"The great subject of the cinema, Ingmar Bergman believed, is the human face. He'd been watching Antonioni on television, he told me during an interview, and realized it wasn't what Antonioni said that absorbed him, but the man's face. Bergman was not thinking about anything as simple as a closeup, I believe. He was thinking about the study of the face, the intense gaze, the face as window to the soul. Faces are central to all of his films, but they are absolutely essential to the power of what has come to be called his Silence of God Trilogy: "Through a Glass Darkly" (1961), "Winter Light" (1962) and "The Silence" (1963). In the conventional language of cinema, a closeup is part of the grammar, used to make a point, show a reaction, emphasize an emotion. They fit into the rhythm of the cutting of a scene. But in these three films, and many others, Bergman was not using his close shots that way. His characters are often alone, or in twos. They are not looking at anything in particular -- or, perhaps, they're looking inside themselves. He requires great concentration on the part of his actors, as in "Through a Glass Darkly," where Harriet Andersson's face is held in the foreground and another character in the background for a long span of time in which she focuses on a point in space somewhere to screen right, and never blinks, nor does an eyeball so much as move. The shot communicates the power of her obsession, with her belief that voices are calling to her."