Ingmar Bergman

"Few, if any, directors can match his record of consistency, his probing into the human soul and his remarkable evocation, through an obsession with death, of dark worlds of allegory and fantasy." - David Quinlan (Quinlan's Film Directors, 1999)

Ingmar Bergman

Director / Screenwriter / Producer
(1918-2007) Born July 14, Uppsala, Uppsala län, Sweden
Top 250 Directors

Key Production Countries: Sweden, Germany
Key Genres: Drama, Psychological Drama, Marriage Drama, Family Drama, Reunion Films, Ensemble Film, Period Film, Fantasy, Romantic Drama, Crime Drama
Key Collaborators: Sven Nykvist (Cinematographer), Gunnar Bjornstrand (Leading Character Actor), Erland Josephson (Leading Character Actor), P.A. Lundgren (Production Designer), Max von Sydow (Leading Actor), Liv Ullmann (Leading Actress), Allan Ekelund (Producer), Bibi Andersson (Leading Character Actress), Ingrid Thulin (Leading Actress), Erik Nordgren (Composer), Harriet Andersson (Leading Actress), Gunnar Fischer (Cinematographer)

"What, then, is this place that is the human condition? What does this moral landscape look and feel like, what are its most basic features and laws? Bergman’s “reduction” reveals our lives as moral and spiritual beings to be constituted by six fundamental kinds of experience and their interrelationships. These occur throughout Bergman’s films in many variations and combinations. Sometimes all are present, sometimes only a few. They are the seminal moments of judgment, abandonment, passion, turning, shame, and vision. Together they delineate the kind of journey life is and the kind of road it must travel. They are the “plot points” through which all of Bergman’s stories develop, and they provide the framework for understanding Bergman’s films and his achievement as artist and “filmic metaphysician.” - Jesse Kalin (The Films of Ingmar Bergman, 2003)
"The son of a pastor, Ingmar Bergman made films filled with religious imagery, which paradoxically express a godless, loveless universe. Bergman's entire oeuvre can be seen as the autobiography of his psyche. Dividing his time between the stage and screen, Bergman often introduced the theatre into his films as a metaphor for the duality of the personality. At least five of his films take place on an island, a circumscribed area like the stage." - Ronald Bergan (Film - Eyewitness Companions, 2006)
"Bergman has never set out to be less than demanding; and as an artist his greatest achievement is in digesting such unrelenting seriousness until he sees no need to bludgeon us with it... Bergman has seen no reason to abandon his faith in a select audience, prepared and trained for a diligent intellectual and emotional involvement with cinema." - David Thomson (The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, 2002)
"Although he may be faulted for an occasional cold, humourless pessimism that may seem contrived, both his intellectual gravity and his uncompromising devotion to cinema as a serious art form are undeniable." - Geoff Andrew (The Film Handbook, 1989)
"Although a comparison to Strindberg is far too confining, his films reflect as powerfully the summer fevers and winter darkness of the Swedish character, expressed through a versatile range of moods from the sophisticated comedy of morals (A Lesson in Love, 1954) to the doomed vision of an apocalyptic future (The Shame, 1968)." - Margaret Hinxman (The International Encyclopedia of Film, 1972)
"Bergman's unique international status as a filmmaker would seem assured on many grounds; his prolific output of largely notable work; the profoundly personal nature of his best films since the 1950s; the innovative nature of his technique combined with its essential simplicity even when employing surrealistic and dream-like treatments; his creative sensitivity in relation to his players; and his extraordinary capacity to evoke distinguished acting from his regular interpreters." - Roger Manvell (International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, 1991)
"Bergman's childhood, as the son of a rigid Lutheran pastor, may provide a key to the metaphysical and religious speculations in his films. However, Bergman's reputation for melancholy and pretension does no justice to the sheer inventiveness of his visual style and the lyrical beauty of his films." - The Movie Book, 1999
"Human laughter, sorrow, joy, and anxiety are analyzed and compellingly illustrated by Bergman, one of the great directors." - William R. Meyer (The Film Buff's Catalog, 1978)
"Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls." - Ingmar Bergman
"I write scripts to serve as skeletons awaiting the flesh and sinew of images." - Ingmar Bergman
TSPDT Guide
Highly Recommended
Summer with Monika (1952), Wild Strawberries (1957) , Cries and Whispers (1972)
Recommended
Summer Interlude (1951), Sawdust and Tinsel (1953) , Smiles of a Summer Night (1955) , The Seventh Seal (1957) , The Virgin Spring (1959) , Winter Light (1962) , Through a Glass Darkly (1962), Persona (1966) , Shame (1968), The Passion of Anna (1969), Scenes from a Marriage (1973) , Autumn Sonata (1978), Fanny and Alexander (1982) , Saraband (2003)
Worth a Look
It Rains on Our Love (1946), Prison (1949), To Joy (1950), Dreams (1955), The Magician (1958), Brink of Life (1958), The Silence (1963) , Hour of the Wolf (1967) , The Magic Flute (1974), From the Life of the Marionettes (1980), After the Rehearsal (1984)
Approach with Caution
The Touch (1971), The Serpent's Egg (1977), In the Presence of a Clown [TV] (1997)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
1,000 Greatest Films 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
Ingmar Bergman / Favourite Films
Andrei Rublev (1966) Andrei Tarkovsky, Bang! (1977) Jan Troell, Dark Eyes (1987) Nikita Mikhalkov, The Emigrants (1971) Jan Troell, Great Expectations (1946) David Lean, Hamsun (1996) Jan Troell, The Last Laugh (1924) F.W. Murnau, Mr. Hulot's Holiday (1953) Jacques Tati, The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) Carl Theodor Dreyer, The Phantom Carriage (1920) Victor Sjöström, The Phantom of the Moulin Rouge (1925) René Clair, Sunrise (1927) F.W. Murnau, Tabu (1931) F.W. Murnau, Tous les matins du monde (1992) Alain Corneau.
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