XIXAX Film Forum

The Director's Chair => The Director's Chair => Topic started by: filmcritic on June 23, 2003, 12:11:24 AM

Title: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: filmcritic on June 23, 2003, 12:11:24 AM
Ingmar Bergman is a wonderful director. I just saw his film "Cries and Whispers" and several other of his films. Is anyone else aware of this gem of a director out there?
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Cecil on June 23, 2003, 12:14:24 AM
persona. holy shit  :-D
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SHAFTR on June 23, 2003, 01:38:58 AM
I've seen Persona, Cries and Whispers and Seventh Seal...next up is Wild Strawberries.


I really liked Persona and Cries and Whispers (fade to red, I love it); Seventh Seal had scenes I really enjoyed.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Ghostboy on June 23, 2003, 01:44:38 AM
One of my faves. Cries And Whispers is probably my favorite, although I don't know when I'll have the guts to make it through it again.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SHAFTR on June 23, 2003, 01:52:02 AM
Quote from: Ghostboy
One of my faves. Cries And Whispers is probably my favorite, although I don't know when I'll have the guts to make it through it again.


I really liked it but I don't know if I could watch it again.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Bud_Clay on June 24, 2003, 03:59:56 AM
I love all the films I've seen by Bergman, with the exception of "The Magic Flute".....While it was still an interesting film and idea to make a film entirely shot on set of a Mozart play I wish there was more to the film.  Wild Strawberries, The Seventh Seal, and Cries & Whispers are simply incredible.  

I can't wait for the Bergman Trilogy releases by Criterion in August.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: filmcritic on July 14, 2003, 10:37:13 AM
Ingmar Bergman is 85 today! Happy Birthday to Bergman!
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: chainsmoking insomniac on July 14, 2003, 10:39:37 AM
I didn't like Cries and Whispers.  The only other film of his I've seen was the Seventh Seal, and I loved it.  

I'm going to watch Persona next.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: filmcritic on July 14, 2003, 10:41:30 AM
Wow! You didn't like "Cries and Whispers"??? It was such a masterpiece! :shock:
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: chainsmoking insomniac on July 14, 2003, 10:54:12 AM
I know.  I fully accept my stigma for this too....I think the pacing more than anything else bothered me.  And I don't have a short attention span either.... :oops:
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: filmcritic on July 14, 2003, 10:57:01 AM
Be patient with it. The pace is what is so great about the film. It's very queit, creepy, disturbing and passionate. I encourage you to go back and see it again.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: rustinglass on July 14, 2003, 11:05:29 AM
Goon, watch the Virgin Spring, it's really beautiful/violent, very interesting. My favourite Bergman picture
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: ono on July 14, 2003, 01:11:29 PM
Persona is brilliant, one of the best movies ever.  Unfortunately, I watched a cruddy VHS; I'm sure I would've liked it even more had I seen a decent transfer with legible subtitles.

I saw Nattvardsgästerna (Winter Light) a while back, and it wasn't that good.  Boring and depressing par-for-the-course examination of God's presence in life.  A better film though is Det Sjunde Inseglet (The Seventh Seal).  The knight plays chess with Death.  Love it.  And "Death bids them dance."  One of the best endings ever.  Still, the transfer on this sufferend as well, as did the subs.  So I'll need to see it again, too.  I also need to see Smultronstället (Wild Strawberries) because I've heard it was good.  And Cries and Whispers.  All his films are very slow, though, so you have to be in the mood.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: filmcritic on July 14, 2003, 01:26:38 PM
The interesting things about Ingmar Bergman is that he always pushed the limit with his material. Several of his films were threatened or got the X rating.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: rustinglass on July 14, 2003, 01:35:33 PM
You should watch the virgin spring too, film critic.
(talk about pushing things to the limit)
it's an adaptation of a 14th century poem
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: chainsmoking insomniac on July 14, 2003, 02:12:26 PM
Quote from: rustinglass
Goon, watch the Virgin Spring, it's really beautiful/violent, very interesting. My favourite Bergman picture


Thanks for the tip.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SHAFTR on July 14, 2003, 02:40:09 PM
I just watched Wild Strawberries and it was very good.

So far I've seen
Wild Strawberries 5/5
Persona 5/5
Seventh Seal 4/5
Cries and Whispers 5/5
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: A Matter Of Chance on August 05, 2003, 08:13:26 PM
Damn, I really lover Bergman's work. My favprite Bergman is "Wild Strawberries," with "Cries Amd Whispers" a close second. Even though I do think that "The Seventh Seal" is so good. I love the idea of someone playing chess with death.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Ravi on August 05, 2003, 09:29:51 PM
I've seen Seventh Seal, Fanny and Alexander, and Wild Strawberries.  I loved the first two, but I thought WS was a little too ponderous when I watched it.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: filmcritic on September 05, 2003, 04:32:48 PM
Did anybody see "Faithless", written by Ingmar Bergman? It came out only 3 years ago.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: luctruff on September 07, 2003, 02:16:58 PM
I've been wanting to see "Faithless" since it came out....it was directed by Liv Ullman...right??
I'd have to say "Fanny and Alexander" is his best film, only because I feel he said everything he's been trying to say over his whole career with this film....It's his "Brother's Karamazov"....It showed how he became the person he is....if i remember the film correctly, haven't seen it in a while....but it's a nice summation (i think i might have dreamed that word up, maybe it's real) of the man himself....just as "Ham on rye" was for the great bukowski....i'm just name dropping now....goodbye
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: meatwad on September 19, 2003, 12:29:36 PM
wild strawberries is amazing. It sent me for a loop. I was so fucking moved by this film, it was hard to imagine. I had seen The Seventh Seal before, and it was pretty good, but just never got around to seeing anything else of his till now. If Cries and Whispers is half as good as Wild Strawberries then i will be happy
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Seraphim on October 23, 2003, 05:14:54 AM
In about a few months...

I'll discover the majestic world of Bergman.

Can't wait to see his major films (and yet I have to)...!!!

Spirituality, Death, loss of connection....yes, it'll work for me!

Persons who LOVE Bergman (or Tarkovsky) should also check out French director Robert Bresson, I strongly believe (haven't seen his films, but I will i two weeks from now)...same themes as Bergman, quite same visual style...bleak, extremely minimalistic...spiritual, much concentration required.

Yeah, I'll like Bresson and Bergman. Can't miss! :)
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: ElPandaRoyal on October 23, 2003, 05:52:01 AM
Quote from: Seraphim
In about a few months...

I'll discover the majestic world of Bergman.

Can't wait to see his major films (and yet I have to)...!!!

Spirituality, Death, loss of connection....yes, it'll work for me!


What's gonna happen in a few months?  :?

As for Bergman... I haven't seen them all, but I really like what I've seen. Wild Strawberries is great, and so are, in my opinion, Autumn Sonata (great performances) and Cries & Wispers. The Virgin Spring may also my favourite Bergman... I really loved the story and Max von Sydow there. I need to see Face to Face, Fanny and Alexander and The Seventh Seal - I still have a lot of Bergamn to see...

One film I really didn't care about was "In The Presence Of A Clown", a made for TV movie that didn't really work.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: cine on October 23, 2003, 04:15:50 PM
Definitely give The Seventh Seal a look first.. its one of his greatest. And obviously Woody Allen has been inspired by that film his whole career.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: ElPandaRoyal on October 23, 2003, 04:46:12 PM
Quote from: Cinephile
Definitely give The Seventh Seal a look first.. its one of his greatest


I will, as soon as I can.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Seraphim on October 24, 2003, 01:42:24 AM
I will not.  :wink:

I never start with a major director's best work.
Always "working towards" them, so to speak.

But you can only do that when you have full confidence about someone's films/ careers AND when you have the necessary patience.

I know Bergman hasn't made just one great film, so why start with his best? Save it up, I'd say...
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SHAFTR on October 24, 2003, 01:45:39 AM
I don't think Seventh Seal is his best work.  Of the films of his I've seen (look above), It was the one I enjoyed the least.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: cine on October 24, 2003, 02:06:33 AM
Quote from: SHAFTR
I don't think Seventh Seal is his best work.  Of the films of his I've seen (look above), It was the one I enjoyed the least.

Well out of that list of the ones you've seen, its understood. Persona is my fav out of those. And I'm still waiting for MGM or whoever to release it on DVD.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SHAFTR on October 24, 2003, 02:59:19 AM
Quote from: Cinephile
Quote from: SHAFTR
I don't think Seventh Seal is his best work.  Of the films of his I've seen (look above), It was the one I enjoyed the least.

Well out of that list of the ones you've seen, its understood. Persona is my fav out of those. And I'm still waiting for MGM or whoever to release it on DVD.


Do you know anything about that Criterion Box Set?  I haven't seen either of the films in that trilogy.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: cine on October 24, 2003, 03:19:10 AM
I had seen Through A Glass Darkly and the Silence on TV before.. I really want the DVDs but I have a good chunk of films on my priority list before that box set. You surely won't be disappointed by those films though... I haven't seen a bad Bergman film, and I doubt I ever will.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: (kelvin) on November 10, 2003, 12:09:11 PM
Yesterday, I have watched Cries and Whispers. I found it breathtaking, cruel,...a mixture of sorrow and beauty that I have never seen before.
After seeing Wild Strawberries and this film, I am somehow in a Bergman hype. I absolutely must see Persona.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: cine on November 10, 2003, 04:13:58 PM
Yes, you must. Purchase the VHS for now or something and then buy the DVD in February. But it's a must see Bergman - like just about all of his films.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: (kelvin) on November 11, 2003, 04:30:00 AM
I think Persona already exists in a UK DVD version. I'll see to purchase this one.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Sanjuro on November 11, 2003, 06:01:32 AM
i agree its a must see bergman, but the VHS is really a terrible copy.  the subtitles are so bad, you cant even read them on some scenes...
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SHAFTR on November 11, 2003, 08:13:48 AM
I saw a 35 mm print of it last year.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: classical gas on November 12, 2003, 05:29:28 AM
i've yet to see a bad bergman film.  i've seen, maybe seven or eight.  all great.  i'm getting 'virgin spring', i think it's this one, from netflix.  anyone seen it?  i saw something on imdb.com about a sequel to 'scenes from a marriage' a while ago.  anyone know anything about this?  i'm not sure what else they could add to this wonderful film, but how could i criticize the master of cinema?
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Ghostboy on November 12, 2003, 07:41:38 AM
The Virgin Spring is fantastic. It was actually the first Bergman film I ever saw, so it made quite an impression on me.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: abuck1220 on November 12, 2003, 03:34:04 PM
the only bergman i haven't liked is cries and whispers. if you like crying and/or whispering, then maybe you'll like it because there is lots of both. visually, however, it is pretty impressive.

i liked persona, virgin spring, seventh seal and wild strawberries.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Ghostboy on November 12, 2003, 07:05:08 PM
I like Cries And Whispers best (haven't seen Persona yet, though). It affected me the most of any of his films, in a rather painful way. It's the most horrific non-horror movie I can think of.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: godardian on November 12, 2003, 08:27:52 PM
Quote from: Ghostboy
I like Cries And Whispers best (haven't seen Persona yet, though). It affected me the most of any of his films, in a rather painful way. It's the most horrific non-horror movie I can think of.


I predict you'll like Persona even better. It's my favorite of his and probably his most important contribution to cinema.

I love Cries and Whispers, too, though.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: eward on November 12, 2003, 10:10:57 PM
Quote from: Ghostboy
The Virgin Spring is fantastic.


only bergman ive seen so far, i really loved it as well.

"if she said one more thing about bergman i woulda knocked her other contact lens out!".....hehe
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SHAFTR on November 12, 2003, 10:23:50 PM
Quote from: godardian
Quote from: Ghostboy
I like Cries And Whispers best (haven't seen Persona yet, though). It affected me the most of any of his films, in a rather painful way. It's the most horrific non-horror movie I can think of.


I predict you'll like Persona even better. It's my favorite of his and probably his most important contribution to cinema.

I love Cries and Whispers, too, though.


I think Wild Strawberries is more important b/c it was one of the first popular art films.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: classical gas on November 12, 2003, 11:24:37 PM
the man has such a tremendous body of work with so many classics, that i can hardly pick a favorite.  it's usually just the one i'm watching at the time.  they all have a way of stirring emotions within you.  and they're always fun to pick apart.  
if i had to pick a favorite, it would be 'fanny and alexander'.  that was so amazing.  i almost don't want to watch it again, for fear that it would ruin my previous experience with it.  
also, two other great titles of his that may or may not have been mentioned are 'scenes from a marriage' and 'autumn sonata'.  it's great to have ingrid and ingmar bergman (no relation, of course) working together.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Ghostboy on November 13, 2003, 01:01:36 AM
I haven't seen Scenes From A Marriage yet -- I almost rented it about a year ago, but was afraid that it would too heavily influence a screenplay I was working on at the time. So I rented Autumn Sonata instead. Which ended up influencing that screenplay too (I've since put it away to return to in the future).
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: classical gas on November 13, 2003, 02:54:05 AM
that's weird because a screenplay i wrote was influenced by autumn sonata before i even saw the movie.  i think it was in 'my dinner with andre' where the taller man quoted that movie about 'i could always live in my art and not in my life', or something along those lines and i found myself writing a screenplay based on that line.  
scenes from a marriage is good, as far as i can remember it.  i'll really have to revisit it.  i remember it being not as enjoyable (if that is the right word for bergman) as his others, but good nonetheless.  insightful for sure.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Sanjuro on November 13, 2003, 06:30:47 AM
does anyone think bergman is not very cinematic and more theatrical?
i ve been confused  on how i feel about him lately and wondering if i was just forcing myself in liking his films.
take for instance persona. what makes persona so great? (godadrdian?)

sometimes i feel that his ideas are very general and abstract and that for some reason i cant seem to connect with his ideas even though his movies are full of emotion.

this is not a diss on bergman.  im just confused right now and would like some insight.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on November 13, 2003, 07:28:53 AM
Quote from: Sanjuro
does anyone think bergman is not very cinematic and more theatrical?


Yes. He has spent more time even directing theatre than film. I don't see the problem though. Many film directors have showed much influence from theatre in their career have stamped their own career by it. Don't look at it as failure to be cinematic, but excellence in being theatrical. And really, the rules of editing have from Sergei Eisenstein, a man who for his sound films, was actually trying to push the limits of theatrical display on film.

Quote from: Sanjuro
take for instance persona. what makes persona so great? (godadrdian?)

sometimes i feel that his ideas are very general and abstract and that for some reason i cant seem to connect with his ideas even though his movies are full of emotion.


None of his ideas are new at all or really great on the basis of ideas. With Persona, the power of the film is how moved we are by the situation. The film really is disturbing. Its like Ghostboy said for Cries and Whispers, its the most horrific (non horror) film ever made for him. Persona and Cries and Whispers are so great for me because of the emotion they bring to old subjects. It feels like they are made fresh again. The best part of Persona is that it is so personal to these women that it feels like a personal experience for us as well. Can anyone name a scene more painful to get through than the nurse recalling her beach episode? The worst part of Persona is the symbolism. The coming together of the two faces (actress, nurse) is the most famous scene in the movie, but the worst for me. Its so punctual in easily symbolism that it distracts against how personal everything else in the rest of the film. Also, the scenes symbolizing general horror of war is too far removed from the immediate story to be effective. Everything that is excellent in Persona is how much you take with you after seeing the movie as personal experience.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gamblour. on November 13, 2003, 07:55:37 AM
I've only seen the Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, and Cries and Whispers (in that order). I love the Seventh Seal a lot, it's really great, I think I needed to listen to the audio commentary to gain a fuller love for it, but I still love it. Wild Strawberries, the dream sequence was really great, but I didn't like the movie very much. Same with Cries and Whispers, I agree with whoever said it is slow. I can take slow pacings, but I dunno, I'm just remembering this movie and I'm about to nod off. I should probably watch them again, because, thinking back, I might have been in the wrong state of mind. I really want to see the Criterion trilogy they just released, mostly because the cover art is so fucking striking, heh, that's not the best reason, but shit if Criterion doesn't make some nice ass cover art.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SHAFTR on November 13, 2003, 12:14:14 PM
Quote from: Sanjuro
does anyone think bergman is not very cinematic and more theatrical?


As GT stated, Bergman has done a lot of work in the theatre but I think of him as a very cinematic director.  Just think about the beginning and ending of Persona.  Wild Strawberries with the dream sequence.  There is nothing Bergman does better than no one else, but I don't think any other Director puts everything together as well as he does.  Everything in the films I have seen of his is just done so damn well.  There aren't really any mistakes in his films.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Slick Shoes on November 13, 2003, 01:50:27 PM
I really liked Smiles of a Summer Night...
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on November 13, 2003, 09:30:46 PM
Quote from: SHAFTR
Quote from: Sanjuro
does anyone think bergman is not very cinematic and more theatrical?


As GT stated, Bergman has done a lot of work in the theatre but I think of him as a very cinematic director.  Just think about the beginning and ending of Persona.  Wild Strawberries with the dream sequence.  There is nothing Bergman does better than no one else, but I don't think any other Director puts everything together as well as he does.  Everything in the films I have seen of his is just done so damn well.  There aren't really any mistakes in his films.


You said he was cinematic and identified some scenes to back them up. I will agree with you on the Wild Strawberries dream sequence scene and to a point with Persona. The wild sequence of an animal being killed, an old comedy, a nail through someones hand - are cinematic. The major scene in that sequence where the boy wakes up on the bed and the image of the women appear before him, is not. First, the background to what he wakes up is as bare as a stage. Then the large picture seems special effect material to what an avante garde play could produce.

I think Bergman uses his camera as well as anyone, but I don't believe he is cinematic. I believe he is theatrical. Most of his films are set in a small place. They hardly wonder from place to place capturing physical beauty everywhere or parading the film around with camera tricks galore. They are about the specifically coordinated little world Bergman creates to work best with his actors and the emotion he wants the work to convey - as in a play. Cries and Whispers is an excellent example. The film seems to take place in a maximum of 6 rooms only, with a little scene outside. All the rooms are esquite in realism and believability, but also highly artificial. The color red dominates the picture to unheard of terms. For a period piece, I'd never seen any house have one color dominate it that way. Thing is, it is artificial because it is for the artistic purpose of conveying the color Bergman believes to be the color of the soul. Bergman hardly uses camera tricks but dominates his films with effects mainly of a play. Around this, Bergman dips and in out of some cinematic tricks. His main purpose is conveying the effect of theatre on film.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: The Silver Bullet on November 13, 2003, 09:48:35 PM
I think Xixax needs a reputation point system. So as that I can give GT positive points for posts such as that one.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on November 13, 2003, 10:32:51 PM
Quote from: The Silver Bullet
I think Xixax needs a reputation point system. So as that I can give GT positive points for posts such as that one.


Many thanks. We don't need a reputation point system though. No one wants someone else ranked higher than them.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SHAFTR on November 14, 2003, 01:42:54 AM
Quote from: The Gold Trumpet
Quote from: SHAFTR
Quote from: Sanjuro
does anyone think bergman is not very cinematic and more theatrical?


As GT stated, Bergman has done a lot of work in the theatre but I think of him as a very cinematic director.  Just think about the beginning and ending of Persona.  Wild Strawberries with the dream sequence.  There is nothing Bergman does better than no one else, but I don't think any other Director puts everything together as well as he does.  Everything in the films I have seen of his is just done so damn well.  There aren't really any mistakes in his films.


You said he was cinematic and identified some scenes to back them up. I will agree with you on the Wild Strawberries dream sequence scene and to a point with Persona. The wild sequence of an animal being killed, an old comedy, a nail through someones hand - are cinematic. The major scene in that sequence where the boy wakes up on the bed and the image of the women appear before him, is not. First, the background to what he wakes up is as bare as a stage. Then the large picture seems special effect material to what an avante garde play could produce.

I think Bergman uses his camera as well as anyone, but I don't believe he is cinematic. I believe he is theatrical. Most of his films are set in a small place. They hardly wonder from place to place capturing physical beauty everywhere or parading the film around with camera tricks galore. They are about the specifically coordinated little world Bergman creates to work best with his actors and the emotion he wants the work to convey - as in a play. Cries and Whispers is an excellent example. The film seems to take place in a maximum of 6 rooms only, with a little scene outside. All the rooms are esquite in realism and believability, but also highly artificial. The color red dominates the picture to unheard of terms. For a period piece, I'd never seen any house have one color dominate it that way. Thing is, it is artificial because it is for the artistic purpose of conveying the color Bergman believes to be the color of the soul. Bergman hardly uses camera tricks but dominates his films with effects mainly of a play. Around this, Bergman dips and in out of some cinematic tricks. His main purpose is conveying the effect of theatre on film.


What about the very opening and closing shots of Persona.  When you see filmstrip running and the camera turn around and show the crew...that is cinematic.  Also in Persona, he uses the landscape of the beach much as the same way Antonioni uses the landscape in L'Avventura.  Same goes for The Seventh Seal.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Sanjuro on November 14, 2003, 04:38:38 AM
would any of you consider bergman as one of the best film directors ever?
or his movies as one of the best films ever made. (take for instance cries and whispers, which i think is his best among those i have seen, even better than persona)

i just want to see your opinions on how he ranks with other of the great directors.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Ghostboy on November 14, 2003, 07:54:29 AM
He's definitely one of my personal favorites. It's hard for me to rank my favorite filmmakers, because they're all great in their own ways.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on November 14, 2003, 02:30:11 PM
Quote from: SHAFTR
What about the very opening and closing shots of Persona.  When you see filmstrip running and the camera turn around and show the crew...that is cinematic.  Also in Persona, he uses the landscape of the beach much as the same way Antonioni uses the landscape in L'Avventura.  Same goes for The Seventh Seal.


Like I said, I agreed with you on the parts of Persona dealing with the wild imagery, film strip part included. I don't think for a second though he uses landscape the same way Antonioni does. Antonioni dramatized his entire movie by the effect of the environment on the characters. Persona doesn't really seem to hinder on its environment for drama more than just provide the idea - these two women share a house together and they must get along. Again, the environment is as small as it would be in a play. Very few scenes happen outside the house. Other than the actress running away in tears along the beach with the waves crashing, I don't see much reliance on environment the same way Antonioni uses it. All the other outside scenes seem very convential.

