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Ingmar Bergman

Ingmar Bergman

Overview
Ernst Ingmar Bergman (ˈɪŋmar ˈbærjman; 14 July 1918 – 30 July 2007) was a Swedish
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 director, writer and producer for film
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

, stage and television
Television director
A television director directs the activities involved in making a television program and is part of a television crew.-Duties:The duties of a television director vary depending on whether the production is live or recorded to video tape or video server .In both types of productions, the...

. Described by Woody Allen
Woody Allen
Woody Allen is an American screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, jazz musician, author, and playwright. Allen's films draw heavily on literature, sexuality, philosophy, psychology, Jewish identity, and the history of cinema...

 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.

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.
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Quotations

Say anything you want against The Seventh Seal. My fear of death — this infantile fixation of mine — was, at that moment, overwhelming. I felt myself in contact with death day and night, and my fear was tremendous. When I finished the picture, my fear went away. I have the feeling simply of having painted a canvas in an enormous hurry — with enormous pretension but without any arrogance. I said, 'Here is a painting; take it, please.'

Interview with Charles Thomas Samuels (1971)

I want very much to tell, to talk about, the wholeness inside every human being. It's a strange thing that every human being has a sort of dignity or wholeness in him, and out of that develops relationships to other human beings, tensions, misunderstandings, tenderness, coming in contact, touching and being touched, the cutting off of a contact and what happens then.

As quoted in Ingmar Bergman Directs (1972) by John Simon

I write scripts to serve as skeletons awaiting the flesh and sinew of images.

The New York Times (22 January 1978)

I was very cruel to actors and to other people. I think I was a very, very unpleasant young man. If I met the young Ingmar today, I think I would say, "You are very talented and I will see if I can help you, but I don't think I want anything else to do with you." I don't say I'm pleasant now, but I think I changed slowly in my 50's. At least I hope I've changed.

As quoted in "Ingmar Bergman: Summing Up A Life In Film" by Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times Magazine (26 June 1983)

I am so 100 percent Swedish... Someone has said a Swede is like a bottle of ketchup — nothing and nothing and then all at once — splat. I think I'm a little like that. And I think I'm Swedish because I like to live here on this island. You can't imagine the loneliness and isolation in this country. In that way, I'm very Swedish — I don't dislike to be alone

As quoted in "Ingmar Bergman: Summing Up A Life In Film" by Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times Magazine (26 June 1983)
Encyclopedia
Ernst Ingmar Bergman (ˈɪŋmar ˈbærjman; 14 July 1918 – 30 July 2007) was a Swedish
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 director, writer and producer for film
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

, stage and television
Television director
A television director directs the activities involved in making a television program and is part of a television crew.-Duties:The duties of a television director vary depending on whether the production is live or recorded to video tape or video server .In both types of productions, the...

. Described by Woody Allen
Woody Allen
Woody Allen is an American screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, jazz musician, author, and playwright. Allen's films draw heavily on literature, sexuality, philosophy, psychology, Jewish identity, and the history of cinema...

 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.

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 Harriet Andersson
Harriet Andersson
Harriet Andersson is a Swedish actress, known outside Sweden for being part of one of director Ingmar Bergman's stock company....

, Liv Ullmann
Liv Ullmann
Liv Johanne Ullmann is a Norwegian actress and film director, as well as one of the "muses" of the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman...

, Gunnar Björnstrand
Gunnar Björnstrand
Gunnar Björnstrand was a Swedish actor known for his frequent work with writer/director Ingmar Bergman. He was born in Stockholm. He appeared in over 180 films....

, Bibi Andersson
Bibi Andersson
Bibi Andersson is a Swedish actress.-Early life:Bibi Andersson was born as Berit Elisabeth Andersson in Kungsholmen, Stockholm, the daughter of Karin , a social worker, and Josef Andersson, a businessman...

, Erland Josephson
Erland Josephson
Erland Josephson is a Swedish actor and author. He is best known to international audiences for his work in films directed by Ingmar Bergman, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Theodoros Angelopoulos.-Biography:...

, Ingrid Thulin
Ingrid Thulin
Ingrid Lilian Thulin was a Swedish film actress.-Biography:Thulin was born in Sollefteå, Ångermanland, northern Sweden, the daughter of Nanna and Adam Thulin, a fisherman...

 and Max von Sydow
Max von Sydow
Max von Sydow is a Swedish actor. He has also held French citizenship since 2002. He has starred in many films and had supporting roles in dozens more...

. 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.

