Ingmar Bergman

15.08.2011 in14:12 in Film director,stage director -->


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Ernst Ingmar Bergman (Swedish pronunciation: [ɪŋmar bærjman] (listen); 14 July 1918 – 30 July 2007) was a Swedish director, writer and producer for film, stage and television. Described by Woody Allen as “probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera”, he is recognized as one of the most accomplished and influential film directors of all time. [3]

He directed over sixty films and documentaries for cinematic release and for television, most of which he also wrote, and directed over one hundred and seventy plays. Among his company of actors were Liv Ullmann, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bibi Andersson, Erland Josephson, Ingrid Thulin and Max von Sydow. Most of his films were set in the landscape of Sweden. His major subjects were death, illness, faith, betrayal, and insanity.

Bergman was active for more than six decades. In 1976 his career was seriously threatened as the result of a botched criminal investigation for alleged income tax evasion. Outraged, Bergman suspended a number of pending productions, closed his studios, and went into self-imposed exile in Germany for eight years.

Ingmar Bergman was born in Uppsala, Sweden, the son of Erik Bergman, a Lutheran minister and later chaplain to the King of Sweden. [4] He grew up surrounded by religious imagery and discussion. His father was a conservative parish minister with strict parenting concepts. Ingmar was locked up in dark closets for “infractions” like wetting the bed. “While father preached away in the pulpit and the congregation prayed, sang, or listened”, Ingmar wrote in his autobiography Laterna Magica:

“I devoted my interest to the church’s mysterious world of low arches, thick walls, the smell of eternity, the colored sunlight quivering above the strangest vegetation of medieval paintings and carved figures on ceilings and walls. There was everything that one’s imagination could desire – angels, saints, dragons, prophets, devils, humans. ”

Although raised in a devout Lutheran household, Bergman later stated that he lost his faith at age eight, and only came to terms with this fact while making Winter Light. [5] Bergman’s interest in theatre and film began early: “At the age of 9, he traded a set of tin soldiers for a battered magic lantern, a possession that altered the course of his life. Within a year, he had created, by playing with this toy, a private world in which he felt completely at home, he recalled. He fashioned his own scenery, marionettes, and lighting effects and gave puppet productions of Strindberg plays in which he spoke all the parts. “[6] [7]

In 1934, aged 16, he was sent to Germany to spend the summer vacation with family friends. He attended a Nazi rally in Weimar at which he saw Adolf Hitler. [8] He later wrote in Laterna Magica (The Magic Lantern) about the visit to Germany, describing how the German family had put a portrait of Adolf Hitler on the wall by his bed, and that “for many years, I was on Hitler’s side, delighted by his success and saddened by his defeats”. [9] Bergman did two five-month stretches of mandatory military service.

In 1937, he entered Stockholm University College (later renamed Stockholm University), to study art and literature. He spent most of his time involved in student theatre and became a “genuine movie addict”. [10] At the same time, a romantic involvement led to a break with his father that lasted for years. Although he did not graduate, he wrote a number of plays, as well as an opera, and became an assistant director at a theater. In 1942, he was given the chance to direct one of his own scripts, Caspar’s Death. The play was seen by members of Svensk Filmindustri, which then offered Bergman a position working on scripts. In 1943, he married Else Fisher.

Film work

Bergman’s film career began in 1941 with his rewriting of scripts, but his first major accomplishment was in 1944 when he wrote the screenplay for Torment / Frenzy (Hets), a film directed by Alf Sjöberg. Along with writing the screenplay, he was also given position as assistant director to the film. In his second autobiographical work, Images: My Life in Film, Bergman describes the filming of the exteriors as his actual film directorial debut. [11] The international success of this film led to Bergman’s first opportunity to direct a year later. During the next ten years, he wrote and directed more than a dozen films including The Devil’s Wanton / Prison (Fängelse) in 1949 and The Naked Night / Sawdust and Tinsel (Gycklarnas afton) and Summer with Monika (Sommaren med Monika), both from 1953.