The Seventh Seal is another story. I'm not going to argue for it. It does use the camera for allegory, which is cinematic. I also believe The Seventh Seal is Bergman still very much a beginner. Many of the points in his film feel pretensious because it feels like only the camera really is giving us the symbolism for drama. It doesn't make us feel the drama.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SoNowThen on November 14, 2003, 02:33:39 PM
I've seen 7th Seal and Wild Strawberries.

I'm gonna hit IB hard next year. Where should I start? Cries/Whispers, or the new CC trilogy set? Or somewhere else? I've seen clips of Fanny And Alexander, and it doesn't look that interesting to me. Also, I saw his son's movie (Sunday's Children, or something) and thought it was pretty terrible.

Anyway...
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Finn on November 14, 2003, 02:46:24 PM
I'd go with Cries and Whispers, I haven't seen Fanny and Alexander yet.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: godardian on November 14, 2003, 03:42:47 PM
Quote from: SoNowThen
I've seen 7th Seal and Wild Strawberries.

I'm gonna hit IB hard next year. Where should I start? Cries/Whispers, or the new CC trilogy set? Or somewhere else? I've seen clips of Fanny And Alexander, and it doesn't look that interesting to me. Also, I saw his son's movie (Sunday's Children, or something) and thought it was pretty terrible.

Anyway...


If you haven't seen Persona, that's his most major accomplishment. Almost any of his films are well worth watching, and most are very, very good.

I completely disagree with GT that Bergman's films are anything but cinematic. I don't think it should be judged on how populated the frame is, nor by how much the camera moves; Bergman uses the camera to compose shots- with light, with blocking, with color- in a completely singular way that demands at least to be called photographic (which I would definitely say is also cinematic), much more so than any theater piece could ever be.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SoNowThen on November 14, 2003, 03:53:32 PM
Okay, so I'll go with Cries And Whispers, and then Persona. If I like 'em, I'll blind buy the new CC box set...

merci guys
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: godardian on November 14, 2003, 03:59:13 PM
Did anyone catch the completely random, completely incongruous mention of "Ingmar Bergman" in a knock-knock joke on this week's South Park (the "Casa Bonita" episode)?
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SHAFTR on November 15, 2003, 02:11:44 AM
Quote from: The Gold Trumpet
Quote from: SHAFTR
What about the very opening and closing shots of Persona.  When you see filmstrip running and the camera turn around and show the crew...that is cinematic.  Also in Persona, he uses the landscape of the beach much as the same way Antonioni uses the landscape in L'Avventura.  Same goes for The Seventh Seal.


Like I said, I agreed with you on the parts of Persona dealing with the wild imagery, film strip part included. I don't think for a second though he uses landscape the same way Antonioni does. Antonioni dramatized his entire movie by the effect of the environment on the characters. Persona doesn't really seem to hinder on its environment for drama more than just provide the idea - these two women share a house together and they must get along. Again, the environment is as small as it would be in a play. Very few scenes happen outside the house. Other than the actress running away in tears along the beach with the waves crashing, I don't see much reliance on environment the same way Antonioni uses it. All the other outside scenes seem very convential.

The Seventh Seal is another story. I'm not going to argue for it. It does use the camera for allegory, which is cinematic. I also believe The Seventh Seal is Bergman still very much a beginner. Many of the points in his film feel pretensious because it feels like only the camera really is giving us the symbolism for drama. It doesn't make us feel the drama.


Well, I see your point and you see mine.  We just differ with opinions.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on November 15, 2003, 10:37:00 PM
Quote from: godardian
I completely disagree with GT that Bergman's films are anything but cinematic. I don't think it should be judged on how populated the frame is, nor by how much the camera moves; Bergman uses the camera to compose shots- with light, with blocking, with color- in a completely singular way that demands at least to be called photographic (which I would definitely say is also cinematic), much more so than any theater piece could ever be.


We may have different ideas of "cinematic"

Maybe you also are seeing me on the wrong terms. I'm not saying Bergman is simply trying to replicate theatre on film, but convey the effect of theatre on film. This allows for his films to be very photogenic, which they are.

An example is The Magic Flute where a Mozart Opera takes place in what seems to be Bergman filming just a play. What Bergman did was made an exact replication of the theatre in which the play originally debuted in and his difference is that the effects are of a film studio. Bergman is trying to heighten the effects of the play with new film studio effects while still keeping it as a filming of a play. Aesthetic reasons for this is the pure artificiality of opera and the innocence of the story as Bergman demonstrates when he has a child continually shown through out the film to get her reaction - a child that was Bergman's own.

Now to connect my point, when Bergman makes Cries and Whispers, he is making a film, but he is applying many of the techniques of theatre into his films. The camera movement is mininumalist because his films are for the actors. Theatre is also for the actors. The films stay in very close quarters so to give the location a sense of presence and also make the actors more personal to the audience. Same is with theatre. The exception is, and I will agree you and say I did mispeak a bit, is that theatre does not have the production values shown in his films. The Magic Flute, which was a play, didn't either. But, this also lends truth to what I did say Bergman's purpose was:

Quote from: The Gold Trumpet
His main purpose is conveying the effect of theatre on film.


I also could have said it as conveying the intended effect of theatre on film. Bergman does heighten effects, but maybe to acquire the closer personal feeling that film brings when it utilizes all its power. So, in a way, I do re-allign my original position but also keep firm in Bergman acting through his medium of film by trying to heighten the effect of theatre. That just could be seen as cinematic, as well. I was figuring more Kurosawa when thinking "cinematic".
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SHAFTR on November 15, 2003, 11:13:32 PM
Quote from: The Gold Trumpet
Quote from: godardian
I completely disagree with GT that Bergman's films are anything but cinematic. I don't think it should be judged on how populated the frame is, nor by how much the camera moves; Bergman uses the camera to compose shots- with light, with blocking, with color- in a completely singular way that demands at least to be called photographic (which I would definitely say is also cinematic), much more so than any theater piece could ever be.


We may have different ideas of "cinematic"

Maybe you also are seeing me on the wrong terms. I'm not saying Bergman is simply trying to replicate theatre on film, but convey the effect of theatre on film. This allows for his films to be very photogenic, which they are.

An example is The Magic Flute where a Mozart Opera takes place in what seems to be Bergman filming just a play. What Bergman did was made an exact replication of the theatre in which the play originally debuted in and his difference is that the effects are of a film studio. Bergman is trying to heighten the effects of the play with new film studio effects while still keeping it as a filming of a play. Aesthetic reasons for this is the pure artificiality of opera and the innocence of the story as Bergman demonstrates when he has a child continually shown through out the film to get her reaction - a child that was Bergman's own.

Now to connect my point, when Bergman makes Cries and Whispers, he is making a film, but he is applying many of the techniques of theatre into his films. The camera movement is mininumalist because his films are for the actors. Theatre is also for the actors. The films stay in very close quarters so to give the location a sense of presence and also make the actors more personal to the audience. Same is with theatre. The exception is, and I will agree you and say I did mispeak a bit, is that theatre does not have the production values shown in his films. The Magic Flute, which was a play, didn't either. But, this also lends truth to what I did say Bergman's purpose was:

Quote from: The Gold Trumpet
His main purpose is conveying the effect of theatre on film.


I also could have said it as conveying the intended effect of theatre on film. Bergman does heighten effects, but maybe to acquire the closer personal feeling that film brings when it utilizes all its power. So, in a way, I do re-allign my original position but also keep firm in Bergman acting through his medium of film by trying to heighten the effect of theatre. That just could be seen as cinematic, as well. I was figuring more Kurosawa when thinking "cinematic".


I think the fact that Bergman is a huge, huge user of the Close Up would show that he is a cinematic director, not a theatrical.  The Close Up is really the main thing that seperates cinema from theatre.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on November 15, 2003, 11:19:47 PM
Quote from: SHAFTR
I think the fact that Bergman is a huge, huge user of the Close Up would show that he is a cinematic director, not a theatrical.  The Close Up is really the main thing that seperates cinema from theatre.


If following what I just said, I don't think so. I think Bergman is trying to convey the intended effect of theatre on film. Whether theatre may have a physical separation of the actor and the audience, it is still attempting to bring the audience as close as it can to the actors. Bergman's fondness for the close up may be the realization of that close up some people may feel while watching a play. They are at a distance from the actors, but the power of performance allows them to really feel it as if it were much closer. Thus, the intended effect of theatre.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SHAFTR on November 15, 2003, 11:25:38 PM
Quote from: The Gold Trumpet
Quote from: SHAFTR
I think the fact that Bergman is a huge, huge user of the Close Up would show that he is a cinematic director, not a theatrical.  The Close Up is really the main thing that seperates cinema from theatre.


If following what I just said, I don't think so. I think Bergman is trying to convey the intended effect of theatre on film. Whether theatre may have a physical separation of the actor and the audience, it is still attempting to bring the audience as close as it can to the actors. Bergman's fondness for the close up may be the realization of that close up some people may feel while watching a play. They are at a distance from the actors, but the power of performance allows them to really feel it as if it were much closer. Thus, the intended effect of theatre.


What is the intended effect of cinema?
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on November 15, 2003, 11:29:29 PM
Quote from: SHAFTR
What is the intended effect of cinema?


I don't know. That's so widespread of a question. I am accepting Bergman as cinematic in what he does to heighten theatre drama (it has to require cinematic skills to do so), but is that question sticking to the specific topic or getting general?
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SHAFTR on November 17, 2003, 09:19:40 PM
Quote from: The Gold Trumpet
Quote from: SHAFTR
What is the intended effect of cinema?


I don't know. That's so widespread of a question. I am accepting Bergman as cinematic in what he does to heighten theatre drama (it has to require cinematic skills to do so), but is that question sticking to the specific topic or getting general?


GT, my question was intended to see how you think theatrical/cinematic differ.

I just saw Bergman's Brink of Life and I do see your theatrical point.  His films have a rather small location and the acting really drives the film.  Although, Bergman uses cinematic techniques to convey subjectivity:  playing with focus, POV shots, extreme close ups.

He obviously has theatrical qualities but I still find him to be quite cinematic.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: godardian on November 17, 2003, 10:04:05 PM
Quote from: SHAFTR
Quote from: The Gold Trumpet
Quote from: SHAFTR
What is the intended effect of cinema?


I don't know. That's so widespread of a question. I am accepting Bergman as cinematic in what he does to heighten theatre drama (it has to require cinematic skills to do so), but is that question sticking to the specific topic or getting general?


GT, my question was intended to see how you think theatrical/cinematic differ.

I just saw Bergman's Brink of Life and I do see your theatrical point.  His films have a rather small location and the acting really drives the film.  Although, Bergman uses cinematic techniques to convey subjectivity:  playing with focus, POV shots, extreme close ups.

He obviously has theatrical qualities but I still find him to be quite cinematic.


This is an interesting discussion. GT's fuller explanation allows me to see more of where he was coming from without entirely agreeing with him still.

It seems as though you're saying, GT, that the cinema, with its extensive palette of techniques to manipulate the performer/audience relationship, is actually finishing the job that theatre could only, with its limited mediations between the actor and the audience, begin? That's an interesting view, though I'm sure many theatre fans/critics would have fits of disagreement (I can take or leave the theatre, myself, though I have enjoyed most theatre experiences I've had).
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SHAFTR on November 18, 2003, 02:02:42 AM
I originally thought that GT meant 'canned theatre' when he said theatrical.  After explanation, I understand his point.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: NEON MERCURY on January 21, 2004, 09:44:24 AM
......Hello?.......


...i need some opinions, insights, kinnd words, etc....on ingmar's Persona....



 SPOILERS

..the 'basic' plot.....yes?.....wierd lynnchiann, surrealistic opening-lady cann't sing-she goes into hospital-nnurse helps her out and takes her to a island-nurse talks and talks while the 'shy' one listens-nurse tells beach story-nurse is about to throw hot water but the sans talk lady says "No!!!!"-more wierd stuff-identity changes???-more wierd stuff-THE END.....


help.......i liked it..... but didn't get it..........the film gives off a cool vibe....
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: godardian on January 21, 2004, 10:53:21 AM
Quote from: NEON MERCURY
......Hello?.......


...i need some opinions, insights, kinnd words, etc....on ingmar's Persona....



 SPOILERS

..the 'basic' plot.....yes?.....wierd lynnchiann, surrealistic opening-lady cann't sing-she goes into hospital-nnurse helps her out and takes her to a island-nurse talks and talks while the 'shy' one listens-nurse tells beach story-nurse is about to throw hot water but the sans talk lady says "No!!!!"-more wierd stuff-identity changes???-more wierd stuff-THE END.....


help.......i liked it..... but didn't get it..........the film gives off a cool vibe....
\

Buy/check out this book- it has an excellent, lengthy, in-depth essay entitled "Bergman's Persona:

(http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/0312420218.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg)
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: cine on January 21, 2004, 11:06:22 AM
http://www.sun-times.com/ebert/greatmovies/persona.html

That might to clear a few things up too, Neon.

Thanks for the book plug, godardian. I'm going to order that.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: NEON MERCURY on January 21, 2004, 11:06:47 AM
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^thanks..Godardian..i'll check it out...
i liked the film i just wish i knew/understood it more and this should help....
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Pubrick on January 21, 2004, 11:07:46 AM
haha there's nothing above u.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: cine on January 21, 2004, 11:09:17 AM
story of my life.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: ©brad on January 21, 2004, 11:30:11 AM
Quote from: Cinephile
story of my life.


hahah. that was actually funny.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: godardian on January 21, 2004, 11:54:57 AM
Quote from: Cinephile
http://www.sun-times.com/ebert/greatmovies/persona.html

That might to clear a few things up too, Neon.

Thanks for the book plug, godardian. I'm going to order that.


There's a really good Godard essay in it, too.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Seraphim on February 24, 2004, 08:47:48 AM
Just rented DVD-copies of Sasom i en spegel (Through a Glass, Darkly) and Tystnaden (The Silence).

First encounter with Bergman; have been "saving" him for later (and first seen almost all other great directors, except for Kurosawa).
I'm sure I'll like his work.

Also the best Bergman's I'll save for a later time, but since I expect much from all his works, I'll probably easily can step in with some "lesser" works (which will probably still be great).
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Ghostboy on February 25, 2004, 12:06:25 AM
I just watched 'Scenes From A Marriage' this evening, and suddenly Bergman's back at the top of my list of favorite filmmakers (I haven't watched anything by him in about a year). It's so simple and probes so deeply into the issues that I constantly find surfacing in my own work (i.e. love and commitment); it's sort of the opposite of Cries And Whispers -- painful at times, but ultimately optimistic and comforting (with interjections of soft blue, rather than red). It reminded me quite a bti of Eyes Wide Shut, especially the end, when Liv Ullman wakes up from her nightmare. A beautiful look at the complexities of marriage.

If I can think of one reason to get a job soon, it's so I can buy that box set and finally see Persona.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: The Perineum Falcon on February 25, 2004, 06:03:29 PM
Quote from: Ghostboy
If I can think of one reason to get a job soon, it's so I can buy that box set and finally see Persona.

A-men to that! I love my income tax check =).
I'm glad you enjoyed it, it makes me want it even more. Isn't Scenes released on March 9th?
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: The Perineum Falcon on March 14, 2004, 08:28:03 PM
Is Scenes a good blind buy if all I've seen of Bergman is Cries & Whispers? I've heard good and bad things about Scenes and was wondering if maybe I should get my feet wet alittle more before taking the plunge with Scenes. I'm jonesin' for more Bergman and have been waiting for Scenes ever since I heard it's announcement. However, I don't want to...underappreciate it, if you will.
Does any of that make any sense??
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Ghostboy on March 15, 2004, 12:10:51 AM
If you started out with Cries And Whispers, then Scenes From A Marriage won't be a problem for you. Get it.

Did anyone else know that he did a sequel to Scenes From a Marriage last year called Saraband? I guess it was for TV, like the original, but apparently its hitting theaters as well at some point. I can't wait to see it.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: classical gas on March 15, 2004, 12:30:05 AM
I do remember hearing about that like two years ago.  It was then credited as "Scenes from a Marriage II".  Where did you hear about it coming to theaters?  It'd be nice to see a Bergman film on the big screen.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Ghostboy on March 15, 2004, 12:47:49 AM
It was a review from a festival somewhere...I figured that if it's playing at a festival, it might get theatrical distribution as well.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: The Perineum Falcon on March 19, 2004, 09:11:58 PM
Quote from: Ghostboy
If you started out with Cries And Whispers, then Scenes From A Marriage won't be a problem for you. Get it.

I feel almost obligated to thank you for saying that. I'm afraid that if you hadn't I might not have bought it.

But, I did buy it today and have just finished the first episode (I figured it'd be better to go with the series first, then the movie later). If I say "blown away" I'm afraid that'll give the wrong impression. That would seem over the top, especially for something so....quiet?
It was great, though. It was like watching a train-wreck with Johan and Marrianne's friends. And like a train-wreck I couldn't help but be fascinated at what I was witnessing. Bergman's composed something that feels so real, little moments of real, that I already connect with the characters and I've only been with them for an hour.
I already saw moments of tension, distress, and unease between the two. I can only imagine where these moments will take me and in a way I already feel sorry that maybe their marriage isn't all it's "painted" to be.
I don't know, I'm afraid I'll go into a nonsensical rant if I continue, if I hadn't started already.

But again, GB, thank you.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Ghostboy on March 19, 2004, 09:20:36 PM
I'm jealous...I haven't found enough cash to buy it yet. But if I were you, I'd watch the movie first (I say this without having seen the series), so that once you've become involved with the characters and grown to love and care about them, you can go back and watch the series and gain a better understanding of them. A common comment about cherished films is that one wishes one could spend more time with the characters...this seems like an ideal circumstance in which to make that a reality.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: The Perineum Falcon on March 19, 2004, 09:40:59 PM
Good point, I'll certainly consider it.

And yes, $50 is an insane amount of money to spend on one item, but it might be well deserved.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: godardian on March 20, 2004, 11:58:55 AM
Did anyone follow Peter Cowie's advice to watch the series one episode per night, rather than in one sitting? I haven't had time to indulge myself in it yet, but I did pop in disc 3 to see his compare/contrast between the feature film and the series. He basically says the series is the "intended" version, and the feature film was an afterthought, so I'm definitely going to watch the series. I just wonder if it's really all that important to spread it out to get the "original" feel of its presentation, of if you guys handled watching it all in one day and it didn't make any difference?

Ranemaka, order from http://www.deepdiscountdvd.com   or    http://www.dvdplanet.com  and you'll pay only about $35-$40 for this. It is, too, a THREE-disc set, so the price is pretty fair.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: The Perineum Falcon on March 20, 2004, 01:44:43 PM
Quote from: godardian
Did anyone follow Peter Cowie's advice to watch the series one episode per night, rather than in one sitting?

This is what I plan on doing. I can't imagine sitting through "5 hours of suffering." By the end, I'd probably end up hating it....

Quote

Ranemaka, order from http://www.deepdiscountdvd.com   or    http://www.dvdplanet.com  and you'll pay only about $35-$40 for this. It is, too, a THREE-disc set, so the price is pretty fair.

Thanks. I was trying to find a cheaper place to buy dvds other than Barnes $ Noble. The box sets look affordable....
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: cine on March 22, 2004, 01:00:41 PM
Just got this in the mail a few hours ago. It is a BEAUTIFUL package. I love it. I want to curl up in bed with it. It's that good. I paid $53 Canadian which comes out to $40 U.S. so yes, ranemaka, it's worth it. You surely won't find a better set and as you know, its director approved (I kept the outside label/sticker too 8)). I'll be watching both versions real soon.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: godardian on March 23, 2004, 01:50:34 PM
I'm halfway through Scenes from a Marriage... wow. Brilliant. And it's very clear that Husbands and Wives, one of my favorite movies of all time, is as deeply indebted to Bergman for its story and character-interplay as it is to Cassavetes and Godard for its camera-style and editing...
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: kotte on April 08, 2004, 01:18:32 PM
There's an hour long interview with Ingmar Bergman about his films on TV right now. Swedish tv that is. Great!
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: MacGuffin on April 09, 2004, 02:06:11 PM
FILM LEGEND BERGMAN CRITICISES HIS OWN FILMS  
 
Swedish film director INGMAR BERGMAN may be loved by film critics worldwide - but he refuses to watch his own movies.

THE SEVENTH SEAL auteur, 85, is his harshest critic and often feels disheartened by his epic films.

In a rare interview for public service network SVT, the enigmatic film maker - whose career spans seven decades - says, "I don't watch my own films very often.

"I become so jittery and ready to cry... and miserable. I think it's awful."

Bergman is considered one of the most influential directors in history. He has been nominated for nine Oscars himself, while his films have won Oscars won best foreign film three times.

Honest criticism

In the interview on Swedish channel SVT, he said he had "managed to push the medium to something beyond the normal boundaries, and also myself".

But since he won the Grand Prix at Cannes with Smiles of a Summer Night in 1956, his fame meant no-one would give him honest criticism, he said.

"There hasn't been anyone with whom I can discuss my scripts," he said.

"Even when the film is done, there is no-one I can show it to who gives his sincere opinion. There is silence."

'Scared of death'

Talking about making 1957's The Seventh Seal, in which a knight famously plays chess with Death, he said he was "terribly scared of death" at the time.

But Bergman - who has made several comedies - also recounted one of his happiest memories, when he received the Legion of Honour in Paris in 1985.

"When we came out from the Elysee Palace, there was a gigantic limousine waiting for us and four police on motorcycles," he said.

"It is probably one of the few times I have experienced my fame.

"I thought it was so fantastic that I laughed to the point of shouting. I laughed so that I fell over on the floor of this big car."

He also recalled celebrating with champagne - and suffering at a film rehearsal in Munich, Germany, the next day.

"It is probably the only time in my life I have showed up hung over, not just hung over, I was simply intoxicated, to a rehearsal," he said.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: modage on April 09, 2004, 04:28:19 PM
Quote from: MacGuffin
"I become so jittery and ready to cry... and miserable. I think it's awful."

hey thats how i feel when i watch them too!  just kidding.  actually i've only seen Seventh Seal so far which i liked.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: AnimAlu on April 10, 2004, 03:15:48 AM
I'd be curious to hear opinions on "Serpent's Egg".  I've seen about eight Bergman films, and this one was quite a shock.  Didn't quite feel like a Bergman movie.  Interesting Choosing David Carradine also.  I suppose I'll need to watch it again, now that I know what to expect...