Early life


Ingmar Bergman was born in Uppsala, Sweden, the son of Erik Bergman
Erik Bergman (Lutheran minister)
Erik Bergman was a Swedish parish minister of the Lutheran Church and Ingmar Bergman's father.Erik Bergman was born at Mörbylånga, Kalmar County in 1886. He was ordained to the Swedish State Church in Uppsala in 1912 and served as a priest in Valbo as of 1913...

, a Lutheran minister and later chaplain to the King of Sweden
Monarch of Sweden
The monarchy of Sweden is the constitutional monarchy of the Kingdom of Sweden. The present monarch, Carl XVI Gustaf, has reigned since 15 September 1973. He and his immediate family undertake various official, ceremonial and representational duties...

. He grew up with his older brother Dag and sister Margareta
Margareta Bergman
Margareta Bergman is a Swedish novelist.- Life and career:Margareta Bergman, only sister of film director Ingmar Bergman , is the author of novels Karin and Mirror Mirror.As a child of 8, she helped to inspire her brother Ingmar Bergman to create his first plays at home in 1930...

 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
Winter Light
Winter Light is a 1962 Swedish drama film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Bergman regulars Gunnar Björnstrand, Ingrid Thulin and Max von Sydow. The film follows Tomas Ericsson , pastor of a small rural Swedish church, as he deals with existential crisis and his...

. Bergman's interest in theatre and film began early: "At the age of 9, he traded a set of tin soldiers for a magic lantern
Magic lantern
The magic lantern or Laterna Magica is an early type of image projector developed in the 17th century.-Operation:The magic lantern has a concave mirror in front of a light source that gathers light and projects it through a slide with an image scanned onto it. The light rays cross an aperture , and...

, 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."

In 1934, aged 16, he was sent to Germany to spend the summer vacation with family friends. He attended a Nazi rally in Weimar
Weimar
Weimar is a city in Germany famous for its cultural heritage. It is located in the federal state of Thuringia , north of the Thüringer Wald, east of Erfurt, and southwest of Halle and Leipzig. Its current population is approximately 65,000. The oldest record of the city dates from the year 899...

 at which he saw Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

. 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". Bergman did two five-month stretches of mandatory military service.

In 1937, he entered Stockholm University College (later renamed Stockholm University
Stockholm University
Stockholm University is a state university in Stockholm, Sweden. It has over 28,000 students at four faculties, making it one of the largest universities in Scandinavia. The institution is also frequently regarded as one of the top 100 universities in the world...

), to study art and literature. He spent most of his time involved in student theatre and became a "genuine movie addict". 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
Else Fisher
Else Marie Fisher-Bergman , born in Melbourne, Australia, was a Swedish choreographer, dancer, theatre director and writer...

.

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. 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
Prison (1949 film)
-Cast:* Doris Svedlund – Birgitta Carolina Soederberg* Birger Malmsten – Tomas* Eva Henning – Sofi* Hasse Ekman – Martin Grande* Stig Olin – Peter* Irma Christenson – Linnea* Anders Henrikson – Paul* Marianne Löfgren – Mrs. Bohlin* Bibi Lindqvist – Anna...

 (Fängelse) in 1949 and The Naked Night/Sawdust and Tinsel
Sawdust and Tinsel
-Plot:An aging circus ringmaster visits his estranged wife to see his young sons. Meanwhile, his jealous young lover has an affair with an actor.-Cast:* Åke Grönberg – Albert Johansson* Harriet Andersson – Anne* Hasse Ekman – Frans* Anders Ek – Frost...

 (Gycklarnas afton) and Summer with Monika
Summer with Monika
Summer with Monika is a 1953 Swedish film directed by Ingmar Bergman. It sparked controversy abroad for its frank depiction of nudity, and along with the film One Summer of Happiness from the year before, directed by Arne Mattsson, it started the reputation of Sweden as a sexually liberated...

 (Sommaren med Monika), both from 1953.

Bergman first achieved worldwide success with Smiles of a Summer Night
Smiles of a Summer Night
Smiles of a Summer Night a.k.a. Smiles on a Summer Night is a 1955 Swedish comedy film directed by Ingmar Bergman. It was the first of Bergman's films to bring the director international success, due to its exposure at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival...

 (Sommarnattens leende) (1955), which won for "Best poetic humor" and was nominated for the Palme d'Or
Palme d'Or
The Palme d'Or is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and is presented to the director of the best feature film of the official competition. It was introduced in 1955 by the organising committee. From 1939 to 1954, the highest prize was the Grand Prix du Festival International du...

 at Cannes the following year. This was followed by The Seventh Seal
The Seventh Seal
The Seventh Seal is a 1957 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. Set during the Black Death, it tells of the journey of a medieval knight and a game of chess he plays with the personification of Death , who has come to take his life. Bergman developed the film from his own play...

