Hour of the Wolf (1968) Poster

Erland Josephson: Baron von Merkens



  • Baron von Merkens : Now you are yourself, but not yourself; an ideal state for a meeting between lovers.

  • Baron von Merkens : You see what you want to see!

  • Baron von Merkens : "The Magic Flute" is the great example and I shall prove it to you at once. Tamino's guides have just left him in the dark courtyard outside the temple of wisdom and the youth calls out in the deepest despair, "O endless night, when will you be gone? When will the daylight greet my sight?" Seriously ill, Mozart feels these words with a secret intensity. And the chorus and orchestra answer with "Soon, fair youth or never." The loveliest and perhaps the most disturbing music that has ever been written. Tamino asks, "Does Pamina still live?" The invisible chorus replies, "Pamina still lives." Listen to the strange, illogical but brilliant division: Pami-na. Pami-na. It's no longer the name of a young woman. It's a formula, an incantation, a naive text. In short, a work composed to order and yet the high manifestation of art.

  • Baron von Merkens : [alternate translation]  You are yourself and yet, not yourself - the ideal state for an amorous encounter.

  • Baron von Merkens : Does our artist not agree?

    Johan Borg : Forgive me. I call myself an artist for lack of a better name. In my creative work there is nothing implicit except compulsion. Through no fault of mine, I've been pointed out as something quite extraordinary, a calf with five legs, a monster. I have never fought to attain that position and I shall not fight to keep it. Megalomania? Yes I've felt it waft about my brow at times, but I think I'm immune . I have only to think of the utter unimportance of art in the world we live in to bring it down to earth , although the compulsion is there all the same.

    Corinne von Merkens : There speaks an artist!

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