Jeff
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: cron on April 11, 2004, 10:43:26 AM
Does anyone has the picture of Ingmar Bergman and his director's chair ? He's standing, with a film reel on the floor next to his shoes, all  on a white background.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: kotte on April 11, 2004, 11:45:10 AM
(http://svt.se/content/1/c6/19/54/73/begman_filmen_414.jpg)

They don't get older than this...
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Ravi on June 04, 2004, 07:48:00 PM
Is the theatrical version of Scenes from a Marriage necessary?  It seems to me that Criterion could have left it out and lowered the price a little.  The uncut TV version is the important one, right?

Also, why did they include an English dub on Through a Glass Darkly?
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Ghostboy on June 04, 2004, 08:20:29 PM
Well, I think one of the chief appeals about Criterion is that they're generally exhaustive completists.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: godardian on June 04, 2004, 08:27:09 PM
Quote from: AnimAlu
I'd be curious to hear opinions on "Serpent's Egg".  I've seen about eight Bergman films, and this one was quite a shock.  Didn't quite feel like a Bergman movie.  Interesting Choosing David Carradine also.  I suppose I'll need to watch it again, now that I know what to expect...

Jeff


Since I've read a lot about Bergman and Serpent's Egg is so universally disdained, I was pleasantly surprised that most of it was passable, with some very fine sequences.

Carradine was the liability, obviously, and it's funny to see Liv Ullmann dance around that obvious fact when she talks in the supplementary interviews about making the film. She's fantastic in it, though; it's odd that even though she's ESL, Carradine's English seems much more stilted.  :)
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Ghostboy on June 27, 2004, 06:23:44 PM
I just saw Persona, finally...where to begin?

At this point, I still like Cries And Whispers better, just because its instant and clear in its pain, and the way it cuts so precisely through to its audience. Persona is equally painful, but far less accessible...Bergman seems to be operating on gut, subconscious instinct with a lot of it (in the retrospective documentary on the DVD, the actresses admit that they had very little idea what they were acting in was actually about). The opening six minutes, and then the reprise of that imagery halfway through the film, is some of the most stunning stream of conscious juxtaposition I've ever seen, shattering the fourth wall in way I'd only seen once before, at the end of The Last Temptation Of Christ.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Ghostboy on July 03, 2004, 07:27:29 PM
I watched Smiles Of A Summer Night this afternoon; it might have been used as good evidence in the theater vs. cinema argument from a few pages ago, because it shows the signs of a filmmaker not yet completely accustomed to cinematic storytelling. Very 'stagey,' and with lots of poor cuts. It's not so bad as to detract from the film, which is a lovely and hilarious romp, just about light as a feather; but it's the earliest film of his I've seen, made before any of the well known masterpieces that later cemented his reputation, and it's very rough around the edges.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SHAFTR on July 14, 2004, 04:55:10 PM
Bergman retiring

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) -- Ingmar Bergman, one of the great masters of modern film, celebrated his 86th birthday Wednesday with a sour gift for fans -- an announcement that he's retiring from the stage.

Bergman said his 2002 production of Henrik Ibsen's "Ghost" at Sweden's Royal Dramatic Theatre would be his last.

"After 'Ghost' I decided that this must be it. I do not want them to carry me out of the theater. I'm leaving by myself," he said in an interview with the newspaper Dagens Nyheter. "Nobody will need to say, 'Now the old man has to quit.' "

The film icon also said that his heart remains with theater.

"Theater is the beginning and end and actually everything, while cinema belongs to the whoring and slaughterhouse trade," Bergman told the newspaper.

While theater is the backbone of his artistic career, his involvement in films has endeared him to movie lovers. He's won three Oscars in the best foreign film category, the last in 1984 for "Fanny and Alexander."

"We worked on 'Fanny and Alexander' for seven months and it was an amusing production. Still, it was very long and heavy and so awfully complicated," Bergman said. "And when the premiere was over and everything went well, I thought, 'That's that.' [/b]
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: modage on September 19, 2004, 11:14:29 PM
i saw my second Bergman film tonight (after the Seventh Seal), Wild Strawberries.  it liked it pretty well.  i think the biggest surprise for me, is just hearing the name Bergman conjures up images of totally inaccesible weird art films, but this movie was shockingly accesible.  so, it was well, shot, acted, written and i was involved in the characters/story.  it was sweet.  after watching a bunch of woody allen films i can see why he likes this guy so much.   :yabbse-thumbup: up next, Persona...
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: modage on September 26, 2004, 11:24:57 AM
Quote from: themodernage02
i think the biggest surprise for me, is just hearing the name Bergman conjures up images of totally inaccesible weird art films...

well, i certainly got that with the opening minutes of Persona last night.  everything about HOW weird it was seemed like something i would just hate as pretentious garbage, and yet..... i really liked the movie.  i cant explain really how, but "How this pretentious movie manages to not be pretentious at all is one of the great accomplishments of `Persona,' ". (ebert quoted that imdb review and i think it sums up partially why i like it).  the images were striking, and it was a bit of a puzzle, and yet totally absorbing.  the problem with a lot of movies that start trying to be really weird is that they lose a reason for you to want to keep watching them, and this never did.  i dont know that i understood it all, but i was never not interested.  so, (i'm shocked to say that) i liked it.  :yabbse-thumbup:
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: MacGuffin on October 15, 2004, 06:14:45 PM
Ingmar Bergman Reveals Secret Daughter

(http://us.movies1.yimg.com/entertainment.yahoo.com/images/ent/ap/20041015/fra117_sweden_bergman_daughter.sff.jpg)

In a book to be published Monday, iconoclastic filmmaker Ingmar Bergman reveals a secret daughter he fathered 45 years ago, his publisher said.

Bergman, 86, who is widely considered one of cinema's greatest directors, writes that he is the father of Maria von Rosen, whose mother Ingrid von Rosen married Bergman 12 years after the girl was born, Susanne Nystroem, a spokeswoman for Norstedt publishing house in Stockholm, told The Associated Press on Friday.

Ingrid von Rosen was Bergman's fifth and final wife, and Maria is the only child Bergman had with her. He had eight other children with his other wives and with actress Liv Ullman, with whom he had a longtime affair.
 
The book titled "Tre dagboecker," or "Three Diaries" consists of diary entries written by Bergman and Maria and Ingrid von Rosen around the time of Ingrid's death from cancer in 1995 after a 24-year marriage to Bergman.

In the foreword, Bergman writes that he met Ingrid von Rosen in 1957 and had an on-and-off affair with her until 1969, according to excerpts published in Swedish newspapers.

During that period, Bergman went through two marriages, with Gun Grut and Kabi Laretei, and fathered a child with Ullmann.

Maria von Rosen was born in 1959, the same year Bergman divorced Grut and married Laretei. Bergman did not tell Maria he was her father until she was 22, he writes. Bergman wed Ingrid von Rosen in 1971, and she had a small role in his 1972 film "Cries and Whispers," which starred Ullmann.

Bergman was married to Else Fisher and Ellen Lundstrom in the 1940s.

While theater is the backbone of his artistic career, Bergman's involvement in films has endeared him to cinema lovers. He won three Oscars in the best foreign film category, the last in 1983 for "Fanny and Alexander." His 1957 film "The Seventh Seal" contains one of cinema's most famous scenes a knight playing chess with the shrouded figure of Death.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: The Perineum Falcon on January 27, 2005, 09:33:14 PM
I just saw Persona and...
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Ghostboy on January 27, 2005, 11:36:07 PM
...?

I still prefer Cries And Whispers, myself. As far as his 'horror' movies go.

I, meanwhile, just finished watching his faith trilogy. Two more films to go and I'll have seen everything he's done that's currently available on DVD. Except for the various television cuts of certain films, which I'll then move on to.

I recently read The Passion Of Ingmar Bergman, which details his early works, which, prior to Smiles Of A Summer Night, were mostly all failures to various degrees. They sound like fascinating failures, though, so I hope they get released at some point.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on January 28, 2005, 12:35:52 AM
Persona has been my favorite of his for a while and I'm a big fan of his work. But, I'll say recently watching the television version of Fanny and Alexander has been one of the very best experiences I've had watching a film, period. Its his best work truly. So encompassing on so many levels that it feels Ingmar Bergman didn't just make a film about his childhood, but created a museum for it. I recommend everyone to go out and pay the big bucks for the Criterion DVD. I feel I should speak further about the film before advertising like this, but I really loved this film beyond the usual.

Also, the new avatar is some original art work for the film.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: classical gas on January 28, 2005, 02:21:34 AM
Fanny and Alexander has always been my favorite Bergman, followed probably by 'cries and whispers'.  but i have yet to see the full version.  how much is it by chance on dvd?  without the trouble of re-directing, could someone just post a price.  $40?  $30?
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: cine on January 28, 2005, 02:31:23 AM
Quote from: classical gas
Fanny and Alexander has always been my favorite Bergman, followed probably by 'cries and whispers'.  but i have yet to see the full version.  how much is it by chance on dvd?  without the trouble of re-directing, could someone just post a price.  $40?  $30?

Depends where you look. On DVDPlanet, they have the 5 disc box set of everything for $38.97.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: The Perineum Falcon on January 28, 2005, 05:56:41 PM
Quote from: Ghostboy
...?

I was rendered speechless. :yabbse-lipsrsealed:

I started out writing down how I felt about it, but then it occured to me, nothing that I could say could possibly do the film justice, or, at least not the way I felt about it. So why try?
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: ᾦɐļᵲʊʂ on January 28, 2005, 06:04:44 PM
Quote from: SHAFTR
Bergman retiring


This is old as hell, but news to me.

This actually makes me pretty sad... He's 81, so it's understandable, but he's made some really amazing films.

Scenes From A Marriage still moves me everytime I see it.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Myxo on January 28, 2005, 08:58:04 PM
Here is an interesting question for Bergman fans..

I looked through Bergman's filmography and noticed he hasn't really ever used anyone very well known. In fact, I haven't heard of a single person in any of his movies or TV programs. For such a respected director, I find it very interesting that he never really worked with a "Hollywood" star, or at least a famous face.

..even guys like Kieslowski worked with Binoche who most film fans know..

How many other big name directors have never worked with famous actors/actresses?
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on January 28, 2005, 11:49:34 PM
Quote from: Myxomatosis
Here is an interesting question for Bergman fans..

I looked through Bergman's filmography and noticed he hasn't really ever used anyone very well known. In fact, I haven't heard of a single person in any of his movies or TV programs. For such a respected director, I find it very interesting that he never really worked with a "Hollywood" star, or at least a famous face.

..even guys like Kieslowski worked with Binoche who most film fans know..

How many other big name directors have never worked with famous actors/actresses?


Never heard of Ingrid Bergman?
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Ghostboy on January 29, 2005, 12:17:06 AM
Or Max Von Sydow?

Or heck, even David Carradine (although that was a one-time fling)?

And I have a feeling that a great deal of those film fans who know who Juliette Binoche is would also know who Liv Ullman is.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: cine on January 29, 2005, 12:24:04 AM
Quote from: Walrus the Pretentious
Quote from: SHAFTR
Bergman retiring

This is old as hell, but news to me.

This actually makes me pretty sad... He's 81, so it's understandable, but he's made some really amazing films.

Uh, I'm not sure if you know this but he retired from FILM in 1982. So this post from SHAFTR was pertaining to him retiring from the stage.. not sure why that makes you pretty sad.. since it's not like you've seen any of his stagework..  :saywhat:
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Myxo on January 29, 2005, 01:16:30 AM
Just saying..

I've 'heard of' Ingrid Bergman.
Never heard of Max Von Sydow.
Never heard of Liv Ullman.

Obviously I have heard of David Carradine. Had no idea he did a Bergman film.

I've only seen Wild Strawberries and about half of the Seventh Seal (before I fell asleep)..
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on January 29, 2005, 01:24:23 AM
And to speak of a lesser known actor who has worked for Bergman that you at least will recognize by face, try to remember the name Peter Stormare. His claim to fame for Xixaxer's is he was Steve Buscemi's quiet partner in Fargo.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Myxo on January 29, 2005, 01:30:24 AM
Quote from: The Gold Trumpet
And to speak of a lesser known actor who has worked for Bergman that you at least will recognize by face, try to remember the name Peter Stormare. His claim to fame for Xixaxer's is he was Steve Buscemi's quiet partner in Fargo.


Nice! I missed that..

Bergman uses Swedish actors almost exclusively doesn't he?

(No idea why I didn't realize this sooner..)
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on January 29, 2005, 01:40:00 AM
Language barrier is a very big barrier so things can get in the way because Bergman was a Swedish filmmaker. If you were this age 25 years ago, you'd certainly know at least Max von Sydow. He starred in The Exorcist and Three Days of the Condor and even recently in Minority Report as Lumar Burgess. Its just try to understand Bergman's core group of actors not only were well known in world cinema, but probably some of the most respected of actors at the time. Its almost amazing actually to really look back at the people he worked with almost regularily and realize many started great film careers through his films.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: cron on January 29, 2005, 02:19:23 PM
he's tom cruise's boss in minority report, ferfuckssakes.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: kotte on January 29, 2005, 03:23:34 PM
Quote from: cronopio
he's tom cruise's boss in minority report, ferfuckssakes.


Quote from: The Gold Trumpet
...and even recently in Minority Report as Lumar Burgess.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Just Withnail on January 29, 2005, 05:34:48 PM
It's news to me that these are lesser known actors.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: cron on January 29, 2005, 08:42:14 PM
mox von sydow  was in minority report
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SiliasRuby on March 26, 2005, 04:16:01 AM
Just got finished with The Seventh Seal, Cinema in its purest form.
I have already seen Wild Strawberries, Persona, and Fanny and Alexander. Loved all of them. But my favorite so far is Fanny and Alexander with The Seventh Seal coming not far behind. Going to rent 'cries and whispers' on monday when I bring back The Seventh Seal.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: soixante on March 26, 2005, 12:17:22 PM
Bergman used Elliot Gould in The Touch in 70 or 71.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Brazoliange on April 05, 2005, 11:53:39 PM
Seventh Seal was beautiful, I also loved Smiles of a Summer Night. Hoping to see Scenes from a Marriage soon.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: for petes sake on April 26, 2005, 04:28:43 PM
fanny and alexander is probably one of my favorite films.  there is so much to love, but i think it's real genius is how it mimics bergman's own life.  it is the ultimate summation of his career.

plus i just ordered the 5 disc criterion set, so i can finally watch the TV version which i hear is even better.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: The Perineum Falcon on April 26, 2005, 07:23:36 PM
Each time this thread is updated I keep thinking it's with news of his death. :(
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: modage on April 26, 2005, 09:59:55 PM
new banner idea:

INGMAR BERGMAN: STILL NOT DEAD
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: The Perineum Falcon on April 26, 2005, 10:20:07 PM
:-D

How reassuring.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: for petes sake on May 11, 2005, 12:31:39 PM
i just finished the seventh seal and although i love Bergman, i didn't like this one.  i think what his appeal to me is that despite when his films were made, they all seem very modern and progressive; he tries to do something new in every one of them.  however, i did not get that feeling tis time.  to me it seemed dated, heavy handed, and lead footed.  in all his other films, bergman has been more subtle and much more specfic; allegories as straight forward as this rarely work in film.  time to go back and watch "Fanny and Alexander."
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: kotte on May 18, 2005, 03:12:26 PM
http://www.ingmarbergman.se

Site premiere in September.

The site will feature articles and earlier publicized audio-visual material (radioshows, filmquotes, stills), never berofe seen drafts, behind-the-scenes documentaries, handwritten scripts and a lot more from the Bergman Foundation.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Thebirdinsectman on June 07, 2005, 02:03:41 AM
I liked 'cries and whispers...but the seventh seal, i'm tellin' ya. So pretentious, so obivious and angry and bitter and overrated.

It's not compelling filmaking.

But I did like cries and whispers, especially the third act.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Brazoliange on June 24, 2005, 10:03:12 AM
I'm two episodes into the TV-version of Scenes from a Marriage, and I'm loving it.

Is there any official word on whether Saraband will be released theatrically in the US? I heard rumors that it will, but only in theaters equipped with hi-definition equiptment...
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: MacGuffin on June 24, 2005, 01:20:48 PM
Quote from: Brazoliange
Is there any official word on whether Saraband will be released theatrically in the US? I heard rumors that it will, but only in theaters equipped with hi-definition equiptment...


http://xixax.com/viewtopic.php?t=7790
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: for petes sake on August 02, 2005, 07:01:45 PM
Quote from: Brazoliange
I'm two episodes into the TV-version of Scenes from a Marriage, and I'm loving it.

Is there any official word on whether Saraband will be released theatrically in the US? I heard rumors that it will, but only in theaters equipped with hi-definition equiptment...


i was able to see it at film forum in Manhattan.  Its playing til August 11th, and i believe it is only getting a very limited US release (LA and NYC Art houses).   It's really a shame because i found it to be a strong, emotional, and expertly-acted film.  i should be posting a review on my film online film journal soon if anyone's interested in hearing more.

sorry, didnt notice redirect
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: killafilm on August 13, 2005, 04:26:23 AM
Just finished watching Through a Glass Darkly for the first time.  The only other Bergman movies I have seen are The Seventh Seal (which i really liked) and Wild Strawberries (which I LOVE).  I'm not sure why it's taking me so long to seek out his work.  Well now I know what's shooting up on my netflix Q.

I don't even really know what to say.  These three movies have effected me in ways few movies have been able to.  I think it's mainly content.  It's almost not just watching a movie, it's something more, something that really affects you as the viewer and makes you THINK.  Or as my roommate said as he walked in on the last 15 minutes of TaGD, "What the fuck dude?"  

I feel like I really missed out on his Retrospective at the Silver Theater.  Oh well.  Anyone have recommendations on what order his films should be viewed?
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: meatwad on August 13, 2005, 07:54:57 AM
Quote from: killafilm
Anyone have recommendations on what order his films should be viewed?


not sure on any order you should see his films, but my favorites are Persona, Scenes From A Marriage and Fanny and Alexander

and they are all very much worth it
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: The Perineum Falcon on August 13, 2005, 01:50:16 PM
Cries and Whispers :yabbse-thumbup:
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: for petes sake on August 19, 2005, 03:30:33 PM
Quote from: killafilm
Anyone have recommendations on what order his films should be viewed?


Fanny and Alexander is considered by many (including me) to be his best work.  Doesn't matter if you get the TV or theatrical version, both are exceptional.  

Since you liked Through a Glass Darkly I'd also recommend the two other films that complete Bergman's religious trilogy: Winter Light and The Silence.  They are basically two new takes on the same subject: the presence or absence of God.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Ravi on August 21, 2005, 01:46:15 AM
I recently picked up the MGM Bergman Collection supplements disc for $3.  Are all 5 of the films (Persona, Shame, Hour of the Wolf, Passion of Anna, Serpent's Egg) in the set worth picking up?  Any that are avoidable?
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: killafilm on August 28, 2005, 03:12:23 PM
Watched the Silence and Cries and Whispers last night.

WOW.  The Silence was really umm silent.  From the opening frames it was dripping in tone though.  It amazes me how much Bergman did with really just three main characters, he reaches a broad range of emotions.  Mainly the fealing of ultimate  doom.

All of the shots of tanks didn't really hit me until the end of the movie.  Or even the contrast of the sisters.  Very good indeed.


Now what to say about Cries and Whispers.  It seemed that it might be the favorite of this thread.  I tried to keep that out of my head.  Then once I saw a zoom shot I was kinda ehhh (not that zooms are always bad).  So i put that aside as well.  Then somewhere, not sure where, I feel like I was just Punched in the face.

This movie hurt to watch.  I felt more uncomfortable watching this than say Irreversible.  I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it, and i'm not sure that i ever will.  Again alot of feelings seem to come out of the tone of the movie, the great perfomances, moody lighting, and flashbacks.

Oh the flashbacks, I thought I was going to throw-up during one.  It also didn't help the dvd that I watched was pretty badly scratched and of the two places where it stopped, one happened to be of Karin on the bed. Ewww...


So yeah both were great.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Alexandro on October 20, 2005, 04:37:27 PM
Yeah, Cries and Whispers was painful, but in a good way. This Bergman films are so raw emotionally, so hard on the characters and us....I love them....

I think Hour of the Wolf is amazing as a horror film. A complete portrait of a man subconscious, and the black and white suits it perfectly.

Scenes from a Marriage is very realistic and you can sense how this influenced woody allen a lot later on.

Persona is my favorite, along with Wild Strawberrys.

That MGM Collection is pretty neat and the best part of it is how cheap it is compared to the criterion stuff. The Passion of Anna is slightly less interesting but absolutely worth several looks no matter what.

The Silence is incredibly intense for such a slow and quiet movie, I saw it maybe ten years ago and it still lingers in my head.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Alexandro on October 21, 2005, 05:28:27 PM
just seen the serpent's egg.....a very different bergman film. it's not actually satisfactory but i'm surprised of how well he adjusted himself to the demands of a very different kind of film.

certainly woody allen took a lot from this for his shadows and fog. and liv ullman must be one of th ebest actresses ever...
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on November 27, 2005, 04:37:13 PM
i think Herzog fanatics need to get together or else his vote'll be split and none of you will win. i'm being serious, i haven't seen any of his films (sadly) and i can't go and watch four or five films in time to vote. it seems he's great, but for the sake of the list! pick one.

I have the same situation with Bergman. Besides the essential top 5, I'm trying to keep my list to all new films and only one film per director. This time around I was going to select Fanny and Alexander but then I saw a few people pick Scenes From a Marriage in this thread so I switched. I don't mind doing a switch because both films are magnificent.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on November 27, 2005, 05:06:20 PM
anyways, Bergman fans unite with Scenes from a Marriage!
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: gob on July 16, 2006, 03:52:39 AM
I ploughed through the 5 hour TV version of Fanny and Alexander yesterday. Such an amazing film.
Despite having a great amount of characters, all of them are clearly defined and well explored.
The poetry of the language also blew me away as well as made me chuckle - e.g. Gustav's angry rant: 'kiss me where my back changes name!'
Indeed I found myself so invested in the film that I was grinding my teeth and wriggling like a crackhead as I waited to discover the fate of Fanny, Alexander and Emilie.

