There are directors that like to say that remakes are homages. My experience shows that those “homages” are a way to spoil the memory of a good film, in general. A few cases are exceptions. Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht and Shadow of the Vampire are good examples of what a remake or a homage film should be – both for the same film, Nosferatu. Another example of homages is parodies. I think parodies are usually better than usual remakes, presumably because they don’t take themselves too seriously.
I also enjoy when the director pay a “small” homage to a classic in a scene, specially when the reference is subtle. This isn’t the case of The Battleship Potemkin. The Odessa Steps sequence is one of the most reverenced sequences in the film history. That wonderful scene was re-enacted several times, in almost every gender of film, and that made it so well known to us. Unfortunately, that’s also the reason why it loses its effect when quoted.
All this talk of scenes, homages and parodies is but a way to introduce a hilarious film: De Düva, also known as The Dove. Don’t be fooled by the title: it sounds Swedish, and “duva” really does mean “dove / pigeon” in Swedish. However, it’s an American film. The film, directed by George Coe and Anthony Lover in 1968, was all made to look like a Bergman‘s film. It’s a brilliant parody with strong references to The Seventh Seal (Det Sjunde Insegletand) and Wild Strawberries (Smultronstället).
The film is silly and fantastic. It has the tabus, which Bergman masterfully worked; it has a joke with the chess match scene from The Seventh Seal; it starts like the Wild Strawberries; the mise en scène looks like a film directed by Bergman; and it sounds Swedish. I bet the screenwriter had a lot of fun making up words.
The dialogue, seemingly in Swedish, is actually a Swedish-accented fictional language based on English, German, Latin, and Swedish, with most nouns ending in “ska”.
That’s probably what makes it so funny and why I highly recommend it. The quality of the video on-line isn’t the best, but since the video is rare and isn’t available in DVD, it is worth it. Madeline Kahn, better known for her films with Mel Brooks, made her debut in the cinema with this film. Watch it below, or directly at Google Video. (14 min)