 (Det sjunde inseglet) and Wild Strawberries
Wild Strawberries (film)
Wild Strawberries is a 1957 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman, about an old man recalling his past. The original Swedish title is Smultronstället, which literally means "the wild strawberry patch", but idiomatically means an underrated gem of a place...

 (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
Victor Sjöström
Victor Sjöström was a Swedish actor, screenwriter, and film director.- Biography:Born in Silbodal, in the Värmland region of Sweden, he was only a year old when his father, Olof Adolf Sjöström, moved the family to Brooklyn, New York. His mother died when he was seven years old in 1886...

. 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
Fårö
Fårö is a small Baltic Sea island north of the island of Gotland, off Sweden's southeastern coast. It is the second-largest island in the province. It has a population of fewer than 600 and has become a popular summer resort. The island has no banks, post offices, medical services or police...

, 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
Through a Glass Darkly (film)
Through a Glass Darkly is a 1961 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman, and produced by Allan Ekelund. The film is a three-act "chamber film", in which four family members act as mirrors for each other. It is the first of many Bergman films to be shot on the island of Fårö...

 (Såsom i en Spegel – 1961), Winter Light
Winter Light
Winter Light is a 1962 Swedish drama film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Bergman regulars Gunnar Björnstrand, Ingrid Thulin and Max von Sydow. The film follows Tomas Ericsson , pastor of a small rural Swedish church, as he deals with existential crisis and his...

 (Nattvardsgästerna – 1962), and The Silence
The Silence (1963 film)
The Silence is a 1963 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Ingrid Thulin and Gunnel Lindblom. The plot focuses on two sisters – the younger a sensuous woman with a young son, the elder more intellectually orientated and seriously ill — and their tense relationship as...

 (Tystnaden – 1963). Critics created the notion that the common themes in these three films represented trilogy
Trilogy
A trilogy is a set of three works of art that are connected, and that can be seen either as a single work or as three individual works. They are commonly found in literature, film, or video games...

 or cinematic triptych
Triptych
A triptych , from tri-= "three" + ptysso= "to fold") is a work of art which is divided into three sections, or three carved panels which are hinged together and can be folded shut or displayed open. It is therefore a type of polyptych, the term for all multi-panel works...

. 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.

In 1966, he directed Persona
Persona (film)
Persona is a film by Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, released in 1966, and starring Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann. Bergman held this film to be one of his most important; in his book Images, he writes: "Today I feel that in Persona—and later in Cries and Whispers—I had gone as far as I could go...

, 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
The Virgin Spring
The Virgin Spring is a 1960 Swedish drama film directed by Ingmar Bergman. Set in medieval Sweden, it is a revenge tale about a father's merciless response to the rape and murder of his young daughter. The story was adapted by screenwriter Ulla Isaksson from a 13th century Swedish ballad, "Töres...

 (Jungfrukällan – 1960), Hour of the Wolf
Hour of the Wolf
Hour of the Wolf is a 1968 Swedish film directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann. It combines elements of the film drama, surrealist film and horror film.-Plot:...

 (Vargtimmen – 1968), Shame (Skammen – 1968) and A Passion/The Passion of Anna
The Passion of Anna
The Passion of Anna is a 1969 Swedish drama film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. Bergman was awarded Best Director at the 1971 National Society of Film Critics Awards for the film.-Plot:...

 (En Passion – 1969). Bergman also produced extensively for Swedish television at this time. Two works of note were Scenes from a Marriage
Scenes from a Marriage
Scenes from a Marriage is a 1973 Swedish TV series written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. The story explores the disintegration of a marriage between Marianne, a lawyer, and Johan, a professor over a long period, using a restricted cast, a naturalist, hyper-realistic cinematic...

 (Scener ur ett äktenskap – 1973) and The Magic Flute
The Magic Flute (1975 film)
The Magic Flute is Ingmar Bergman's 1975 film version of Mozart's opera Die Zauberflöte. It was intended as a television production and was first shown on Swedish television but was followed by a cinema release later that year. The film was shown at the 1975 Cannes Film Festival, but was not...

 (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
The Serpent's Egg (film)
The Serpent's Egg is a 1977 United States / West German co-produced film directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring David Carradine as Abel Rosenberg, which is set in 1920s Berlin. This was Bergman's one and only Hollywood film...

 (1977) was a German-U.S. 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
Autumn Sonata
Autumn Sonata is a 1978 Swedish drama film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. The film stars Ingrid Bergman, Liv Ullmann and Lena Nyman. It tells the story of a celebrated classical pianist who is confronted by her neglected daughter...