Bergman isn't a flash director but he does often have flourishes of breathtaking style that completely enhance the film and its dreamlike nature: the ghosts, the puppets, the burning Bishop's Aunt!

I'd had the dvd lying around for a long time off internet rental and always hesitated to watch it because of its length and what I assumed would be its obliqueness. But it's  an accessible, charming and intelligent film that doesn't descend into mindless pretention as more indulgent "art house" cinema often does.

When I've got the cash it's definitely going to be a Criterion purchase of this awesome film. I urge the rest of you to persevere with its beast of a running time and experience this immersive, beautifully crafted piece of cinema.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: matt35mm on July 16, 2006, 12:45:57 PM
Yep, he's one of my favorites.  Now plow through the 5 hour Scenes from a Marriage, which is more stripped down (really only 2 characters are focused on, and the sets and cinematography are quite bare), and yet, in my opinion, more engaging.  It really forces you to watch the actors faces and listen to the words, which, in the case of this film, is a total thrill.

Then watch all of the other Bergman films, and finish it off by reading his notes on his own work, entitled Images.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: children with angels on July 30, 2007, 06:43:58 AM
Swedish Director Ingmar Bergman Dies

Monday July 30, 2007 11:31 AM
By LOUISE NORDSTROM
Source: Guardian

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) - Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, an iconoclastic filmmaker widely regarded as one of the great masters of modern cinema, died Monday, local media reported. He was 89.

Bergman died at his home in Faro, Sweden, Swedish news agency TT said, citing his daughter Eva Bergman. A cause of death was not immediately available.

Through more than 50 films, Bergman's vision encompassed all the extremes of his beloved Sweden: the claustrophobic gloom of unending winter nights, the gentle merriment of glowing summer evenings and the bleak magnificence of the island where he spent his last years.

Bergman, who approached difficult subjects such as plague and madness with inventive technique and carefully honed writing, became one of the towering figures of serious filmmaking.

He was ``probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera,'' Woody Allen said in a 70th birthday tribute in 1988.

Bergman first gained international attention with 1955's ``Smiles of a Summer Night,'' a romantic comedy that inspired the Stephen Sondheim musical ``A Little Night Music.''

``The Seventh Seal,'' released in 1957, riveted critics and audiences. An allegorical tale of the medieval Black Plague years, it contains one of cinema's most famous scenes - a knight playing chess with the shrouded figure of Death.

``I was terribly scared of death,'' Bergman said of his state of mind when making the film, which was nominated for an Academy Award in the best picture category.

The film distilled the essence of Bergman's work - high seriousness, flashes of unexpected humor and striking images.

In a 2004 interview with Swedish broadcaster SVT, the reclusive filmmaker acknowledged that he was reluctant to view his work.

``I don't watch my own films very often. I become so jittery and ready to cry ... and miserable. I think it's awful,'' Bergman said.

Though best known internationally for his films, Bergman also was a prominent stage director. He worked at several playhouses in Sweden from the mid-1940s, including the Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm, which he headed from 1963 to 1966. He staged many plays by the Swedish author August Strindberg, whom he cited as an inspiration.

The influence of Strindberg's grueling and precise psychological dissections could be seen in the production that brought Bergman an even-wider audience: 1973's ``Scenes From a Marriage.'' First produced as a six-part series for television, then released in a theater version, it is an intense detailing of the disintegration of a marriage.

Bergman showed his lighter side in the following year's ``The Magic Flute,'' again first produced for TV. It is a fairly straight production of the Mozart opera, enlivened by touches such as repeatedly showing the face of a young girl watching the opera and comically clumsy props and costumes.

Bergman remained active later in life with stage productions and occasional TV shows. He said he still felt a need to direct, although he had no plans to make another feature film.

In the fall of 2002, Bergman, at age 84, started production on ``Saraband,'' a 120-minute television movie based on the two main characters in ``Scenes From a Marriage.''

In a rare news conference, the reclusive director said he wrote the story after realizing he was ``pregnant with a play.''

``At first I felt sick, very sick. It was strange. Like Abraham and Sarah, who suddenly realized she was pregnant,'' he said, referring to biblical characters. ``It was lots of fun, suddenly to feel this urge returning.''

The son of a Lutheran clergyman and a housewife, Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born in Uppsala on July 14, 1918, and grew up with a brother and sister in a household of severe discipline that he described in painful detail in the autobiography ``The Magic Lantern.''

The title comes from his childhood, when his brother got a ``magic lantern'' - a precursor of the slide-projector - for Christmas. Ingmar was consumed with jealousy, and he managed to acquire the object of his desire by trading it for a hundred tin soldiers.

The apparatus was a spot of joy in an often-cruel young life. Bergman recounted the horror of being locked in a closet and the humiliation of being made to wear a skirt as punishment for wetting his pants.

He broke with his parents at 19 and remained aloof from them, but later in life sought to understand them. The story of their lives was told in the television film ``Sunday's Child,'' directed by his own son Daniel.

Young Ingmar found his love for drama production early in life. The director said he had coped with the authoritarian environment of his childhood by living in a world of fantasies. When he first saw a movie he was greatly moved.

``Sixty years have passed, nothing has changed, it's still the same fever,'' he wrote of his passion for film in the 1987 autobiography.

But he said the escape into another world went so far that it took him years to tell reality from fantasy, and Bergman repeatedly described his life as a constant fight against demons, also reflected in his work.

The demons sometimes drove him to great art - as in ``Cries and Whispers,'' the deathbed drama that climaxes when the dying woman cries ``I am dead, but I can't leave you.'' Sometimes they drove him over the top, as in ``Hour of the Wolf,'' where a nightmare-plagued artist meets real-life demons on a lonely island.

Bergman also waged a fight against real-life tormentors: Sweden's powerful tax authorities.

In 1976, during a rehearsal at the Royal Dramatic Theater, police came to take Bergman away for interrogation about tax evasion. The director, who had left all finances to be handled by a lawyer, was questioned for hours while his home was searched. When released, he was forbidden to leave the country.

The case caused an enormous uproar in the media and Bergman had a mental breakdown that sent him to hospital for over a month. He later was absolved of all accusations and in the end only had to pay some extra taxes.

In his autobiography he admitted to guilt in only one aspect: ``I signed papers that I didn't read, even less understood.''

The experience made him go into voluntary exile in Germany, to the embarrassment of the Swedish authorities. After nine years, he returned to Stockholm, his longtime base.

It was in the Swedish capital that Bergman broke into the world of drama, starting with a menial job at the Royal Opera House after dropping out of college.

Bergman was hired by the script department of Swedish Film Industry, the country's main production company, as an assistant script writer in 1942.

In 1944, his first original screenplay was filmed by Alf Sjoeberg, the dominant Swedish film director of the time. ``Torment'' won several awards including the Grand Prize of the 1946 Cannes Film Festival, and soon Bergman was directing an average of two films a year as well as working with stage production.

After the acclaimed ``The Seventh Seal,'' he quickly came up with another success in ``Wild Strawberries,'' in which an elderly professor's car trip to pick up an award is interspersed with dreams.

Other noted films include ``Persona,'' about an actress and her nurse whose identities seem to merge, and ``The Autumn Sonata,'' about a concert pianist and her two daughters, one severely handicapped and the other burdened by her child's drowning.

The date of the funeral has not yet been set, but will be attended by a close group of friends and family, the TT news agency reported.

Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: modage on July 30, 2007, 09:51:56 AM
new banner idea:

INGMAR BERGMAN: STILL NOT DEAD

INVALIDATED.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: matt35mm on July 30, 2007, 12:14:09 PM
Very sad.  I hope, after all his agonizing over death in his youth, that it was finally peaceful for him.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on July 30, 2007, 12:14:46 PM
It's a good age to pass on, but it's still sad. It was a comfort to know he was still alive. Some people live in areas with mountains all around them. They find them comforting. I've lived within walking distance of the Great Lakes my entire life. The water around me is comforting. I knew he was done with films, but he was someone whose films meant a lot to me. I like too many filmmakers who have long past on. They made films for different times and ages. Fanny and Alexander was made and released in my lifetime. Bergman continued to write scripts, direct plays and occasionally make a film for television during my time. Is it odd to feel you knew him better because of that?

I recommend everyone read The Magic Lantern. It is a film that bridges his life to his filmmaking and it is a work of art in itself. The film is simple for its focus on memory but eternal for what it sheds on the man.

I don't have friends who like Bergman that much. He isn't too hip or trendy for even those aware of art films where I live. But everyday this week I'll watch a film of his in memory of what he means to me.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: w/o horse on July 30, 2007, 12:39:36 PM
It's an eerie coincidence that the New Beverly is playing Virgin Spring and Wild Strawberries Wednesday and Thursday.  I was going anyway but now it's somewhat heavier.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Just Withnail on July 30, 2007, 03:41:29 PM
Few have made a contribution to film that equals his. I'll be watching Winter Light tonight, once again in awe and gratitude.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: tpfkabi on July 30, 2007, 04:26:51 PM
had he ever spoken about his religious beliefs?
with that upbringing i imagine he tried to stay away as far as possible once he left home.

the existence/non-existence of God seemed to be a big theme in the films of his i've seen, although i can only think directly of Seventh Seal. i'm fuzzy on any religious themes in Wild Strawberries.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: cron on July 30, 2007, 06:02:02 PM
i have this quote in a notebook

This was when Bergman, in his own words, "cast off" his faith in God, "holy rubbish that blocks one's view."
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: tpfkabi on July 30, 2007, 07:58:50 PM
i have this quote in a notebook

This was when Bergman, in his own words, "cast off" his faith in God, "holy rubbish that blocks one's view."


ok, thanks.
can you remember what led to the "this was when" moment?
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: children with angels on July 31, 2007, 07:16:01 AM
I seem to remember reading that it was around the time of making the Seventh Seal that he let go of the idea of a God and began to believe more in the God-in-people.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: MacGuffin on July 31, 2007, 09:21:11 PM
Ingmar Bergman: In Memory
by Roger Ebert

The solitary, poetic, fearful, creative, brave and philosophical mind of Ingmar Bergman has been stilled, and the director is dead at 89. Death was an event on which he long meditated; it was the subject of many of his greatest films, and provided his most famous single image, a knight playing chess with Death in “The Seventh Seal.”

The end came Monday on the remote island of Faro, off the Swedish coast, where he made his home and workshop for many years. During a long and productive career, he made more than 50 films, some of them in longer versions for television, and directed more than 200 plays and operas.

Woody Allen, who made some films in deliberate imitation of Bergman, said he was "probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera."

And David Mamet has just written me: “When I was young the World Theatre, in Chicago, staged an all-day Ingmar Bergman Festival. I went at ten o'clock in the morning, and stayed all day. When I left the theater it was still light, but my soul was dark, and I did not sleep for years afterwards.”

Provided with a secure home for decades within the Swedish film industry, working at Stockholm’s Film House, which his films essentially built, Bergman had unparallel freedom to make exactly the films he desired. Occasionally they were comedies, and he made a sunny version of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” but more often they were meditations on life and death, on the difficulties of people trying to connect, and on what he considered the silence of God. In a film like “Wild Strawberries (1957), however, he imagined an old man terrified by death, revisiting his memories, and finally finding reconciliation.

The son of a strict Lutheran minister, Bergman remembered such punishments as being locked in a cabinet and told mice would nibble at his toes. He resented his father for years, returning to that childhood again near the end of his career in “Fanny and Alexander” (1982) one of his greatest films.

What he saw as God’s refusal to intervene in the suffering on earth was the subject of his 1961-63 Silence of God Trilogy, “Through a Glass Darkly,” “Winter Light” (a pitiless film in which a clergyman torments himself about the possibility of nuclear annihilation) and “The Silence.” In his masterpiece “Persona,” (1967), an actress (Liv Ullmann) sees a television image of a monk burning himself in Vietnam, and she stops speaking. Sent to a country retreat with a nurse (Bibi Andersson), she works a speechless alchemy on her, leading to a striking image when their two faces seem to blend.

So great was the tension in that film that Bergman made it appear to catch in the projector and burn. Then, from a black screen, the film slowly rebuilt itself, beginning with crude images from the first days of the cinema. These images were suggested by a child’s cinematograph which his brother received as a present; so envious was Ingmar that he traded his brother for it, giving up his precious horde of 100 tin soldiers.

In the fullness of his career, the director settled into a rhythm. "We've already discussed the new film the year before," Sven Nykvist, his longtime cinematographer, told me in 1975. “Then Ingmar goes to his island and writes the screenplay. The next year, we shoot - usually about the fifteenth of April. Usually we are the same eighteen people working with him, year after year, one film a year."

Of the 18, one was the “hostess,” hired to serve coffee and pastries and make the set seem domestic. “How large a crew do you use?” David Lean asked him one year at Cannes. “I always work with 18 friends,” Bergman said. “That’s funny,” said Lean. “I work with 150 enemies.”

In 1975 I visited the Bergman set for “Face to Face.” He took a break and invited me to his “cell” in Film House: A small, narrow room, filled with an army cot, a desk, two chairs, and on the desk an apple and a bar of chocolate. He said he’d been watching an interview with Antonioni the night before: “I hardly heard what he said. I could not take my attention away from his face. For me, the human face is the most important subject of the cinema.”

Nykvist was his collaborator in filming those faces, and in “The Passion of Anna” (1969) did something unprecedented: Filmed a conversation by the light of a single candle. “He said it could be done, and he was right,” Bergman said.

Bergman was married five times and had eight children, including Liv Ullmann’s daughter, the novelist Linn. He was not proud of how he behaved in some of those relationships, and in an extraordinary late film, “Faithless” (2000), written by Bergman and directed by Ullmann, he imagines a director (Erland Josephson) hiring an actress (Lena Endre) to help him “think through” an unhappy affair. It becomes clear that the actress is imaginary, that the affair has some connection with Ullmann and other women, and that the film is a confession. It is all shot on Faro, in Bergman’s house.

Other filmmakers spoke in awe of Bergman’s methods, which had the luxury of time an complete independence. Haskell Wexler, the great cinematographer, has just written me: “I was good friends with Sven Nykvist, who told me stories about Bergman. They sat in a big old church from very early in the morning until as black as the night gets. They noted where the light moved through the stained glass windows. Bergman planned where he would stage the scenes for a picture they were about to do. This had the practical advantage of minimizing light and generator costs. Sven said sitting alone with Ingmar in the church had a profound effect on him. I asked him if it made him more religious. He said he didn’t think so but it did give him some kind of spiritual connection to Ingmar which helped him deal with the times Bergman became very mean…”

There are so many memories crowding in, now, from the richness of Bergman’s work, that I know not what to choose. A turning point in his despair occurred, perhaps, in “Cries and Whispers,” a chamber drama in an isolated Swedish estate where Harriet Andersson is dying painfully of cancer and her sisters have come to be with her. After she dies,they find a journal in which she recalls a perfect day in the autumn, when the pain was not so bad, and the women took up their parasols and walked in the garden. "This is happiness. I cannot wish for anything better," she writes. "I feel profoundly grateful to my life, which gives me so much."

When “Faithless” played at Cannes in 2001, Liv Ullmann told me this story:

“When he was 60 years old he celebrated his birthday on his island, on that beach. And my daughter was there; she was five years old. And…he said to her, 'When you are 60 what will you do then?' She said, 'I'll have a big party and my mother will be there. She'll be really old and stupid and gawky but it's gonna be great.' And he looked at her and said, 'And what about me? Will I not be there?' And the five-year-old looked up at him and she said, 'Well, you know, I'll leave the party and I'll walk down to the beach and there on the waves you will come dancing towards me’.”


----------------------------------------------------------------

Global Film Tributes To Ingmar Bergman
Source: Dateline Hollywood
 
Respects poured in from world cinematic headliners today for Ingmar Bergman who died at his Swedish home at age 89. Here's a brief round-up from news reports:

Max Von Sydow (who appeared in 11 Bergman films) spoke of his "infinite gratitude" not only for the professional opportunities but also "the immense privilege to have been his friend." As an actor, he said, "no one counted as much for me as Ingmar Bergman."

Bibi Andersson, who made 13 movies with Bergman,: "It's very sad, but he was an old man, so we were prepared that he would die. I knew him well and will miss him very much."

Michael Apted, head of the Directors Guild of America: "Bergman was the epitome of a director's director -- creating beautiful, complex and smart films that imprinted permanently into the psyche." The DGA gave Bergman its highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990.

Woody Allen bid him farewell with a final joke. "I was very saddened by the death of Ingmar Bergman. He was a friend and certainly the greatest film artist of my lifetime. He told me that he was afraid that he would die on a very, very sunny day. and I can only hope it was overcast and he got the weather he wanted."

Gilles Jacob, president of the Cannes Film Festival, said "modern cinema has lost one of its last pioneers, a pioneer of genius."

Sir Richard Attenborough: "The world has lost one of its very greatest filmmakers. He taught us all so much throughout his life."

Bille August, the Danish director: "He was one of the world's biggest personalities. There were Kurosawa, Fellini and then Bergman. Now he is also gone. It is a great loss. I am in shock."

Astrid Soderbergh Widding, president of The Ingmar Bergman Foundation, which administers the directors' archives: "Ingmar Bergman's passing away represents a loss of unfathomable magnitude. His artistic accomplishments were ground-breaking, unique -- but also of a scope that covered film and theatre as well as literature. He was the internationally most renowned Swede, and just a few months ago his artistic achievement was incorporated into the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. We remember him as a very bold person, always present, often biting in his comments. But he was often one step ahead of his contemporaries. Even when he grew old surprises from Fårö were not unexpected. I believe it will take some time before we fully understand that he is no longer with us, but also the importance of his art to other people. The steady stream of letters arriving here at the Ingmar Bergman Foundation since its inception testifies to that."

Jorn Donner, producer of Fanny and Alexander, Bergman's last work for the big screen which won four Oscars: "He was one of the great ones."

Cissi Elwin, chief executive of the Swedish Film Institute, said Bergman, in a wheelchair and seeming very tired, had appeared briefly this month at an annual celebration of his career on Faro Island. "It's a very big loss today. It's very, very strange and very unreal because Ingmar Bergman is so much Swedish film."

Andrzej Wajda, the Oscar-winning Polish director, said it was Bergman's "absolute isolation" that impressed him: "He created great art, and for us -- movie directors -- he gave hope, a belief, that if we wanted to say something about ourselves, the world would notice."
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: NEON MERCURY on August 01, 2007, 10:25:06 AM
Swedish Director Ingmar Bergman Dies


..i think SoNowThen killed him.... :yabbse-cry:
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Alexandro on August 01, 2007, 11:23:24 AM
maybe it's stupid, but if the fucking tree amigos have a thread on the main page, at least we could start one for bergman/fellini/kurosawa and try to discuss those films as they should be discussed from time to time?
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on August 01, 2007, 11:57:00 AM
I don't thinking dedicating forums to these directors will do much, but I think we do need to honor them. The only deceased filmmaker who has a forum is Kubrick. No other filmmaker who is dead has as much news as he does these days.

I think we should do something else to honor the great deceased filmmakers. I say every year Xixax should vote for one filmmaker to go into a sort of hall of fame for XIXAX. Can't vote for people currently making films, but those either dead or retired (meaning no films in the last 5-8 years).

The good thing about something like this is that voting could go on for 2 months and get a better part of the entire board to vote. Only some members consistently come here all the time, but most check up every now and then. Some also don't vote because picking 5 titles for numerous subjects like in the XIXAX Film awards is kind of daunting. Picking one filmmaker is easy. Plus the counting and managing of votes will be a lot easier so it can go on for 2 months.

I think this would be a good end of the year thing. A lot of different people here have different ideas by what deceased filmmakers are great, from Ingmar Bergman to Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick. It would be an actual interesting race. People in their signatures can promote who they think should win. Honary banners or threads can be the reward for the winner each year.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Alexandro on August 01, 2007, 12:22:55 PM
as long as it leads us to discuss the films in a little more detail than usual any idea is fine.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: w/o horse on August 02, 2007, 02:45:34 AM
I'm like skeptical and desperate for something like that because:

1.  I don't think that would stimulate conversation from people not already engaging in conversation.  And the odds of people letting their movie schedules being affected by a hall of fame forum is slight.  I mean these topics already exist, and sometimes they get brought back up and slowly drift back to the bottom.  This is the thing:  everyone is at different points in their film lives and we're all watching films at different times and discovering filmmakers in different ways and at different paces.

2.  Aside from post-movie and conversations of happenstance there's not an opportunity for me to discuss the finer points of most of the movies I watch.  There's a reasonable amount of people on this board I think feel the same way, I see them searching out conversations in the same way.  This is the thing:  if they're not having air rifles shot at them, or if a revival circuit isn't going around for them, the older directors are afloat in that Need to See.  A single forum dedicated to a director of considerable output could facilitate the process of discussing the individual films of the filmmaker.  Like, instead of waiting three months for somebody else to watch Hour of the Wolf, forgetting you wanted to talk about Hour of the Wolf by the time someone else posts in the Bergman thread which has been directed towards Scenes from a Marriage, there could be patience of this matter in the hall of fame Hour of the Wolf thread.

So it seems obvious to me something like this should be tried.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Reinhold on August 03, 2007, 10:37:15 AM
maybe a lifetime achievement category added to the xixax awards?
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on August 03, 2007, 11:20:17 AM
maybe a lifetime achievement category added to the xixax awards?

That still means the very few people who voted for those awards would vote for this one. It limit the award from representing more of the forum. Right now XIXAX only has two awards in the yearly movie awards and the Dekapenticon. We should add a third to round it out.
Title: The Director of the Month: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: modage on August 06, 2007, 09:04:17 PM
(http://www.xixax.com/images/director_bergman.jpg) (http://xixax.com/index.php?topic=9813.0)
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on August 09, 2007, 03:48:10 AM
I'll going to be going through numerous Bergman titles. I'll start with two of his finest films. Two works that deserve more attention. The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries are not worthy of the acclaim they receive. They mark his early period where he over used symbolism and wasn't yet rooted in his storytelling. I'd replace those titles with these instead.

