Ingmar Bergman Dead at 89
If ever I had to choose the Best Film Maker ever it would be him. All his movies touch the soul (he was a minister).
I'm now living Wild Strawberries. Are you all familiar with Bergan films?
Rooting for the divas with Kwanford
I lift my glass of water to Ingmar!
When I first moved to NYC long ago, I used to haunt the art houses whenever his films were playing. (That's right, children, there was not always video or DVD.)
Later my film tastes changed and I preferred Japanese masters, Italian neo-realists, and Eastern European political cinema.
More recently I went through a period of insanity where I had to see everything Clint Eastwood was in. All except the monkey movie, at least. (My gosh, the crummy haircuts before he became a director!)
Now I'm ready to come back to papa Bergman with new eyes and watch him straight through all over again, but I don't have time.
But to the director of Hour of the Wolf, the Seventh Seal, Winter LIght, the Passion of Anna, and yes, Wild Strawberries - who now laughs with Mozart, Luther, Garbo and Victor Sjostrom - heartfelt thanks!
Last edited by Spun Silver; 07-31-2007 at 12:41 AM.
I've seen small pieces of his works... but I've never seen a movie straight through... at least not that I recall
still like Spielberg's films more
Thanks Joesitz for honoring the great artist.
I hope interest in this country grows for him..... his movies aren't for the "average" taste, and you know what I mean.
Some people just can't go "there" in a movie - so unflinching, so particular.
What movie would you show someone who has never seen a Bergman film, what's a "safe" introduction? That's a tough one for me, I'd love to hear what you think Joesitz!
Gadfly and Bon Vivant
Reposting (and minor editing) from a blog comment thread:
My Bergman film files (note; I've missed some of his most famous movies and seen some of his more obscure ones):
Dreams (1955) A minor early Bergman movie is still a Bergman movie. A little dated, but his love for expressive actresses (and ability to both just let them be on screen and simultaneously draw emotional reserves from them that they themselves didn't realize they had) is already clear.
Smiles of a summer night (1955) I think this is misunderstood as some kind of romantic comedy, what I remember is a calculating old-world heart that embraced cynicism and humanism in equal degrees at the same time.
Seventh Seal (1957) I love movies like this that set in the past that actually seem to be informed by a radically unmodern mindset (Herzog's Heart of Glass is another). Chess, shmess, the scene I'll never forget is the burning of the teenage witch.
Persona (1966) You hear so much about this movie that it's almost bound to be a disappointment, but then it's not. Subtle and slow, but unforgettable. Bergman re-invented the lingering, revealing close-up in this movie. IIRC Liv Ullman's part is written with almost no dialogue because she hadn't learned to sound natural in Swedish yet.
The hour of the wolf (1968) Why isn't this one more famous? The creepiest of all his movies I've seen (it's been suggested that David Lynch owes a lot to this movie). The alienation is so thick that the most mundane interactions are embued with other-worldly menace and the impulsive murder of a small boy is banally matter of fact.
Cries and Whispers (1972) People talk about the visuals (and red) in this movie. But really it's all about touch and the looming physical presence the actresses have. Harriet Andersson's drawn out painful death scenes are nerve-wracking enough, but the scene with the broken glass is one of the hardest things to watch in the history of cinema.
The Magic Flute (1975) Just thinking of this makes me smile. One of the most joyful movie experiences ever. Endlessly inventive, it's an almost perfect introduction to opera and/or mozart.
Autumn Sonata (1978) Snap! Haaated it.... Liv Ullman as the clingy, unfulfilled daughter was so damp and repulsive that I actually sympathized with Ingrid Bergman (as the famous concert pianist mother) in rejecting her.
And Ullman's final scene where she's planning for the future and hoping things will work out so that she can (finally!) commit suicide seems like a bad parody.
Still it has one of the great scenes of the 70's. Needy daughter Ullman wants to impress her mother with her piano playing and her diva-mother Bergman gives a forced compliment or two and takes over playing, grinding Ullman into the dist. The needy love and humiliation of Ullman's face burns a hole in the screen.
Fanny and Alexander (1982) All in all a wonderful roller coaster filled with great characters with a surprise in almost every scene. I know the minister's house was supposed to be cold and hateful, but I loved the spartan decor (after the over-stimulation of the grandmother's velvety and ornate house).
Extremely sad news. Definitely one of the best directors and screenwriters of all time.
Wild Strawberries, the "winter" trilogy, Hour of the Wolf, Shame, Persona, Cries and Whispers, Fanny and Alexander...he gave us so many great films.
I think to introduce Bergman to a young film enthisiast I would suggest Smiles of a Summer Night. It's a comedy but .... is it a comedy? Bergman does not make classification of films easy.
Originally Posted by Tenorguy
btw, 'Smiles' was made into a very successful Broadway Musical called A Little Night Music., and Sonheim's lyrics to Send in the Clowns was perfect. Did they ever make a movie of that?
~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~
Woody Allen would agree 100%:
Originally Posted by Joesitz
Allen once described Bergman as "probably the greatest film artist … since the invention of the motion picture camera." He regarded the Swedish filmmaker as a hero and traced his "lifelong addiction" to Bergman's films to "Wild Strawberries."
I think something was filmed of A Little Night Music, but I sure as $#%^ wouldn't call it a movie! Man, talk about a waste of film stock.....
Originally Posted by Joesitz
Thanks for recommending Smiles, I have never seen it but now I want to especially since it inspired one of my favorite Sondheim pieces. Speaking of Sondheim - what's the word on the street about him? Does anyone think he has one more great piece in him?
Assassins was.... strange for me. Can't get close to it...... I'd love to know if he can give us one perfect parting shot. What do you think?
Sondheim, like Bergman, Picasso, Wagner, I.M. Pei, will not beat to a personal drum. All their works surprise you. Puccini never grabbed me till I saw La Fanciulla.
I think Sondheim will continue but I haven't read anything in the works right now.
One note about Smile of the Summer Night. The name of the movie is the result of a funny double translation - Smile of the Summer Night is how Midsummer Night's Dream is translated into most languages. For whatever reason, producers chose to translate the name literally for the English language version.