• First analyze this movie as if it were a painting: color, light, visual textures and composition (framing). How do you think these elements have contributed to the overall plot and theme of the movie?
• A movie is not just a picture but also a moving picture. Also analyze the films editing, rhythm and sound (include silence, environmental sounds and conversation).
PART II. Plot, symbols and characters
• What is the story? Describe the plot.
• If someone asks you “what is the movie about?” how would you describe it in couple of lines?
• What period do you think the movie set in? How do you think the historical context could have influenced the plot of the movie?
• What do you think are the most important scenes of the movie? Which scenes are the turning points?
• The first scene is15 minutes long, but lacks any dialogue (only one word is spoken) the camera does all the work, exposing the characters and the context of the plot. How does this introduction set the mood and the problems of the movie?
• What is the main character’s relationship with God? What kind of God did he believe in before the crisis?
• In the movie there are three Christ figures; who do you think they are?
• Do you think that there is any short of conversion of transcendence in the characters throughout the movie? What is the meaning of the last sentence? (Maybe the last conversation with the sexton could help.)
• Is there humor or irony in the movie?
• Symbols in this movie are very important, light, water (clue: the name of the main character) artwork in the movie like sculptures etc., modes of transportation (train, horse, car) etc. Which of these symbols are the most important?
PART III. Existentialism
• Bergman said that he was influenced by some of the existentialist thinkers when he made this movie. What do you think are the main topics expressed in this movie? Include what you think could be existential motives in the movie: despair, existential meaning, death, freedom, authenticity and history. Relate this movie to the novel The Stranger by Camus.