(http://www.moviemail-online.co.uk/sleeve/larger/18950.JPG)

THE PASSION OF ANNA - A remarkable experiment. Bergman digs into the psyche and complexes of four characters. The film mixes fictional story with actor comments on the characters. The initial fear is that these comments will pigeon hole the characters and keep them from being organic to us.

That only seems to happen with Bibbi Andersson and Erland Josephsom, who play secondary characters anyways. The comments about Andreas (played by Max Von Sydow) and Anna (played by Liv Ullmann) only dig at the basics of their characters. The story continues to be surprising about their characters and utilizes other subplots to wonderfully exude the tension that exists between them.

The usual complain about this film is that not enough detail about the characters are shown. We barely understand Sydow's past though his character is at the center of the story. His details aren't important. The meat comes in his expressions and antagonisms toward normal human connections. Sydow is masterful for as much as he says with the character with so little. The Dardennes are modern masters for finding detail with the minimal. Bergman and the Dardennes are very different, but Bergman shows his comprehension to sustain depth with minimalism here.

(http://www.eastwestdvds.de/catalog/images/AutumnSonata.jpg)

AUTUMN SONATA - The most theatrical Bergman film. Only four characters exist in this story and the action is maintained on a few sets. Even the introduction by the husband has the resonance of an actor on stage introducing the scene.

That shouldn't be a detriment to the film. The story takes a meet and greet situation between a mother and daughter and utilizes it to build up to some of the most powerful scenes in a Bergman film. Usually Bergman is philosophical with storylines and allows the themes to exist in them from the beginning. The characters discuss them and the emotional moments never hit a true revelatory peak because the problems were always existent in the story.

Not in Autumn Sonata. The audience has little idea of what will happen. The story starts out peaceful but gains momentum slowly and allows late revelations to be the detail that drives peak emotional scenes. Doing this forces Bergman to be more structural. Characters come together to both pain and clarity at precise moments. Bergman times the appropriateness of these things like he was writing music. Nothing in Autumn Sonata is ambitious, but everything is tuned to perfection.

The cinematic achievement is in the wonderful cinematography. Colors exude the rooms and perfectly cast the emotions in the scene. The best element of the cinematography is that it is purposeful but never becomes a distraction by looking too good. Everything is maintained well.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: w/o horse on August 09, 2007, 11:40:26 PM
I saw Wild Strawberries at the New Beverly on Wednesday, a film worthy of the acclaim it receives. Seeing it with an audience made me realize how funny it is (the innocent misogyny and sexuality especially).

The grace of the film is in this sophisticated innocence, and tenderness, and the confrontation of these elements with forces of responsibility and age.  I always hear about great films that you find something new to appreciate each time you see it and that the greatest films you can age along with.  This film firmly qualifies for that criteria.

In that regard, the flashbacks, right now, strike me as maudlin and unnecessary.  Maybe some of the symbolism too, but I love symbolism so much and so rarely get to see it used well in film that I forgive it, and the symbolism in Wild Strawberries, along with the structure belongs more to literature than the theater.  Unapologetically vivid.

But the road trip portion of the movie is fun.  If Bergman became more serious, this is a light meditation on some of the processes of growing old and becoming callous and losing your humanity slowly.  A friendly look at socially significant issues, not too far away from the screwball comedies, and it wasn't that long ago that Bergman had done Smiles of a Summer Night.

I also saw Crisis before Wild Strawberries but if the latter is before the creation of Bergman's revolutionary idiom then Crisis the before the creation of Bergman as a filmmaker.  It owes heavily to the Hollywood and Italian melodramas of its time.

If I'm cheeky it's because I'm a virgin.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on August 10, 2007, 03:48:52 PM
An argument over Ingmar Bergman is brewing between a few film critics.

Scenes From an Overrated Career
 
By JONATHAN ROSENBAUM


THE first Ingmar Bergman movie I ever saw was “The Magician,” at the Fifth Avenue Cinema in the spring of 1960, when I was 17. The only way I could watch the film this week after the Swedish director’s death was on a remaindered DVD I bought in Paris. Like many of his films, “The Magician” hasn’t been widely available here for ages.

Nearly all the obituaries I’ve read take for granted Mr. Bergman’s stature as one of the uncontestable major figures in cinema — for his serious themes (the loss of religious faith and the waning of relationships), for his expert direction of actors (many of whom, like Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann, he introduced and made famous) and for the hard severity of his images. If you Google “Ingmar Bergman” and “great,” you get almost six million hits.

Sometimes, though, the best indication of an artist’s continuing vitality is simply what of his work remains visible and is still talked about. The hard fact is, Mr. Bergman isn’t being taught in film courses or debated by film buffs with the same intensity as Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles and Jean-Luc Godard. His works are seen less often in retrospectives and on DVD than those of Carl Dreyer and Robert Bresson — two master filmmakers widely scorned as boring and pretentious during Mr. Bergman’s heyday.

What Mr. Bergman had that those two masters lacked was the power to entertain — which often meant a reluctance to challenge conventional film-going habits, as Dreyer did when constructing his peculiar form of movie space and Bresson did when constructing his peculiar form of movie acting.

The same qualities that made Mr. Bergman’s films go down more easily than theirs — his fluid storytelling and deftness in handling actresses, comparable to the skills of a Hollywood professional like George Cukor — also make them feel less important today, because they have fewer secrets to impart. What we see is what we get, and what we hear, however well written or dramatic, are things we’re likely to have heard elsewhere.

So where did the outsized reputation of Mr. Bergman come from? At least part of his initial appeal in the ’50s seems tied to the sexiness of his actresses and the more relaxed attitudes about nudity in Sweden; discovering the handsome look of a Bergman film also clearly meant encountering the beauty of Maj-Britt Nilsson and Harriet Andersson. And for younger cinephiles like myself, watching Mr. Bergman’s films at the same time I was first encountering directors like Mr. Godard and Alain Resnais, it was tempting to regard him as a kindred spirit, the vanguard of a Swedish New Wave.

It was a seductive error, but an error nevertheless. The stylistic departures I saw in Mr. Bergman’s ’50s and ’60s features — the silent-movie pastiche in “Sawdust and Tinsel,” the punitive use of magic against a doctor-villain in “The Magician,” the aggressive avant-garde prologue of “Persona” — were actually more functions of his skill and experience as a theater director than a desire or capacity to change the language of cinema in order to say something new. If the French New Wave addressed a new contemporary world, Mr. Bergman’s talent was mainly devoted to preserving and perpetuating an old one.

Curiously, theater is what claimed most of Mr. Bergman’s genius, but cinema is what claimed most of his reputation. He was drawn again and again to the 19th-century theater of Chekhov, Strindberg and Ibsen — these were his real roots — and based on the testimony of friends who saw some of his stage productions when they traveled to Brooklyn, there’s good reason to believe a comprehensive account of his prodigious theater work, his métier, is long overdue.

We remember the late Michelangelo Antonioni for his mysteriously vacant pockets of time, Andrei Tarkovsky for his elaborately choreographed long takes and Orson Welles for his canted angles and staccato editing. And we remember all three for their deep, multifaceted investments in the modern world — the same world Mr. Bergman seemed perpetually in retreat from.

Mr. Bergman simply used film (and later, video) to translate shadow-plays staged in his mind — relatively private psychodramas about his own relationships with his cast members, and metaphysical speculations that at best condensed the thoughts of a few philosophers rather than expanded them. Riddled with wounds inflicted by Mr. Bergman’s strict Lutheran upbringing and diverse spiritual doubts, these films are at times too self-absorbed to say much about the larger world, limiting the relevance that his champions often claim for them.

Above all, his movies aren’t so much filmic expressions as expressions on film. One of the most striking aspects of the use of digital video in “Saraband,” his last feature, is his seeming contempt for the medium apart from its usefulness as a simple recording device.

Yet what Mr. Bergman was interested in recording was pretty much the same tormented and tortured neurotic resentments, the same spite and even the same cruelty that can be traced back to his work of a half-century ago. Like John Ford, one of Mr. Bergman’s favorite directors — whose taste for silhouettes moving across horizons he shared — he would endlessly reshuffle his reliable troupe of players, his favorite sores and obsessions, like shards of glass in a kaleidoscope.

It’s strange to realize that his bitter and pinched emotions, once they were combined with excellent cinematography and superb acting, could become chic — and revered as emblems of higher purposes in cinema. But these emotions remain ugly ones, no matter how stylishly they might be served up.

Even stranger to me was the way he always resonated with New York audiences. The antiseptic, upscale look of Mr. Bergman’s interiors and his mainly blond, blue-eyed cast members became a brand to be adopted and emulated. (His artfully presented traumas became so respectable they could help to sell espresso in the lobby of the Fifth Avenue Cinema.) Mr. Bergman, famously, not only helped fuel the art-house aspirations of Woody Allen but Mr. Allen’s class aspirations as well — the dual yearnings ultimately becoming so intertwined that they seemed identical.

Despite all the compulsive superlatives offered up this week, Mr. Bergman’s star has faded, maybe because we’ve all grown up a little, as filmgoers and as socially aware adults. It doesn’t diminish his masterful use of extended close-ups or his distinctively theatrical, seemingly homemade cinema to suggest that movies can offer something more complex and challenging. And while Mr. Bergman’s films may have lost much of their pertinence, they will always remain landmarks in the history of taste.


then Roger Ebert's responce.

Defending Ingmar Bergman


by Roger Ebert


I have long known and admired the Chicago Reader’s film critic, Jonathan Rosenbaum, but his New York Times op-ed attack on Ingmar Bergman (“Scenes from an Overrated Career,” 8/4/07) is a bizarre departure from his usual sanity. It says more about Rosenbaum’s love of stylistic extremes than it does about Bergman and audiences. Who else but Rosenbaum could actually base an attack on the complaint that Bergman had what his favorites Carl Theodor Dreyer and Robert Bresson lacked, “the power to entertain — which often meant a reluctance to challenge conventional film-going habits?" In what parallel universe is the power to entertain defined in that way?

I love Bresson and respect Dreyer but what does Rosenbaum mean by their challenges to conventional film-going? He continues: “…as Dreyer did when constructing his peculiar form of movie space and Bresson did when constructing his peculiar form of movie acting.” And what were those peculiar forms? Dreyer built an elaborate set for “The Passion of Joan of Arc” and never revealed it, using closeups of faces with expressionistic angles and shadows. Bresson would shoot the same take over and over, as many as 50 times, to drain his actors of all emotion; he referred to them, indeed, as “models.” I am impressed by the idea and conception of these peculiar forms, but I doubt if they are more or less “entertaining” than Bergman’s also stylized but less constricted use of sets and actors.

Rosenbaum writes, “Riddled with wounds inflicted by Mr. Bergman’s strict Lutheran upbringing and diverse spiritual doubts, these films are at times too self-absorbed to say much about the larger world, limiting the relevance that his champions often claim for them.” This statement is perfectly accurate about Dreyer if you substitute his name for Bergman’s, and perfectly accurate about Bresson, if you substitute the names and change “Lutheran” to “Catholic.” Indeed, Bresson has been called the most Catholic of filmmakers.

Rosenbaum says Bergman is less taught in schools today than Godard and Hitchcock. He carefully avoids saying Bergman is less taught than Dreyer or Bresson. I grant him Hitchcock. He uses Google counts in his argument, so out of curiosity I googled “film class on Ingmar Bergman” (1,400,000) and “film class on Jean-Luc Godard (310,000). He says Bergman is “less discussed,” so I googled web discussion groups and found that Bergman scored 59,000 and Godard 14,400. Of course these entries cover a multitude of kinds of content, but there you have them.

Curiously, Rosenbaum thinks it is a sign of Bergman’s decline that he is hard to find on DVD these days, because he had to purchase his copy of “The Magician” in Paris (“Like many of his films, 'The Magician' hasn’t been widely available here for ages.”). Not true. I had to order Welles’ “Chimes at Midnight” from Brazil, and his “Magnificent Ambersons” is unavailable in this country, but I find 66 DVDs of Bergman’s 50-some titles, including "The Magician," for sale on Amazon, although some of them are for zones other than ours (an all-zone DVD player now costs less than $70, something I learned from Rosenbaum before ordering mine). You can find DVDs of all Dreyer’s films from “Joan” onward (five), and 10 of the 13 Bressons.

The most recent of the four Bergmans that Rosenbaum even mentions is “Persona” (1966), except for “Saraband” (2005), his final film. The sin of that film was “his seeming contempt for the medium [digital video] apart from its usefulness as a simple recording device.” In other words, at 86, Bergman did not choose to experiment with digital but simply used it. Surely it is also of interest that the film reunited the same two actors, Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson, who had already played a divorced couple in “Scenes from a Marriage” (1973), and now meet again many years later. As for Bergman’s openness to a newer medium, what about his embrace of the lower costs and greater flexibility of Super 16 more than 35 years ago? What about him proving with Sven Nykvist in “The Passion of Anna” that a conversation could be shot on 16mm by the light of a single candle?
I think Rosenbaum gives away the game when he says, Bergman’s “movies aren’t so much filmic expressions as expressions on film.” He means form itself is more important (and entertaining, I guess) than narrative, emotional content and performance. Not everyone would agree.

Rosenbaum complains of “the antiseptic, upscale look of Mr. Bergman’s interiors.” Would that include the interiors in “The Virgin Spring,” “The Seventh Seal,” “The Passion of Anna,” “The Silence,” “Wild Strawberries,” “Hour of the Wolf,” “Scenes from a Marriage” and indeed “The Magician” and “Persona?” (I would mention “Fanny and Alexander” and its horror-house Lutheran parsonage but Rosenbaum says he hasn’t seen the film voted #3 in the Sight & Sound poll of world directors and critics to determine the best films from 1975-2000.)

Finally, Rosenbaum laments how Bergman’s “mainly blond, blue-eyed cast members became a brand to be adopted and emulated.” Hello? Bergman worked in Sweden! Does he forgive Ousmane Sembene’s African exteriors and mainly black-haired, brown-eyed cast members? Or the way Ozu used all those Japanese?

Dreyer’s “The Passion of Joan of Arc” and Bresson’s “Pickpocket” and “Au Hasard Balthazar” are reviewed in the Great Movies section, along with Bergman’s “The Seventh Seal,” “Persona,” “Cries and Whispers” and “Fanny and Alexander.”

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The argument very much reminds me of recent arguments on the board. Most of Rosenbaum says is too general to be revealing. Then a lot of what he says is just nonsense. Persona's opening does not remind of theater. It reminds me of challenging underground cinema techniques. Parker Tyler, in his masterful Underground Cinema: A Critical History, related that sequence back to its influence from underground films.

Nobody will say that technical innovation isn't important. They will just disagree in how important it is. I don't believe the style techniques of Hitchcock and others will be more important than the emotional content within a Bergman film. The emotions, ideas, and philosophies within a film are the most important.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: w/o horse on August 11, 2007, 12:27:02 AM
No to derail the Bergman film conversations that I know are going to be on the way, but Ebert paddled Rosenbaum with his reply.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on August 11, 2007, 01:34:44 AM
No to derail the Bergman film conversations that I know are going to be on the way, but Ebert paddled Rosenbaum with his reply.

I doubt everyone will have the opinion of Rosenbaum specifically, but I do know others have the opinion that Bergman's cinema isn't as high and mighty as Rosenbaum says it is. They have that opinion because of personal beliefs to what is cinema. Rosenbaum just seems severe with his.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: MacGuffin on August 11, 2007, 10:38:40 PM
The Man Who Asked Hard Questions
By WOODY ALLEN; New York Times

I GOT the news in Oviedo, a lovely little town in the north of Spain where I am shooting a movie, that Bergman had died. A phone message from a mutual friend was relayed to me on the set. Bergman once told me he didn’t want to die on a sunny day, and not having been there, I can only hope he got the flat weather all directors thrive on.

I’ve said it before to people who have a romanticized view of the artist and hold creation sacred: In the end, your art doesn’t save you. No matter what sublime works you fabricate (and Bergman gave us a menu of amazing movie masterpieces) they don’t shield you from the fateful knocking at the door that interrupted the knight and his friends at the end of “The Seventh Seal.” And so, on a summer’s day in July, Bergman, the great cinematic poet of mortality, couldn’t prolong his own inevitable checkmate, and the finest filmmaker of my lifetime was gone.

I have joked about art being the intellectual’s Catholicism, that is, a wishful belief in an afterlife. Better than to live on in the hearts and minds of the public is to live on in one’s apartment, is how I put it. And certainly Bergman’s movies will live on and will be viewed at museums and on TV and sold on DVDs, but knowing him, this was meager compensation, and I am sure he would have been only too glad to barter each one of his films for an additional year of life. This would have given him roughly 60 more birthdays to go on making movies; a remarkable creative output. And there’s no doubt in my mind that’s how he would have used the extra time, doing the one thing he loved above all else, turning out films.

Bergman enjoyed the process. He cared little about the responses to his films. It pleased him when he was appreciated, but as he told me once, “If they don’t like a movie I made, it bothers me — for about 30 seconds.” He wasn’t interested in box office results, even though producers and distributors called him with the opening weekend figures, which went in one ear and out the other. He said, “By mid-week their wildly optimistic prognosticating would come down to nothing.” He enjoyed critical acclaim but didn’t for a second need it, and while he wanted the audience to enjoy his work, he didn’t always make his films easy on them.

Still, those that took some figuring out were well worth the effort. For example, when you grasp that both women in “The Silence” are really only two warring aspects of one woman, the otherwise enigmatic film opens up spellbindingly. Or if you are up on your Danish philosophy before you see “The Seventh Seal” or “The Magician,” it certainly helps, but so amazing were his gifts as a storyteller that he could hold an audience riveted and enthralled with difficult material. I’ve heard people walk out after certain films of his saying, “I didn’t get exactly what I just saw but I was gripped on the edge of my seat every frame.”

Bergman’s allegiance was to theatricality, and he was also a great stage director, but his movie work wasn’t just informed by theater; it drew on painting, music, literature and philosophy. His work probed the deepest concerns of humanity, often rendering these celluloid poems profound. Mortality, love, art, the silence of God, the difficulty of human relationships, the agony of religious doubt, failed marriage, the inability for people to communicate with one another.

And yet the man was a warm, amusing, joking character, insecure about his immense gifts, beguiled by the ladies. To meet him was not to suddenly enter the creative temple of a formidable, intimidating, dark and brooding genius who intoned complex insights with a Swedish accent about man’s dreadful fate in a bleak universe. It was more like this: “Woody, I have this silly dream where I show up on the set to make a film and I can’t figure out where to put the camera; the point is, I know I am pretty good at it and I have been doing it for years. You ever have those nervous dreams?” or “You think it will be interesting to make a movie where the camera never moves an inch and the actors just enter and exit frame? Or would people just laugh at me?”

What does one say on the phone to a genius? I didn’t think it was a good idea, but in his hands I guess it would have turned out to be something special. After all, the vocabulary he invented to probe the psychological depths of actors also would have sounded preposterous to those who learn filmmaking in the orthodox manner. In film school (I was thrown out of New York University quite rapidly when I was a film major there in the 1950s) the emphasis was always on movement. These are moving pictures, students were taught, and the camera should move. And the teachers were right. But Bergman would put the camera on Liv Ullmann’s face or Bibi Andersson’s face and leave it there and it wouldn’t budge and time passed and more time and an odd and wonderful thing unique to his brilliance would happen. One would get sucked into the character and one was not bored but thrilled.

Bergman, for all his quirks and philosophic and religious obsessions, was a born spinner of tales who couldn’t help being entertaining even when all on his mind was dramatizing the ideas of Nietzsche or Kierkegaard. I used to have long phone conversations with him. He would arrange them from the island he lived on. I never accepted his invitations to visit because the plane travel bothered me, and I didn’t relish flying on a small aircraft to some speck near Russia for what I envisioned as a lunch of yogurt. We always discussed movies, and of course I let him do most of the talking because I felt privileged hearing his thoughts and ideas. He screened movies for himself every day and never tired of watching them. All kinds, silents and talkies. To go to sleep he’d watch a tape of the kind of movie that didn’t make him think and would relax his anxiety, sometimes a James Bond film.

Like all great film stylists, such as Fellini, Antonioni and Buñuel, for example, Bergman has had his critics. But allowing for occasional lapses all these artists’ movies have resonated deeply with millions all over the world. Indeed, the people who know film best, the ones who make them — directors, writers, actors, cinematographers, editors — hold Berman’s work in perhaps the greatest awe.

Because I sang his praises so enthusiastically over the decades, when he died many newspapers and magazines called me for comments or interviews. As if I had anything of real value to add to the grim news besides once again simply extolling his greatness. How had he influenced me, they asked? He couldn’t have influenced me, I said, he was a genius and I am not a genius and genius cannot be learned or its magic passed on.

When Bergman emerged in the New York art houses as a great filmmaker, I was a young comedy writer and nightclub comic. Can one’s work be influenced by Groucho Marx and Ingmar Bergman? But I did manage to absorb one thing from him, a thing not dependent on genius or even talent but something that can actually be learned and developed. I am talking about what is often very loosely called a work ethic but is really plain discipline.

I learned from his example to try to turn out the best work I’m capable of at that given moment, never giving in to the foolish world of hits and flops or succumbing to playing the glitzy role of the film director, but making a movie and moving on to the next one. Bergman made about 60 films in his lifetime, I have made 38. At least if I can’t rise to his quality maybe I can approach his quantity.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: cron on August 12, 2007, 12:25:08 AM
 :cry:
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Alexandro on August 13, 2007, 01:26:35 PM
I think people that accuse Bergman of just making "filmed plays" should go more often to the theater and reevaluate their experiences. Bergman is a stage pro and he obviously has some of that approach in his films, but filmed plays???

My Bergman experience started when I was, I guess, 16 or 17 and rented Wild Strawberries. I was really young to "get it" but I had the disposition. After all, it was an Ingmar Bergman film and I've heard his name around. I was incredibly surprised. My most memorable Bergman reference at that point, was that Billy Crystal's wife in City Slickers 2 told him at the beginning of the movie that she didn't want people coming out of his birthday party as if they'd just seen a Bergman film. I guess I expected something very dense and depressing. But Wild Strawberry's is nothing like that. What surprised me, in fact, is how entertaining, straightforward and heartfelt it is. Because it has some heartbreaking moments that I just never expected. The dream sequence, is hands down the best dream rendering I've ever seen on film. Deeply disturbing, but the whole thing goes in so many different directions. It's funny, moving, sad, cruel.