Bergman first achieved worldwide success with Smiles of a Summer Night (Sommarnattens leende) (1955), which won for “Best poetic humor” and was nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes the following year. This was followed by The Seventh Seal (Det sjunde inseglet) and Wild Strawberries (Smultronstället), released in Sweden ten months apart in 1957. The Seventh Seal won a special jury prize and was nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes and Wild Strawberries won numerous awards for Bergman and its star, Victor Sjöström. Bergman continued to be productive for the next two decades. From the early 1960s, he spent much of his life on the Swedish island of Fårö, where he made several films.

In the early 1960s he directed three films that explored the theme of faith and doubt in God, Through a Glass Darkly (Såsom i en Spegel – 1961), Winter Light (Nattvardsgästerna – 1962), and The Silence (Tystnaden – 1963). Critics created the notion that the common themes in these three films represented trilogy or cinematic triptych. Bergman initially responded that he did not plan these three films as a trilogy and that he could not see any common motifs in them, but he later seemed to have adopted the notion, with some equivocation. [12] [13]

In 1966, he directed Persona, a film that he himself considered one of his most important works. While the shockingly experimental film won few awards many consider it his masterpiece. Other notable films of the period include The Virgin Spring (Jungfrukällan – 1960), Hour of the Wolf (Vargtimmen – 1968), Shame (Skammen – 1968) and A Passion / The Passion of Anna (En Passion – 1969). Bergman also produced extensively for Swedish television at this time. Two works of note were Scenes from a Marriage (Scener ur ett äktenskap – 1973) and The Magic Flute (Trollflöjten – 1975).

After his arrest in 1976 for tax evasion, Bergman swore he would never again make films in Sweden. He shut down his film studio on the island of Fårö and went into self-imposed exile. He briefly considered the possibility of working in America and his next film, The Serpent’s Egg (1977) was a German-US production and his second English-language film (the first being 1971′s “The Touch”). This was followed a year later with a British-Norwegian co-production of Autumn Sonata (Höstsonaten – 1978) starring Ingrid Bergman. The one other film he directed was From the Life of the Marionettes (Aus dem Leben der Marionetten – 1980) a British-German co-production.

In 1982, he temporarily returned to his homeland to direct Fanny and Alexander (Fanny och Alexander). Bergman stated that the film would be his last, and that afterwards he would focus on directing theatre. Since then, he wrote several film scripts and directed a number of television specials. As with previous work for TV, some of these productions were later released in theatres. The last such work was Saraband (2003), a sequel to Scenes from a Marriage and directed by Bergman when he was eighty-four years old.

Filmography:
“AFTER THE REHEARSAL” 1984
“ALL THESE WOMEN” 1964
“AUTUMN SONATA” 1978
“BRINK OF LIFE” 1957
“CRIES AND WHISPERS” 1972
“CRISIS” 1946
“DEVIL’S EYE, THE” 1960
“DREAMS” 1955
“FACE TO FACE” 1976
“FANNY AND ALEXANDER” 1983
“FROM THE LIFE OF THE MARIONETTES” 1980
“HOUR OF THE WOLF” 1968
“IT RAINS ON OUR LOVE” 1946
“LESSON IN LOVE, A” 1954
“MAGIC FLUTE, THE” 1975
“MAGICIAN, THE” 1958
“MUSIC IN DARKNESS” 1948
“NAKED NIGHT, THE” 1953
“PASSION OF ANNA, THE” 1969
“PERSONA” 1966
“PORT OF CALL” 1948
“PRISON” 1949
“RITUAL, THE” 1969
“SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE” 1973
“SECRETS OF WOMEN” 1952
“SEVENTH SEAL, THE” 1957
“SERPENT’S EGG, THE” 1977
“SHAME, THE” 1968
“SHIP TO INDIA, A” 1947
“SILENCE, THE” 1963
“SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT” 1955
“SUMMER INTERLUDE” 1950
“SUMMER WITH MONIKA” 1953
“THIRST” 1949
“THIS CAN’T HAPPEN HERE” 1950
“THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY” 1961
“TO JOY” 1950
“TOUCH, THE” 1971
“VIRGIN SPRING, THE” 1960
“WILD STRAWBERRIES” 1957
“WINTER LIGHT” 1962