to see) and the crushing solemnity of the sentence that lays upon Johnny as a despicable cheater. The image of the grandfather clock ticking depressedly in the background plays a part as well, I think. But more than anything, Crow is making fun of how seriously this movie takes its own anti-cheating message, as if life and death hang in the balance.

Novelty factor: Having a cursory knowledge of Bergman, I understood the basic gist of what Crow was trying to say with the riff.

I'm European! ...from Europe!

I’m European! …from Europe! Fetch me a skinny black cigarette!

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2 thoughts on “40. “Now, is this Ingmar Bergman’s first American film?”

  1. Pingback: 73. “When you’re out of slits, you’re out of pier.” | MST3k Riff-a-Day

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