A couple of years later a teacher lend me Persona and right there I was a little turned off. I guess I just wasn't in the mood or something. But it did something to me, cause for all the "slowness" and "density", I could never forget it, and a few years later when I watched it again, it just felt like a complete masterpiece. After that I just went and watched any Bergman I could find. And it became clear to me after a while this guy must be one of the three or four best film directors of all time. And it never occurred to me that his films were too theatrical at all. His images are so beautiful, the effect achieved is impossible if not on cinema. There's nothing that is not fully cinematic in the beginning of Persona, or the dream sequence in Wild Strawberries, the train ride in The Silence, or anything in Fanny & Alexander. And this is obvious, but long close ups on actor's faces are an exclusive asset of film. I had an acting teacher who was a stage director who always wanted to make at least one film. Her first comment after that was "If I could only make a close up on stage, or a zoom". People pushing the "filmed plays" argument are doing so because the lack of camera movement, which really has nothing to do with anything when you achieve the powerful moments Bergman did with his still shots on actor's faces.

I would claim Bergman is the best actor's director ever. I just can't think of someone else who so consistently got the performance level he got from all his actors. You just had a guarantee of terrific acting when watching a Bergman film. I would say he's also the greatest screenwriter. He could just have these long monologues that are a thrill to listen and see.

All these people coming out now, with this backlash about Bergman's art being "out of fashion", are complete douchebags, in my opinion, and are obviously not getting even the point of artistic expression. And very few Bergman films have been "depressing" to me. He's an skeptic, but I don't think he's a full pessimist. Claiming that life, love, relationships, are complicated matters is not being a pessimist. Thinking a film is depressing because it claims this is what's being pessimistic is.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: children with angels on August 16, 2007, 10:05:02 AM
An interesting piece on Bergman (and also partially Antonioni) and the critical reactions that his death has prompted, by David Bordwell. It touches on some of the issues people have been bringing up both here and in the L'enfant thread. The original has images that help his argument, so if you're interested it might be better to read it here: http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/?p=1139.

Bergman, Antonioni, and the stubborn stylists
by David Bordwell

Jonathan Rosenbaum has created quite a stir. His New York Times Op-Ed piece, “Scenes from an Overrated Career,” offers a fairly harsh judgment on the films of Ingmar Bergman. In one sense the timing was awkward; the poor man had just died. But the article wouldn’t have attracted much attention if Rosenbaum had waited a few months, so if creating a cause célébre was his goal, he chose the right moment.

Timing aside, there wasn’t much in the piece that hasn’t been said by certain cadres of cinephiles for decades. Back in the 1960s, people called Bergman “theatrical,” “uncinematic,” pretentious, and intellectually shallow. He was even accused of hypocrisy. His spiritual, philosophical films always seemed to depend on a surprising number of couplings, killings, rapes, and gorgeous ladies, often naked. Rosenbaum contrasts Bergman with Bresson and Dreyer, more austere religious filmmakers as well as great formal innovators, and this gambit too is familiar from late-night film-society disputes. Jonathan’s case is news in the good, grey Times, but it’s an old story among his (my) generation.

I think that this generational antipathy has many sources. While Bergman had considerable academic cachet, this may have hurt him with smart-alecks like us. Cinephile priests and professors told us that Bergman was a great mind, but we suspected them of snobbery, for they often disdained even foreign filmmakers who dabbled in popular genres. Kurosawa was admired for Rashomon and I Live in Fear rather than for Seven Samurai and Yojimbo. And many of Bergman’s intellectual fans despised the classic tradition of American studio film. Hitchcock had not yet convinced literature profs of his excellence, and Ford was a gnarled geezer who made Westerns. Bergman and his acolytes seemed just too square. Our money was on Godard, especially after Susan Sontag’s magisterial essay on him.

Furthermore, some critics were on our side. Pauline Kael, with her nose for elitism, mocked ambitious European experiments like Marienbad. Andrew Sarris, who had a huge influence on our generation, initially registered respect for the arthouse kings. They proved that an artist could put a personal vision on film, thus buttressing the auteur approach to criticism. But Sarris retreated fairly fast. He was more unflaggingly enthusiastic about American popular cinema, and by contrast he often characterized the new Europeans as gloomy, middlebrow, and narcissistic. (He did, after all, coin the phrase “Antonionennui.”) Sarris made it possible for us to argue that, say, Meet Me in St. Louis was a better film than L’Eclisse or Winter Light. (1)

Of course I’m generalizing; no Boomer’s experience was identical with any other’s. Speaking just for myself, I didn’t have a deep love for Bergman, and I still don’t. I was drawn to his early idylls (Monika, Summer Interlude) and impressed but chilled by the official classics (Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal, The Virgin Spring). Persona, I admit, was a punch in the face. Seeing it in its New York opening, I felt that all of modern cinema was condensed into a mere eighty minutes. But no Bergman film afterward measured up to that for me, and after The Serpent’s Egg I just lost interest, catching up with Cries and Whispers, Scenes from a Marriage, Fanny and Alexander, and a very few others over the later decades.

We can talk tastes forever. Maybe you think Bergman is great, or the greatest, or obscenely overrated. I think that there’s something more general and intriguing going on beyond our tastes. What makes this hard to see is that the venues of popular journalism don’t allow us to explore some of the ideas and questions raised by our value judgments.


Critical semaphore
Take some of Rosenbaum’s criticisms, which Roger Ebert has persuasively answered. I’d add that Jonathan is sometimes applying criteria to Begman that he wouldn’t apply to directors he admires. Bergman isn’t taught frequently in film courses? So what? Neither is Straub/Huillet or Rivette or Bela Tarr. Bergman is theatrical? So too are Rivette and Dreyer, both of whom Rosenbaum has written about sympathetically.

More importantly, Jonathan’s critique is so glancing and elliptical that we can scarcely judge it as right or wrong. A few instances:

*Bergman’s movies aren’t “filmic expressions.” There’s no opportunity in an Op-Ed piece for Jonathan to explain what his conception of filmic expression is. Is he reviving the old idea of cinematic specificity—a kind of essence of cinema that good movies manifest? As opposed to theatrical cinema? I’ve argued elsewhere on this site that we should probably be pluralistic about all the possibilities of the medium.

*Bergman was reluctant to challenge “conventional film-going habits.” Why is that bad? Why is challenging them good? No time to explain, must move on….

*Bergman didn’t follow Dreyer in experimenting with space, or Bresson in experimenting with performance. Not more than .0001 % of Times readers have the faintest idea what Jonathan is talking about here. He would need to explain what he takes to be Dreyer’s experiments with space and Bresson’s experiments with performance.

In his reply to Roger Ebert, Jonathan has kindly referenced a book of mine, where I make the case that Dreyer experimented with cinematic space (and time). Right: I wrote a book. It takes a book to make such a case. It would take a book to explain and back up in an intellectually satisfying way the charges that Jonathan makes.

Popular journalism doesn’t allow you to cite sources, summarize arguments, develop subtle cases. No time! No space! No room for specialized explanations that might mystify ordinary readers! So when the critic proposes a controversial idea, he has to be brief, blunt, and absolute. If pressed, and still under the pressure of time and column inches, he will wave us toward other writers, appeal to intuition and authority, say that a broadside is really just aimed to get us thinking and talking. But what have we gained by sprays of soundbites? Provocations are always welcome, but if they really aim to change our thinking, somebody has to work them through.

I’ve suggested elsewhere that too much film writing, on paper and on the Net, favors opinion over information and ideas. Opinions, which can be stated in a clever turn of phrase, suit the constraints of publication. Amassing facts and exploring ideas in a responsible way—making distinctions, checking counterexamples, anticipating objections, nuancing broad statements—takes more time. Academics are sometimes mocked for their show-all-your-work tendencies, and I grant that this can be tedious. But we’re just trying to get it right, and that can’t be done quickly.

Now you know why our blog entries are so damn long.

This one is no exception.

Too often film talk slides from being film comment to film chat to film chatter. Even our best critics, among whom Rosenbaum must be counted, make use of a kind of rapid semaphore, signaling to the already converted. Evidently his ideal reader agrees that good cinema is challenging and experimental, directing actresses is a minor talent, and being admired by upscale Manhattanites is a sign of a sellout. Readers will self-select; those who have congruent tastes will pick up the signals. But these beliefs aren’t really knowledge. They’re just, when you get right down to it, attitudes.

I’ll try to explore just one of the issues Jonathan raises but can’t pursue: the question of how stylistically innovative Bergman was. Of course, I can’t write a book here either. I offer what follows as simply the start of what could be an interesting research project.

One stylistic arc
The rise of European arthouse auteurs in film culture of the 1950s and 1960s put the question of personal style on the agenda, but back then we didn’t have many tools for analyzing stylistic differences among directors. We didn’t know much about the local histories of those imported films; as Sarris recently pointed out, L’Avventura was Antonioni’s sixth feature but was his first film released in the US. Moreover, we didn’t know much about the norms of ordinary commercial filmmaking, in the US or elsewhere. (2) Today we’re in a better position to characterize what went on. (3)

In most countries, quality cinema of the late 1940s relied on variations of the Hollywood approach to staging, shooting, and cutting that had emerged in the silent era. Directors moved their performers around the set fairly fluidly and used editing to enlarge and stress aspects of the action. You can see a straightforward example of this approach on an earlier entry on this blogsite.

Many directors of the period built upon this default by creating deep space in staging and framing. Using wide-angle lenses, directors could allow actors to come quite close to the camera, sometimes with their heads looming in the foreground, while other figures could be placed far in the distance. Several planes of action could be more or less in focus. Here’s a straightforward example from William Wyler’s The Little Foxes.

We find directors exploiting this approach not only in the United States but in Eastern and Western Europe, Scandinavia, the Soviet Union, Japan, Mexico, and South America. Here’s an instance from the French film Justice est faite (1950).

Why did this approach emerge in so many countries at the same time? We don’t really know. It wasn’t simply the influence of Citizen Kane, as we might think. The Stalinist cinema had developed deep-space shooting in the 1930s, and we can find it elsewhere. Probably Hollywood’s 1940s films helped spread the style, but there are likely to be local causes in various countries too.

In any event, during the 1950s two technological changes posed problems for this style. One was the greater use of color filming, which renders depth of field much more difficult. The other innovation was anamorphic widescreen, a technology seen in CinemaScope and Panavision. These systems also had trouble maintaining focus in many planes when the foreground was close to the camera. The flagrant depth compositions we find in black-and-white ‘flat’ films were quite difficult to replicate in color and anamorphic widescreen.

Through the 1960s, the deep-focus style became a minor option and directors found other alternatives to presenting character interactions. The most basic one was simply to station the camera at a middle distance and create a more porous and open staging, with fewer planes of action and simple panning movements to follow characters.

One new approach relied not on wide-angle lenses but on lenses of long focal length. Instead of staging scenes in depth, putting the camera close to a foreground figure, filmmakers began keeping the camera back a fair distance and using long lenses to enlarge the action. This accompanied a trend toward greater location shooting; it’s easier to follow actors on a street or highway if the camera shoots with a telephoto lens. The long lens also reduces the volumes of each plane, so that figures tend to look like cutouts (4). This lens facilitated the development of those perpendicular images I’ve called, in some writing and on this blog, planimetric shots.

What fascinates me about this general pattern of stylistic change in the US and America is how many of the Euro auteurs go along with it. Take Fellini, who shifts from the bold depth compositions of I Vitelloni to the fresco-like flatness of Satyricon.

Likewise, Luchino Visconti’s early black-and-white work affords textbook examples of deep-focus cinematography, but in the 1960s he embraced the telephoto look, heightened by what we can call the pan-and-zoom tactic. In Death in Venice, the camera often scans a scene, searching out one player to follow then zooming back to reframe the figure in relation to others. One shot starts with the boy Tadzio, pans right across the hotel salon, to end on von Aschenbach, staring at the boy, and then zooming back to take in the larger scene.

Probably Rossellini’s 1960s films, such as Viva l’Italia! and Rise to Power of Louis XIV, were key influences on this look.

Leaving Europe, there’s Kurosawa, who was the first major director I know of to build zoom and telephoto lenses into his style. Satayajit Ray followed much the same trajectory from the Apu trilogy’s flamboyant depth to the pan-and-zoom close-ups of The Home and the World. Not every filmmaker took the long-lens option, but as it became commonplace in the 1960s, many major directors tried it.

What about Bergman? It seems that in most respects he went along with the general trends. We find deeply piled-up bodies early in his career (e.g., Port of Call, below) and through the 1950s and early 1960s (The Face, below).

Like his peers, with color and widescreen he shifted toward more open staging, long lenses, and zooms. For example, one telephoto shot of Cries and Whispers zooms back as the little girl emerges, zig-zagging, from behind the lace curtain.

We might conclude that Bergman mostly worked with the received forms of his day. At the level of shot design, The Face might have been shot by the Sidney Lumet of Fail-Safe. But Bergman did innovate somewhat, I think. Most obviously, he sometimes had recourse to the suffocating frontal close-up, as in a childbirth scene from Brink of Life.

He develops this visual idea by creating heads floating unanchored in both foreground and background. Here’s a famous image from Persona.

Pace Rosenbaum, I’d say that this sequence, with Elisabeth Vogler apparently quite oblivious to her husband’s mating with Alma, definitely “challenges conventional film-going habits”—or at least conventional ways we read a scene. It seems to combine the deep-space, big-foreground scheme of the 1940s with the tight close-ups of his early work, and instead of specifying space it undermines it. We have to ask if what happens in the background is Elisabeth’s hallucination.

My case is very schematic, and we would need to study Bergman film by film and scene by scene to confirm that he stuck to the broad norms of his time. The norms themselves also deserve deeper probing than I’ve given them. (5)

But let’s push a bit further and examine Antonioni, that perpetual foil to Bergman. Broadly speaking, he passed through the same arc, from deep-focus compositions in the 1950s and early 1960s to telephoto flatness in his color work. Yet there are some important differences.

In the 1950s, unlike Bergman, Antonioni employed quite intricate staging, sustained by long takes. He usually didn’t opt for big foregrounds, favoring more distant framings and sidelong camera movements. The most famous instance is the startling 360-degree long take on the bridge in his first feature, Story of a Love Affair, but Le Amiche is also full of intricate staging in mid-ground depth. One scene shows fashion models bustling around after a successful show, congratulating the shop’s owner Clelia. She opens a card from her lover, is distracted by the arrival of her friends coming to congratulate her, and goes off with them. One model darts diagonally forward to investigate the message. All of this is handled in a single graceful take.

Antonioni relies on the fluid staging techniques developed in the early sound era and taken in diverse directions by Renoir, Ophuls, Preminger, Mizoguchi, and other directors of the 1930s and 1940s. Often, however, Antonioni’s characters move rather slowly and hold themselves in place, and as a result the overall spatial dynamic unfolds in marked phases. (6)

In the trilogy starting with L’Avventura, Antonioni relies on shorter takes and less florid camera movement. Now he emphasizes landscape and architecture so as to diminish the characters. If the expressionist side of Bergman plays up the psychological implications of the drama, the more austere Antonioni plays things down, “dedramatizing” his scenes by keeping the camera back, turning the figures away from us, and reminding us of the milieu. (You see the Antonioni influence on similar strategies in the work of Edward Yang, as I discussed recently on this blog.)

Once color came along, Antonioni changed his style, moving toward less dense staging and at times almost casual framing (as in The Passenger). He also had recourse to the telephoto technique, but I’d argue he brought something new to it. With Red Desert he accepted the abstraction inherent in the long lens and combined that with color design to create a pure pictorialism.

Ironically, Red Desert may have made Antonioni another sort of ‘expressionist’ than Bergman. The stylized palette of the film encourages us to ask if the industrial landscape is really so smeared and bleached out, or if we’re seeing it as Giuliana does. The same sort of painterly abstraction can be found in Zabriskie Point. In one scene, a pan over the travel decals on a family’s car window treats the boy inside as no more than another thin slice of space. Other scenes turn campus policemen into figures in grids.

You might even argue that the pan-and-zoom style gets a kind of meta-treatment in the climactic shot of The Passenger. There in a grandiose technical gesture Antonioni’s concern for architecture, his refusal to underscore a melodramatic plot twist, and his love of camera movement blend with the technology of the zoom. At the time, several of us (maybe Jonathan too) saw this shot as a response to Michael Snow’s Wavelength, relayed through the sensibility of Passenger screenwriter and avant-garde filmmaker Peter Wollen. Now it looks to me like a natural response of a very self-conscious artist to a stylistic trend of the moment.

A bestiary of stylists
To get crude and peremptory: Let’s say that once a director has reached maturity and become a confident artisan, several choices offer themselves. The filmmaker can be a flexible stylist, a stubborn stylist, or a polystylist (sorry for the awkward term).

A flexible stylist adapts to reigning norms. Bergman could be an aggressive-deep-focus director, then a pan-and-zoom director. Both approaches to staging and shooting preserved the expressive dimensions that mattered most to him: performance (chiefly face and voice), Ibsenesque bourgeois tragedy, Strindbergian play with dream and dissolution of the ego, and other elements.

Most of the major 1960s arthouse directors, from Truffaut and Wajda to Pasolini and Demy, were flexible stylists in this sense. So were a great many Hollywood and Japanese directors, such as Lubitsch and Kinoshita. Perhaps Ousmane Sembene, who also died recently, would be another instance. Buñuel becomes a fascinating case: He adopts the blandest, calmest version of each trend, creating a neutral technique, the better to shock us with what he shows.

A stubborn stylist pursues a signature style across the vagaries of fashion and technology. Dreyer from Vampyr onward does this; I argue in the book Jonathan cites that he seeks to “theatricalize” cinema in a way that goes beyond the norms of his moment. Perhaps Hitchcock and von Sternberg (at least in the 1920s and 1930s) fit in here as well. Bresson, Tati, and supremely Ozu were stubborn stylists. Give them a western or a porno to shoot, and they’d handle each the same way. (7)

This isn’t to argue that stubborn stylists never change or always do the same thing. Mizoguchi has a signature style and yet remains fairly pluralistic, at least at a scene-by-scene level. I think that the test comes in seeing how stubborn stylists persistently explore the constrained conditions they’ve set for themselves.

Signature styles help a filmmaker in the festival market, so we don’t lack for current examples of stubborn creators: Godard, Theo Angelopoulos, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Kitano Takeshi, Tsai Ming-liang, and Jia Zhang-ke. Granted, some of these may be rethinking their commitment to their stylistic premises.

A polystylist tries out different styles without much concern for what the reigning norms demand. Polystylistics holds a high place in modernist aesthetics. After the great triumvirate of Picasso, Joyce, and Stravinsky, with their bewildering arrays of periods and pastiches, the idea of the modernist as a virtuoso steeped in several styles became a powerful option. What’s been called postmodernism is no less favorable to polystylism; if you mix styles, you’ve presumably mastered them.

In cinema, some polystylists are just eclectic. Steven Soderbergh can give us the portentous pictorialism of The Underneath or Solaris, the grab-and-go look of Traffic, and the trim polish of Ocean’s 11. More deeply, there are directors like R. W. Fassbinder, Raoul Ruiz, and Oshima Nagisa who seem to pursue polystylistics on principle. It’s as if, rejecting the very idea of a signature style, they set themselves fresh, severe conditions for each project.

After The Boss of It All, we may want to count von Trier as a polystylist, not merely a director who changed his style from one phase of his career to another. Perhaps the best current example is Aleksandr Sokurov; who would dare predict what his next film will look like?

This whole entry is pretty sketchy, I grant you. The categories need further refining. I’ve ignored sound, which is very important. I’ve emphasized visual style, and just shooting and staging within that. (Nothing about lighting, cutting, etc.) So this is tentative—notes perhaps for a book-length argument. But I’ve made my point if you see that some ideas and some historical information can put intuitions about originality into a firmer framework.

And I’ve left the value judgments suspended. If you think originality trumps other criteria, then Bergman doesn’t probably come up as strong as Antonioni, let alone Bresson or Ozu or Dreyer. But if you can entertain the possibility that a great filmmaker can accept certain norms of his time, making those serve other channels of expression, then Bergman can’t automatically be faulted. At least thinking about him and his peers in the context of the history of film art gives us some data to ground our arguments. The world is more interesting and unpredictable than our opinions, especially those we formulated forty years ago.


NOTES:

(1) I actually hold this opinion.

(2) I assume that the arthouse auteurs were no less commercial filmmakers than their Hollywood counterparts. They were sustained by national film industries and supported by the international film trade. Eventually many were funded by Hollywood companies.

My friend and colleague Tino Balio is at work on a book tracing the role of overseas imports in the American film market of the 1940s-1960s, and it should be a real eye-opener to those who persist in counterposing art cinema and commercial production.

(3) Some of what follows is discussed in Part Four of Film History: An Introduction.

(4) I talk about both the deep-focus and long-lens tendencies in Chapter 6 of On the History of Film Style and Chapter 5 of Figures Traced in Light.

(5) For a wide-ranging account of art-cinema norms, see András Bálint Kovács’ forthcoming book, Screening Modernism: European Art Cinema, 1950-1980.

(6) I analyze this tendency, using other scenes from Le Amiche, in On the History of Film Style (pp. 235-236) and Figures Traced in Light (pp. 151-152).

(7) Suo Masayuki’s My Brother’s Wife: The Crazy Family is a softcore film made in a pastiche of Ozu’s style.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on August 16, 2007, 03:19:15 PM
I think focusing on the filming norms of Bergman is superficially revealing. For me Bergman is best studied and understood within the parimeters of the content in his films. I dislike many films of his early period because they had yet to reveal Bergman's deeper subjects, but his later films draw me in and are challenging.

Bordwell, of course, does no better than Rosenbaum to take exception to Bergman. He admits this. Time and space will not allow him to do it. But I also think Bordwell takes interest in the filmmaking over content. Different people put priority on different things in films and filmmakers. The superiority of Bergman to deal with his subjects and peer deep enough into them that they are grounds for self reflection makes him superior to Hitchcock for me. Hitchcock was a Hollywood stylist, but too repititious with his filmmaking his entire career. He also had little interest in his subjects, imo.

But the article by Bordwell is still educational. It reminds me that many filmmakers did good work in style. They didn't to recreate style in generic terms, but define it in their own regards. Yes, later periods in other countries did call for norms in filmmaking. The context these filmmakers gave to it is what matters. Film encompasses many arts and allows for many perspectives. I don't consider Antonioni to be a stylist in the same vein as Hitchcock, but much more attention should be paid to his filmmaking. His best films demand it.

But the debate with Bergman will continue on.

Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: MacGuffin on August 18, 2007, 01:54:44 PM
Film Director Ingmar Bergman Is Buried

A few dozen family and friends of Ingmar Bergman attended his funeral Saturday on the small Swedish island where he spent his final years a low-key affair in keeping with the legendary filmmaker's wishes.

Bergman was 89 when he died July 30 at his home on Faro.

Mourners gathered in the modest Faro Church, where Bergman's remains lay in a simple pine coffin flanked by red roses. There were no speeches. An organ and cello played Bach.

The filmmaker was buried in a secluded plot he chose himself, near the church wall, overlooking the cemetery, his family said in a statement.

A single photographer was allowed to take pictures; other media and the public were barred.

Around 75 people attended, including Bergman's children and the actors Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson, Peter Stormare and Erland Josephson.

Bergman left written instructions for handling the funeral: No eulogies or a profusion of flowers, but simple choir and cello music, according to the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, citing his son, also named Ingmar.

Remembered around the world as one of the greatest masters of cinema, Bergman made about 60 movies including classics as "The Seventh Seal" and the Oscar-winning "Fanny and Alexander" before retiring from film-making in 2003.

Bergman's film vision encompassed all the extremes of his beloved Sweden: the claustrophobic gloom of unending winter nights, the gentle merriment of glowing summer evenings and the bleak magnificence of the Baltic Sea island where he spent his last years.

He lived alone on Faro and often praised his neighbors for the privacy they granted him.

"When people come and ask where Ingmar Bergman lives, they never have any clue," the director said in a rare TV interview in 2004.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: mogwai on August 18, 2007, 02:08:33 PM
(http://www.expressen.se/polopoly_fs/1.803153!slot100slotWide75ArticleFull/3447786819.jpg)
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: w/o horse on September 04, 2007, 11:57:23 AM
Bergman features coming to the New Beverly:

September 5 and 6:
Sawdust and Tinsel w/ Summer with Monika

September 12 and 13:
Fanny and Alexander

September 19 and 20:
The Ritual w/ The Magician

October 5 and 6:
Autumn Sonata w/ Cries and Whispers

Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on September 04, 2007, 05:48:43 PM
Geniuses: Some Notes

Stanley Kauffmann



They might have smiled. Averse as they were to plot mechanics in their work, they might have been amused at the blatant coincidence of their deaths on the same day. Or they might have been amused at those who believe it was planned by a cosmic trickster. In any case, July 30, 2007 is now a signal date in film history. Michelangelo Antonioni was ninety-four, Ingmar Bergman was eighty-nine.

Their work now moves into a different light. Almost all the art that is valuable to us is encased in history: it comes to us from the past, recent or remote. These two men, however, were contemporaries of ours: I even knew one of them a bit. Still, in a doubtlessly romantic view, any prosy connections between them and the present were jarring. In 1976, Bergman had severe publicized troubles with the Swedish government about taxes. In 1984, newspapers carried a photo of Antonioni standing guard with other directors at the coffin of an esteemed political figure. It was a faint shock to see the creators of the art that is part of my secrets involved in these daily doings.

But now their art moves into history. In Godard's Breathless the matter is well put. A novelist is asked his ambition. He says: "To become immortal and then to die." Exactly so here, twice.

 
 
 
 
The proximate deaths of Antonioni and Bergman prompt something that was rare during their lives: comparison with each other. One way to do this job is to compare their views of the theater and the relation of those views to their films.

No obituary of Bergman that I have seen has mentioned his film of The Magic Flute. Such a film would quite obviously have been impossible for Antonioni. Not only is The Magic Flute the best film ever made of an opera--modest distinction though that is--but it marries beautifully the main currents of Bergman's life. His theater career was even more prolific than his film work. (There are several books solely about his theater productions.) Bergman, in the Mozart piece, seemed to want to dramatize his twofold being. The opera is handled with innumerable theatrical and cinematic delicacies, and we are also taken backstage from time to time into the lives of the people who are making the marvel. Bergman seems to be fusing his several masteries before our eyes.

Here the use of those masteries is explicit, but it is present in all his work. The second time I saw Fanny and Alexander I was especially wonderstruck by the way he handled his actors' movement--not camera movement, at which he was a wizard, but the choreographing of actors as if they were on stage. His excellence with actors has a history. For many years he worked with a group of actors at various theaters during the season, then used some of them in films made during the sum- mer. He and they knew one another in coded but clear ways. In the very first sequence of Scenes From a Marriage, see how Erland Josephson and Liv Ullmann move together into the screenplay like experienced dance partners into a pas de deux.

Antonioni, after some theater work during his university days, had small interest in the field. He did some theater directing, including the Italian premiere of Osborne's Look Back in Anger, but when I asked him once if he was interested in more theater work, he shook his head. "No," he said. "Always the same shot."

This complete immersion in cinema led him to achievements that were possible only in cinema. Think of Jeanne Moreau's long walk through the streets of Milan in La Notte, in which virtually nothing extraordinary happens but which, sheerly through selection and silence and concentration, becomes a kind of melancholy poem about inner loneliness in the modern world. Think of the long last sequence of Eclipse, which is only a series of street scenes in Rome with none of the actors, scenes that might have been places of rendezvous for the two lovers we have come to know but are now peopled only by passers-by. Subtly, we face the eventual passing of the lovers' affair, along with the shaky nature of truths about which we are hotly convinced at many moments in our lives. Neither of these two sequences, or plentiful others in Antonioni's work, would have been likely in Bergman.

Another means of comparison is in their differing views of time, views that are related to the theater. Excepting the Bergman films that were originally made for television and later condensed for the large screen, works thus born in different concepts of time, most of his pictures are tight, less than ninety minutes. Never is there any sense of imposed pace: only the theater's ethic that every moment must be utilized in character or dramatic development.

Antonioni, with no such imperative, wanted to employ time, real elapsed time, as a character, as a power that film gave him. The scene in L'Avventura in which two lovers kiss near the railway, really kiss for the first time, could conventionally have been condensed to half its length. Antonioni wanted us to breathe through the experience, to take something like the number of breaths that the lovers are taking in that scene (as they are in fact altering their lives), to feel its impact almost physically.

 

That fundamentally links Antonioni and Bergman, despite their differences, is a common theme: the question of God. Do we live in a godless universe? If this is so, how do we go about living? How do we make our choices? A generalization about these two artists is possible. For Bergman, the son of a clergyman who in a sense harassed him all his life, the question pressed constantly. For Antonioni, the question was answered early on, thoroughly, finally. Most of his films are about the result of this vacancy--the murkiness of compass points.

Bergman confronts the basic question intensely in a trilogy. Here are the titles, with his comments: "Through a Glass Darkly--certainty achieved. The Communicants--certainty unmasked. The Silence--God's silence--the negative impression." The centerpiece, known in America as Winter Light, is a drama about a clergyman whose faith is shaken but who is, so to speak, trapped in his religious office and continues in it doggedly, yet almost gratefully. Bergman once said of the film, "Everything became stations [of the cross] on the road for the priest."

Antonioni never deals extensively with religion in his films. (Elsewhere, in interviews and articles, he was explicit.) But his view of it underlies very much of his work, his sense that religion is a function of the past, now outworn. Look, for instance, at the stock-exchange scene in Eclipse. The building was originally an imperial basilica that had been converted into a Catholic church and then converted again into the Borsa. William Arrowsmith says: "Everything ... about the stock exchange in Antonioni's film tells us that the director is conscious of its religious nature." Its religious devolution, one might say.

Thus the past clings, or tries to cling, to us. But what of the present, asks Antonioni, even the future? Look at the last scene of L'Avventura. Sandro is a middle-aged man, successful, self-despising, who persuades a young woman, Claudia, to become his lover. She hesitates because his previous lover was a friend of hers who disappeared, possibly a suicide, only three days earlier. At last Claudia, not untroubled, consents. A day or so later she and Sandro stop in a luxe hotel. She is sleepy; he goes downstairs. In the early morning she goes to look for him and discovers him with a tart. Sobbing, she runs outside to a terrace, stands there against the railing. (In one shot a ruined church is in the background.) Surely she is not only shaken by his action but is very possibly linking it with her own action in becoming his lover so soon after her friend was gone. Sandro comes out behind her slowly and sits on a bench, his back toward her. She turns, approaches him. She sees that he is weeping, surely facing the void in himself. After a moment she puts a hand gently on the back of his head, and the film ends.

Her gesture is for me a terrifying moment. Claudia is not forgiving him: she doesn't have or want that power. She is acknowledging that Sandro, like her, is something of a victim--stranded in a hollow universe, left with only inutile shards of order. They are, in a profound sense, alone.

 

In 1979 Roland Barthes sent an open letter to Antonioni apropos of a retrospective of the director's work in Bologna. In my view the letter can be read as also addressed to Bergman. Barthes called Antonioni "not only in the realm of cinema--one of the artists of our time." He cited "the specters of modern subjectivity" that plague artists these days: "ideological lassitude, bad social conscience, the attraction to and distaste left by facile art, the trepidation of responsibility, and the incessant scruple that tears the artist apart, between solitude and gregariousness." He closed:


It is therefore necessary that you take full advantage of this peaceful, harmonious moment in which an entire assemblage comes to recognize, admire, and love your work. Because tomorrow the hard work begins again.

As it did, addressed by both Antonioni and Bergman, not only with their gifts but with their generally unremarked courage. What legacies they leave. Countless beneficiaries are yet to come.

Personal notes. I had an appointment to meet Bergman in Stockholm in the summer of 1964, but when I arrived, a colleague of his presented me with the director's apologies and the excuse that he had gone to his island to write a screenplay. I saw some other interesting film people in Stockholm; still I was, of course, disappointed. Two years later the film appeared for which--at least I told myself--Bergman had abandoned me. It was Persona, a sublime masterwork, so I forgave him.

I met and dined with Antonioni several times, in Rome and Venice and New York. From a cluster of Antonioni vignettes, here are two.

In 1966 I interviewed him for an hour and a half on PBS. Two years earlier in Rome he had promised to appear on television with me when he was next in New York--I was busy on the PBS station in those days--and when he arrived for the American premiere of Blowup, he kept his word. At the time he understood English but wasn't confident about speaking it; so a translator was there for his replies to my questions. After the taping he and I went back to the dressing room where we had been made up before the show. He picked up a towel, wiped his face, and was dismayed by the big red-brown smear. "Good heavens," he said. I laughed at the perfectly enunciated phrase in English coming from someone who had just needed ninety minutes of translation. He laughed, too, a little.

I saw him last in New York in 1992. He had come for the opening of a retrospective of his work despite the fact that in 1985 he had suffered a stroke that paralyzed his whole right side and left him speechless. (Yet he had continued, with assistants, to work.) When I arrived at the theater, I saw him in the lobby, with two or three people but not really listening to them. They went, and I walked up to him. His face warmed. He put out his left hand, and I grasped it in both of my hands. He made some sounds in his throat. After a moment, which was both long and short, I left.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: cine on January 11, 2008, 01:41:26 AM
tomorrow night, for whatever reason, i'm seeing Cries and Whispers on the big screen.. so because that movie makes me wanna kill myself, this is prolly my last post, goodbye everybody goodbyeeee!  :waving:
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: noyes on August 11, 2008, 11:34:06 PM
(http://www.taschen.com/media/images/240/cover_xl_bergman_0807161419_id_144501.jpg)

The Ingmar Bergman Archives

Due out next month (http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/film/all/00354/facts.the_ingmar_bergman_archives.htm)

Taschen has even incorporated a digital leaf-through of all 597 pages, something I wish they had done (or even had up now) for Kubrick's book. (Just noticed that you can type in any page you wish to view)

Leaf-Through (http://www.taschen.com/lookinside/00354/index.htm)
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: matt35mm on August 11, 2008, 11:43:48 PM
I may or may not be able to resist that.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: noyes on August 11, 2008, 11:57:50 PM
After going through the digital version, it's a definite for me.
A perfect book.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: tpfkabi on August 12, 2008, 07:47:20 AM
i wonder if they plan to take down the leaf through after the book is for sale?
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Jefferson on September 19, 2008, 07:37:19 PM
just put my pre-order in on amazon. i cant wait for this to come out, it looks absolutely amazing.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Alexandro on September 20, 2008, 11:35:35 PM
fuck it, i just did it too...i currently have 10 dollars in my bank account, but you know? life is all about this little pleasures...
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Alexandro on October 24, 2008, 01:34:54 AM
mine arrived tonight.
it's like fucking. really. a page by page orgasm.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Jefferson on October 29, 2008, 06:50:58 PM
i can say without a doubt that this is the greatest book ever printed. now we just need more of his films released on region 1. that or i need to move to sweeden.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: MacGuffin on January 16, 2009, 08:01:39 PM
U.S. company has plans for Ingmar Bergman catalog

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rights to the complete works of Swedish film legend Ingmar Bergman , at least in the United States, now rest with the former owners of a Colorado movie theater after an eight-year legal battle with a Scandinavian media group.

To satisfy an unpaid multimillion-dollar court judgment against Svensk Filmindustri, a Colorado judge last year ordered rights to its entire movie catalog transferred to operators of the landmark Isis Theater in the ski resort of Aspen, Colorado.

The process of assigning and recording rights to Bergman's films and dozens of others with the U.S. Copyright Office was completed in late December, Isis representatives said on Friday.

Transferred so far are roughly 450 movie and television titles, including Bergman's complete film collection , among them " Cries and Whispers ," " Fanny and Alexander ," " Hour of the Wolf ," " The Seventh Seal " and "Wild Strawberries."

Other art-house classics included are Lasse Hallstrom 's " My Life as a Dog " and Bo Widerberg 's " Elvira Madigan ."

The move is expected to pave the way for renewed public and commercial access to Bergman's films, whose distribution was hampered for several years by the litigation over their ownership. Bergman died on July 30, 2007, at age 89.

Isis is now seeking distribution and licensing deals for his films, bringing them to a wider audience, said Denver-based lawyer Jack Smith.

"We didn't choose to go into the Swedish film business. All we chose was to collect the money that we're owed on this judgment," Smith said.

The judgment, which has grown with interest to nearly $10 million, stemmed from a lawsuit over a 1997 agreement between Isis and Svensk to transform the historic theater in Aspen into a multiplex cinema .

Svensk guaranteed the lease on the project but refused to pay when its partner, Resort Theaters of America, went bankrupt in 2000 and the venture failed.

Svensk in recent years declined to contest Isis' claims in U.S. courts, and Smith said the Swedish film company may continue to assert competing rights to the films in other countries.

"The actual enforcement of this (judgment) outside the United States is something that remains to be seen," he said.

Isis has, however, managed to collect about $500,000 by garnishing Svensk royalties paid by U.S. movie distributors, Smith said.

No officials from Svensk were immediately available for comment. Nor were representatives of its parent company, the family-owned media conglomerate the Bonnier Group.

But Hollywood trade magazine Daily Variety quoted Bonnier executive Torsten Larsson last July as saying, "A court decision in Colorado means nothing in Sweden . ... We offered a settlement (to Isis) but they were not interested."

While Isis lacks physical prints of the movies at issue, most exist in digital format, "so that makes obtaining a master film version less significant," Smith said.

Isis recently launched a new movie retail website, SwedishClassicFilms.com , where individuals can order DVD copies of Bergman's works.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SiliasRuby on February 08, 2009, 09:30:44 PM
I just watched 'The Virgin Spring' and my God, how sad and disturbing this film was. I haven't seen as much bergman as I want to (my yellow box has not been open yet) and I am constantly amazed at the quietness of his films. This was such a great story and I was yelling at the TV "Jesus!...Oh Fuck!". It was really worth the viewing and at  a brisk 89 minutes it seems to really be compact. Color me impressed. Still have a lot to see, the only other bergmans I've seen are 'persona' and 'The Seventh Seal' and I need to rewatch both.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Jefferson on February 09, 2009, 07:16:55 AM
I just watched 'The Virgin Spring' and my God, how sad and disturbing this film was. I haven't seen as much bergman as I want to (my yellow box has not been open yet) and I am constantly amazed at the quietness of his films. This was such a great story and I was yelling at the TV "Jesus!...Oh Fuck!". It was really worth the viewing and at  a brisk 89 minutes it seems to really be compact. Color me impressed. Still have a lot to see, the only other bergmans I've seen are 'persona' and 'The Seventh Seal' and I need to rewatch both.

give wild strawberries a shot if you get the chance. it was between seventh seal and virgin spring so has similar cinematography and narrative feel. it's not nearly as explicitly dark as virgin spring, but it still kicks my ass every time i think about it. winter light/the silence/ through a glass darkly is a psuedo trilogy that came pretty soon after and is even more similar to virgin spring. all four are on criterion so pretty easy to get ahold of. im in the middle of rewatching all of his that i own and the trilogy is next up. last one i'd suggest is scenes from a marriage. came a bit later and doesn't have much of the same feel but i absolutely love it and would feel like a turd if i didn't suggest it.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SiliasRuby on February 09, 2009, 10:10:53 AM
I have Wild Strawberries on DVD and I have that psuedo trilogy on my wish list. Reviews coming soon.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: ElPandaRoyal on February 09, 2009, 11:27:48 AM
Also, watch Hour of The Wolf, one of the scariest pieces of cinema that I've ever seen - it's quite disturbing and intense, and Max von Sydows' best performance for Bergman in my opinion.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: matt35mm on February 09, 2009, 06:56:39 PM
I dunno, I'd suggest making Scenes from a Marriage a priority.  Long version.  So simple and accessible but really powerful.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SiliasRuby on February 21, 2009, 02:59:06 PM
I just saw 'Through a glass darkly and its horrifyingly good. So much beauty and so much torment. I still have the other two in the trilogy, 'Winter Light' and 'Silence'. The more and more I see of bergman, the more he's becoming one of my favorite film makers. There are some scenes in this film that were a definite punch to the gut.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SiliasRuby on February 25, 2009, 10:04:03 PM
I saw 'Winter light' tonight and the overall feeling of sadness got me by the balls. I'm not a heavily religious man because I've studied all types of religions and I've discarded most of them. I'm actually an agnostic deist. Look it up. But, really this film had me think of plenty of revelant questions of faith and how people percive it, had me asking as many questions as 'religuous'. I especially like the whole talking strait into the camera bit. Bergman continues to entertain me AND depress me, which so few film makers can do these days.

Next up, 'The Silence'.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: edison on February 25, 2009, 10:20:41 PM
That is a very good box set. I too love that letter spoken directly to the camera scene. Looking forward to reading your thoughts about The Silence.

Others have given you suggestions about what else to watch and I have a personal favourite: Fanny and Alexander. Another amazing set by Criterion.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SiliasRuby on February 25, 2009, 11:17:00 PM
I also have fanny and alexander on dvd. I got the whole box set for 40 bucks when they first released it. I haven't looked at it yet.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Pwaybloe on February 26, 2009, 10:05:16 AM
FYI, "The Virgin Spring" is up to view for free at www.theauteurs.com.

I dabbled with "Wild Strawberries" and "Persona" several years ago and passed them off as good, but a little too pretentious.  Then I watched "Cries and Whispers" shortly after that and I was sold.  Though, I still think his best work is with "Scenes from a Marriage." 

Recently I've crawled back into his arms after watching the entire "Fanny and Alexander" series last weekend. 
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SiliasRuby on February 26, 2009, 01:06:52 PM
'The Silence'.---Spoilers----

There's possibly more I will catch when I view it again but here are my initial reactions. This little boy is quite wonderful and has all the innocence and nievete that haley joel osment once had before he started crashing cars and drinking alcohol. Before LA took hold of him. I don't like reading the summary for films where I know the director, so I'm always surprised when I sit down to watch a piece of cinema. This has been happening lately when I've been netflixing plenty of foreign films.

Maybe its just different times or maybe its a whole different culture but the casual nudity that Anna shows to her son Johan was a bit unnerving at first. Esther, the sister, although first she looks ill, comes off like one of those women who want to do nothing for something, always get their way, blow how she feels out of proportion and does things just get to attention. The reason I say this is because when the three of them check into a suite Esther begins drinking and smoking cigarettes and then masturbates. What would happen if a woman like this actually was sick, well you have what happens in the film.

The thing I'm learning more and more about bergman is what his trademarks are and one of them is how he uses quietness and silence to give his films a bit more potentcy. The other being how me can make it so how you are not thinking you are watching a film and still keep you right in the mess of the scene. Hope that made sense. The other thing I'm finding quite fascinating is how he can pack so much into so little amount of time and yet time doesn't constrict his films.

The highlights of this film are the little people, the 2 beautiful women playing the leads and bellhop who doesn't speak their language.

One of the questions I had not that it matters or is very important is where are they? The area looks very french but some of the actors actually look very russian.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SiliasRuby on March 21, 2009, 11:31:35 AM
Autumn Sonata- Spoilers-
This is a very sad film, as most bergman films are, but this one has the powerhouse performance by Ingrid Bergman. Its a excruciating look at how a mother deals with a person who liquidates that she once loved. It really is a solid film that feels like its going to hit an emotional wall very soon. Ingrid's performance reminds me of Gena Rowlands in 'A Woman Under The influence', but almost the exact opposite. The mother being in complete denial about what's happening to her younger daughter. Maybe thats just my interpretation. Her emotions come crawling out, screeching and scurrying out. There's also some other things of note I found intriguing. The break of the fourth wall in the very beginning. The slide show and the conversation that proceeds.

Its all very heartbreaking and sad in the best bergman way. I haven't seen 'september' yet, but from what I've seen of Bergman, Woody can't touch him.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SiliasRuby on April 01, 2009, 07:40:52 PM
Scenes From A Marriage Review

I saw the TV episode version of this piece of art This was heavy, possibly the heaviest piece of bergman I've seen yet and it has gotten me realizing how terrible most dramas are compared to this. When I first got this in the mail from netflix I'll be blunt, I thought it was going to be a chore. It definitely was not one. The dialogue was quick and astonishingly realistic. It showed the rollercoaster with going through a divorce. I have never seen heartache and pointed brutal honesty done so well since 'Closer'.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SiliasRuby on April 10, 2009, 07:48:46 PM
'Saraband' review

A quiet revisit to two emotionally distraught people, dealing with their emotions now still in a flux. I realize that you really have to be in a certain mood to watch bergman films. They get under your skin so much that it becomes scary and uncomfortable for your soul to open up to. The two of them have become so old that fighting doesn't seem logical or well worth it to do so. Its a completely beautiful film though...
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Jefferson on April 14, 2009, 08:24:18 AM
maybe the best part of that film is the way the characters are so believable in relation to their younger selves. so many sequals seem nothing like their previous chapters, but in this i felt almost like i had aged along with them. its a perfect example of bergmans grasp of characterization and overall narrative structure. in addition, its not insultingly explicit as to what happened in the interim. the viewer is allowed to construct his/her own secondary narrative to fill in the gaps. having not seen it in a while (it's the last in my marathon that i just haven't gotten to yet) i don't want to get too heavy into it in case im remembering wrong. either way, its amazing how brilliant it was, especially so late in his career.

do you have any of his others on your radar?
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: SiliasRuby on April 14, 2009, 12:55:35 PM
read my previous posts. When I see more bergman I'll post more reviews.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Alexandro on April 14, 2009, 02:05:00 PM
well, Sawdust and Tinsel was an awesome surprise. It's supposed to be "minor Bergman" but I think that's bollocks.

Bergman himself seemed pretty pleased with it and it's not hard to see why. It's one of those near mysanthropic views on humanity, depressing, dark, with no redeeming qualities. And there's a certain perverse pleasure in seeing something delve with such intensity into despair. Visually is stunning and it's probably the first Bergman film with such command of mise en scene and simple use of the available tools. The performances, as usual, are exquisite and rich in detail. Shit, that this is considered "minor Bergman" only gives the man more stature. This "minor" is better than most filmmakers careers.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: tpfkabi on June 05, 2009, 08:05:46 AM
last night was Bergman night on TCM.

they showed an hour long Cavett interview where he says he would tell anyone to go to hell if they tried to tell him what to do with his art - with Bibi as well.

then they showed The Seventh Seal and I recorded WS, Persona, Hour of the Wolf and hopefully had enough time on tape for The Passion of Anna.
I haven't seen the last three so I look forward to 'new' Bergman.

I honestly haven't been too crazy about Bergman, but having seen The Seventh Seal for the third or fourth time I really like it now.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: The Perineum Falcon on June 05, 2009, 10:07:04 PM
Those last three (your "new" Bergman) are some of my favorites.
You should purchase the MGM box set if you have a few extra dollars lying around, it includes those and (at least) two others - Shame (which I also enjoyed quite a bit, and is an excellent companion piece to ...Anna) and The Serpent's Egg (which I haven't seen yet).

I hope you enjoy them.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: ElPandaRoyal on June 06, 2009, 05:39:52 AM
Those last three (your "new" Bergman) are some of my favorites.
You should purchase the MGM box set if you have a few extra dollars lying around, it includes those and (at least) two others - Shame (which I also enjoyed quite a bit, and is an excellent companion piece to ...Anna) and The Serpent's Egg (which I haven't seen yet).

I hope you enjoy them.

Strange. I have the same box for a long time and that's also the one I still haven't seen it. It's the first David Carradine movie I want to take a look at after the sad news...
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: MacGuffin on June 13, 2009, 10:52:41 PM
A Second Look: 'The Seventh Seal'
Ingmar Bergman's 'The Seventh Seal,' like its looming, clever Death, can be debated but not denied.
By Dennis Lim; Los Angeles Times
 
The definitive Ingmar Bergman movie, "The Seventh Seal" (1957) looms over practically all of art cinema. A heavily symbolic allegory of faith and doubt set in plague-ridden medieval Sweden, this seminal movie was the height of midcentury existentialist chic and ground zero for the cinephile golden age. It gave the cultural intelligentsia permission to take film seriously.

"The Seventh Seal" has since fallen victim to changing tastes and to its own popularity. (If anything, it is now more middlebrow emblem than highbrow badge of honor.) And it is precisely its unabashed seriousness, once so seductive, that has contributed to its somewhat diminished reputation.

Many of the film's images have passed into cinematic immortality, none more so than the recurring motif of a brooding knight locked in a mortal chess game with Death, assuming the form of a cowled, white-faced ghoul, and the final hilltop danse macabre, led by the scythe-wielding Grim Reaper. But the hooded figure of Death also has proved spoofable, popping up in such places as Bergman mega-fan Woody Allen's "Love and Death," Monty Python skits and "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey."

It might not be possible to liberate "The Seventh Seal," reissued in a new two-disc edition this week by the Criterion Collection in both standard definition and Blu-ray, from the historical baggage that surrounds it. But first-time viewers, and those revisiting it after many years, might be surprised to find a movie that feels at once dated and timeless: Its deadly earnest sensibility harks back to another era, but its stark iconographic power is undimmed, stubbornly resistant to parody.

The film's spiritual quest unfolds as a long homeward journey. Returning from the Crusades to the ravages of the Black Death, an idealistic knight (Max von Sydow) is visited by Death himself (Bengt Ekerot) and tries to forestall his fate by challenging the Reaper to a chess game. They take turns making their moves as the knight and his cynical squire (Gunnar Björnstrand) travel through a blighted landscape in the grip of religious fanaticism.

Their entourage grows to include a troupe of traveling players, including Jof (Nils Poppe), a kind of holy fool, and his wife, Mia (Bibi Andersson).

Bergman first conceived of "The Seventh Seal" as a play, and the dialogue retains a certain declamatory stiffness; literary allusions abound, from Cervantes to Camus. For the director, it was a deeply personal undertaking, a film he seized the opportunity to make after the international success of "Smiles of a Summer Night," which won a prize at Cannes in 1955.

The son of a Lutheran minister, Bergman drew on his religious upbringing. The title comes from the Book of Revelation; ancient church frescoes first encountered as a child, in particular the work of Albertus Pictor, were a primary inspiration. But in devising a myth of the end of days, Bergman also tapped into his own mortal dread and into a very contemporary anxiety, the Cold War fear of a nuclear apocalypse.

Bergman, who died two years ago at age 89, explored the notion of an absent or indifferent God with greater complexity in a '60s trilogy: "Through a Glass Darkly," "Winter Light" and "The Silence." But "The Seventh Seal," a film that dares repeatedly to ask Big Questions out loud -- Does God exist? Why are we here? -- remains his most expansive and most elemental depiction of spiritual crisis.

Criterion's second disc includes "Bergman Island," a 2004 made-for-TV documentary structured around a series of conversations between Bergman and director Marie Nyreröd in his home on the remote island of Faro, where he shot "Through a Glass Darkly," "Persona" and several other films.

Faro is also the location for Bergman Week, a festival devoted to the filmmaker that takes place every June.

In these candid, intimate chats, Bergman opens up about his childhood, his love life (including relationships with his actresses) and his guilt at being a delinquent father. He also dwells on his lifelong fear of death and his attempt to confront it with "The Seventh Seal." In a 1971 interview, he called it a movie made "with enormous pretension," but he would warm up to it later in life.

In a 2003 interview with Nyreröd, recorded as an introduction for Swedish TV broadcasts of "The Seventh Seal," he describes the terror of watching his own films -- "I feel nervous and on the verge of tears. I need to pee. I feel miserable" -- but goes on to call it one of his favorites.

"If I say I've made 10 good films, films I feel I can really stand behind, I think 'The Seventh Seal' is among them," he said. "I'm certain of it."
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: matt35mm on June 13, 2009, 11:19:18 PM
Faro is also the location for Bergman Week, a festival devoted to the filmmaker that takes place every June.

UGH, I suddenly really want to go to this.  But I looked into how difficult and expensive it is to get to Faro, and now my dreams are dashed.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Reinhold on November 08, 2009, 03:02:19 PM
this starts at 5:30 at moma.

i just saw this on their calendar and am going to head out to it now.

http://moma.org/visit/calendar/film_screenings/7856

Beröringen (The Touch)
1971. Sweden. Written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. With Bibi Andersson, Max von Sydow, Elliott Gould. “One of Bergman’s lesser-known films, The Touch is a low-key, intimate drama set on the island of Gotland, just south of the filmmaker’s home in Fårö. Shortly after her mother’s death, a Swedish woman has an adulterous affair with the American archaeologist friend of her doctor husband. Andersson creates a finely tuned portrayal of a woman facing a midlife crisis, and the sparsely lit, claustrophobic interiors and subdued autumnal exteriors are beautifully photographed by cinematographer Sven Nykvist. The Touch, a Swedish-U.S. coproduction, was shot and released in two versions: one with Swedish and English dialogue, and one entirely in English. The original bilingual version—the version released in Sweden and now presented in this Festival—has been unavailable for a long time” (Jon Wengström). Restored by The Swedish Film Institute. In Swedish and English; English subtitles. 115 min.

Ingmar Bergman

1972. Sweden. Directed by Stig Björkman. In this fascinating film about the making of The Touch, Bergman rehearses with actors Andersson, von Sydow, and Gould; discusses set-ups with cinematographer Nykvist; and talks in depth about his views on directing. Preserved by The Swedish Film Institute. In Swedish; English subtitles. 55 min.

Edit: Just got back. i really didn't enjoy the film.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: polanski's illegitimate baby on March 23, 2010, 07:57:50 PM
I remember watching Persona back when i used to do a lot of amphetamines in film school and the appeal was tremendous. Though i did see it a while back, i remember guessing the motivation for the character's silence. It was like a white flag of surrender to miscommunication. As many people in the world attempt to breach that miscommunication barrier by means of perfecting their art, some artists deem it to be impossible. The reason for it, as much as i've figured, is purely idealistic. It seemed like her feelings and thoughts were inexpressible and that her carrier was such a mock travesty in relation to her authentic vision that it was more bearable to take a vow of silence than to push out undermined caricatures of expression. Why i think that is significant, is because it fucked with my head for a bit, when i was a film student. Anything i ever did, was a travesty to me, anything i tried was undermined by simple process of manifestation. As if the process of physical creation itself was flawed by default. And while film school contributed greatly to stultifying me by means of menial labor and bullshit film "laws", i believe i had more to do with it than anyone else. If i remember correctly, the character in Persona, after some time into her solace, gets jealous of expression in general--she begins to talk(did she?i don't recall) and gesticulate, starting anew with the same dilemma of whether to perfect expression or to disregard it. Because if you've ever made a film that you've come to hate... you know it's quite a fucking dilemma...
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Mr. Merrill Lehrl on May 11, 2011, 05:21:10 PM
Bergman commercials for Bris Soap from the early 50s.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jfxs2roh9C4&feature=related
This one is about the evil witch-dressed bacteria that hide on your body unless you use soap.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoswO7bl_mA&feature=related
This one asks you to treat seriously the presence of germs and germ commercials.

There are others, check the suggestions with similar names.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Stefen on May 11, 2011, 05:36:23 PM
Weird to see this thread bumped. I just watched Persona for the first time last night.  :shock:

It was my first Bergman experience.  :shock: :shock:

His running times always kind of turned me off so I never gave him a chance, but I saw Persona was under 100 minutes so I watched it. I first tried Sunday night but got bored and put something else on, but the parts I saw stuck with me so I tried again last night and was really mesmerized by it. I found it to be scary, but really, really sexy. It was a beautiful film. Lovely performances and some of the shots were breathtaking.

Where to go next? A friend tells me Cries and Whispers.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: wilder on May 11, 2011, 05:42:55 PM
Check out The Silence and Scenes from a Marriage. Cries and Whispers and Fanny & Alexander are also necessary. Don't make Cries your next though, it'll send you running for the hills. The Silence is short and Scenes is accessible.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: polkablues on May 11, 2011, 05:46:15 PM
You can't go wrong with Wild Strawberries or Virgin Spring, and they're each only 90 minutes or so.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Mr. Merrill Lehrl on May 11, 2011, 05:54:48 PM
I found it to be scary, but really, really sexy. It was a beautiful film.

This is awesome.  Just because you said it I recommend Hour of the Wolf next.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Stefen on May 11, 2011, 11:52:49 PM
Virgin Spring next, son. That's the one that is being recommended the most.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on May 12, 2011, 06:22:11 AM
I'm not the biggest fan of The Virgin Spring. Bergman had a historical period in the 50s and 60s, but he never developed upon those traits very much when he transitioned to become a different filmmaker from the late 60s and on. I always find it weird that Bergman is kosher enough where people will talk about any of his films like they are interchangeable but when Bergman did start to change, he was either making new enemies or friends with his craft decisions. Persona is part of that development. He became a more personal filmmaker and reared his filmmaking around personal subjects. But, considering a film like Persona is structurally unique and alien to all of his other films, I would recommend The Passion of Anna as a close secondary type of film which is similar. It doesn't deal with dreams or style in such an overwhelming way, but it deals with a dark personal subject in an uncomfortable structural manner. The structure helps to lift up the themes of the story.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: P Heat on May 12, 2011, 04:28:55 PM
I've seen Hour of the wolf, wild strawberries and Persona. Persona is outstanding!! :yabbse-grin: and wild strawberries is my 2nd favorite. Hour of the wolf didn't get good till around the end  :yabbse-angry:.

I was trying to figure out  which other Bergman film is somewhat similar to Persona and so far I'm thinking the magician is from the trailer i've seen the criterion site and reading the synopsis. @Gold trumpet so Passion of Anna you say is closest to the tone and structure of Persona?? it doesn't sound like it to me though from reading the plot.

BTW does anybody else wish Bergman shot his older films in 1.66 or something besides 1.37? i get tired of the pillar boxed sides on all of them =[
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on May 12, 2011, 05:09:36 PM
All I say is the Passion of Anna has an uncomfortable structure and the uniqueness of the structure is meant to lift the themes in the story. In its own way, Persona does the same thing. As far as The Passion of Anna goes, I could be talking about a twisted kids film and it could apply to what I say there. Don't read too much into my words.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Stefen on May 12, 2011, 06:20:57 PM
the Virgin Spring was all kinds of Effed up.  :shock:
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: ElPandaRoyal on May 12, 2011, 06:25:17 PM
Great choice with The Virgin Spring. Hope you found it a good kind of Effed up. It's a masterpiece! Also, The Silence, another one of my favorites, has a weird fucking tone to it all. Plus, the creepy kid from Persona is there too. And of course Hour of the Wolf is essential, and fucked up in its own right. Kubrick and Lynch probably loved it too.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Stefen on May 12, 2011, 06:54:00 PM
I liked The Virgin Spring. I really liked the setting. I found the foster sister, the one who is ultimately responsible for her sisters rape and murder, to be the most moral character in the whole film.  :( At least she showed a bit of remorse for her actions and you could tell it was eating her up inside.

The rape and murder scene was pretty brutal. Especially how the sound cuts out. It was just so much more chilling having to use your imagination for what they were saying and the sounds being made.

The two Bergman films I've now seen are Persona and The Virgin Spring and I found both of them to be really scary films. Almost horror movies in a way. They're scary in a different way from each other, tho. Persona was frightening because of these two women having some sort of personality duel and where it would lead and The Virgin Spring was scary just for the whole religious aspects of it. I always find religion that believes in good AND evil to be really frightening for some reason.

I can't believe it took this long for me to discover how badass Bergman was. For some reason my idea of him was always very vanilla and boring. It couldn't be further from the truth I'm now realizing.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Mr. Merrill Lehrl on May 12, 2011, 07:00:52 PM
Naturally at this moment you're overloaded with Bergman, but dark and creepy are great feelings for watching Dreyer's Vampyr and Day of Wrath.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: P Heat on June 25, 2011, 08:29:52 PM
I just went through watching 4 if Bergman's films :shock:

The Silence was my favorite of the 4. Through a Glass darkly and Seventh Seal follow after. I was kind of disappointed with the magician since the plot sounded really good to me but its still a descent film.
The Silence to me is the closest thing to Persona. It affected me in almost the same way, watching all its disturbing style scenes.

the experimental Bergman is fuckin awesome.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: ElPandaRoyal on June 26, 2011, 06:43:53 AM
Haven't seen Through a Glass Darkly nor The Magician, even though I've always wanted to. Seems I'm gonna go with the Glass first. The Silence is, to me, right up there with Bergman's very best work, it's so dark and creepy and intense and filled with amazing perfomances and cinematography - Sven Nykvist is one of the best ever.

I just saw Mario Bava's "Lisa and the Devil" and some of it reminded me a lot of Bergman's "Hour of the Wolf" (creepy guests over dinner) which is another point in my opinion that "Hour of the Wolf" is, in many ways, one of the most influential movies ever: the tone of it, some of the scenes and shots remind me a lot of Kubrick, Lynch and many others.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Alexandro on June 26, 2011, 01:26:23 PM
Yeah, Hour of the Wolf is pretty neat.

Reading the massive Bergman book by Taschen is basically a humbling experience. This man worked and worked and worked for decades yet at the same time he managed to fulfill his personal life and be able to take long walks in the morning and travel and know places. But his work rhythm is almost impossible to conceive. Dozens of films with hundreds of stage productions and radio plays in between, everything from Shakespeare to Strindberg. Amazing.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: P Heat on June 26, 2011, 03:34:25 PM
 Yes  ElPandaRoyal The Silence is one of his best and imo its not mentioned as much as it should be. I saw Winter Light last night, man is it such a personal depressing movie.... but i kind of liked it. The pace of it was very important which i why its not that bad.

You can't go wrong with Through a Glass Darkly. Its very minimal like The Silence and great performances.

To be honest I really don't like much of the first half of Hour of the Wolf. It was boring and a shitty story to me but man after that first half the pace and atmosphere build up to great creepiness. Maybe I need to watch it again to see if i change my mind about the first half.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: ElPandaRoyal on June 26, 2011, 04:25:23 PM
I think it's amazing throughout - that moment when Max Von Sydow is looking at the watch waiting for a minute to pass is just so uncomfortable and hostile to me.

SPOILERS MAYBE, I DUNNO:
And then there's that scene with the kid when he's fishing... Bloody fucking hell, scariest moment ever in film to me...
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Tortuga on June 28, 2011, 11:45:45 AM
Hour Of The Wolf was the first Bergman I ever saw. And while it remains one of my favourites of his, I think it was The Rite that got me hooked. It felt so rebellious and "evil, but in a good way". Sort of like a reversed Kafka story, where primitive magic subverts bureaucracy.

I never miss a chance to catch some Bergman on big screen.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Reelist on June 28, 2011, 11:48:22 AM
I think I'm gonna check out Hour of the wolf. I've heard good things..looks creepy
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: P Heat on June 28, 2011, 11:32:27 PM
YES... the kid scene made my jaw drop and eyes open. I couldn't believe where it was going lol.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: wilder on December 23, 2014, 04:18:05 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQD7fLzQ9Qg
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: jenkins on February 25, 2015, 02:35:09 PM
i was like, whaaaaa. so good

(http://i.imgur.com/VHKZZ71.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/d4fvta7.png)

(speed racer/fanny and alexander)

http://instagram.com/5thavecinema/
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: 03 on February 25, 2015, 04:11:45 PM
can you explain what this is exactly?
other than two frames of a movie overlapped?
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: jenkins on February 25, 2015, 04:28:02 PM
fantasy becoming true
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: 03 on February 25, 2015, 04:40:09 PM
thats cool. you could also answer the question.
did they play it on top of each other or is it art or wtf man. stop being difficult.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on February 25, 2015, 04:45:19 PM
Don't think it's really much of anything.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: jenkins on February 25, 2015, 04:50:45 PM
it's two screencaps superimposed over each other, from speed racer/fanny and alexander, to highlight their shared themes, and there's a link at the bottom of the post to the movie club's instagram, where i heard about the double-screening, but most appreciated the screencaps i shared

i appreciate how the juxtaposition of stylistic intentions was expressed through not one screencap but two screencaps as one. there you go. if this is the worst part of your day, you're doing fine
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: 03 on February 25, 2015, 10:22:04 PM
yes. keep talking like that. that is less confusing af.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: jenkins on October 19, 2015, 03:08:18 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/mOFKqmH.jpg?1)

time stamping this day

(
(http://i.imgur.com/scgvOcB.png?1)
)
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: wilder on October 19, 2015, 03:44:20 PM
Haha oh my god
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: jenkins on October 19, 2015, 04:40:21 PM
A kid has gotta cash out a bank account in all Bergmans, pay for the camera with Bergmans, pay the cast and crew each person is given a Bergman before the shooting of a scene, shoot it in Fårö and pay for the trip with Bergmans, wipe your tears with Bergmans and I don't see what could go wrong here.
Title: Re: Ingmar Bergman
Post by: wilder on May 18, 2017, 06:00:22 PM
Match Factory launches ambitious Bergman centenary project
via SCREENDAILY

EXCLUSIVE: The documentary will be available as a feature film or a TV series.

July 2018 marks 100 years since the birth of Swedish auteur (14 July 1918) Ingmar Bergman, director of such classics as The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries, and the centenary is being marked with events, films and TV dramas.

In Cannes, The Match Factory is starting pre-sales on Bergman, a hugely ambitious Ingmar Bergman documentary conceived as a feature film and four-part TV series.

The project is billed as one the most comprehensive documentaries ever to explore the life of the director, whose work has influenced everyone from Woody Allen to Martin Scorsese and David Lynch. Produced by B-Reel Films in Sweden, the film is a co-production with Sveriges Television, Svensk Filmindustri, Motlys, Reel Ventures, Nordsvensk Filmunderhallning, Gotlands Filmfond, Film Capital Stockholm, and is directed by Jane Magnusson.

Bergman will look in detail at the legendary director’s career - with a special focus on his immensely productive period in 1957 - in his own words and those of his friends, colleagues and lovers. “It’s a challenging project, since we have the highest ambition and want to create a film that is both visually and dramatically on the same artistic level as the work of our subject matter,” says producer Mattias Nohrborg.

The film will be available in two formats: as a feature film and mini-series (4 x 1 hour). The promo is available to be seen at The Match Factory’s Cannes office.