 (Höstsonaten – 1978) starring Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman was a Swedish actress who starred in a variety of European and American films. She won three Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, and the Tony Award for Best Actress. She is ranked as the fourth greatest female star of American cinema of all time by the American Film Institute...

. The one other film he directed was From the Life of the Marionettes
From the Life of the Marionettes
Aus dem Leben der Marionetten is a 1980 film directed by Ingmar Bergman. The film was produced in West Germany with a German language screenplay and soundtrack while Bergman was in "tax exile" from his native Sweden. It is filmed in black and white apart from two colour sequences at the beginning...

 (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 and Alexander
Fanny and Alexander is a 1982 Swedish fantasy drama film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. It was originally conceived as a four-part TV movie and cut in that version, spanning 312 minutes. A 188-minute version was created later for cinematic release, although this version was in fact the...

 (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
Saraband
Saraband is a 2003 Swedish drama film directed by Ingmar Bergman, and his last theatrically released work. The film is a sequel to Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage , bringing back to the screen the characters of Johan and Marianne...

 (2003), a sequel to Scenes from a Marriage and directed by Bergman when he was eighty-four years old.

Repertory company


Bergman developed a personal "repertory company" of Swedish actors whom he repeatedly cast in his films, including Max von Sydow
Max von Sydow
Max von Sydow is a Swedish actor. He has also held French citizenship since 2002. He has starred in many films and had supporting roles in dozens more...

, Bibi Andersson
Bibi Andersson
Bibi Andersson is a Swedish actress.-Early life:Bibi Andersson was born as Berit Elisabeth Andersson in Kungsholmen, Stockholm, the daughter of Karin , a social worker, and Josef Andersson, a businessman...

, Harriet Andersson
Harriet Andersson
Harriet Andersson is a Swedish actress, known outside Sweden for being part of one of director Ingmar Bergman's stock company....

, Erland Josephson
Erland Josephson
Erland Josephson is a Swedish actor and author. He is best known to international audiences for his work in films directed by Ingmar Bergman, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Theodoros Angelopoulos.-Biography:...

, Ingrid Thulin
Ingrid Thulin
Ingrid Lilian Thulin was a Swedish film actress.-Biography:Thulin was born in Sollefteå, Ångermanland, northern Sweden, the daughter of Nanna and Adam Thulin, a fisherman...

, Gunnel Lindblom
Gunnel Lindblom
Gunnel Lindblom , is a Swedish film actress and director. As an actor she has been particularly associated with the work of Ingmar Bergman, though in 1965 she performed the lead role in Miss Julie for BBC Television...

, Bengt Ekerot, Anders Ek and Gunnar Björnstrand
Gunnar Björnstrand
Gunnar Björnstrand was a Swedish actor known for his frequent work with writer/director Ingmar Bergman. He was born in Stockholm. He appeared in over 180 films....

, each of whom appeared in at least five Bergman features. Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann
Liv Ullmann
Liv Johanne Ullmann is a Norwegian actress and film director, as well as one of the "muses" of the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman...

, who appeared in nine of Bergman's films and one televisual film (Saraband), was the last to join this group (in the 1966 film Persona
Persona (film)
Persona is a film by Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, released in 1966, and starring Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann. Bergman held this film to be one of his most important; in his book Images, he writes: "Today I feel that in Persona—and later in Cries and Whispers—I had gone as far as I could go...

), and ultimately became most closely associated with Bergman, both artistically and personally. They had a daughter together, Linn Ullmann
Linn Ullmann
Linn Ullmann, originally Karin Beate Ullmann, is a Norwegian author and journalist. A prominent literary critic, she also writes a column for Norway's leading morning newspaper and has published four novels....

 (born 1966).


Bergman began working with Sven Nykvist
Sven Nykvist
Sven Vilhem Nykvist was a Swedish cinematographer. He worked on over 120 films, but is known especially for his work with director Ingmar Bergman...

, his cinematographer
Cinematographer
A cinematographer is one photographing with a motion picture camera . The title is generally equivalent to director of photography , used to designate a chief over the camera and lighting crews working on a film, responsible for achieving artistic and technical decisions related to the image...

, in 1953. The two of them developed and maintained a working relationship of sufficient rapport to allow Bergman not to worry about the composition of a shot until the day before it was filmed. On the morning of the shoot, he would briefly speak to Nykvist about the mood and composition he hoped for, and then leave Nykvist to work lacking interruption or comment until post-production discussion of the next day's work.

Financing


By Bergman's own account, he never had a problem with funding. He cited two reasons for this: one, that he did not live in the United States, which he viewed as obsessed with box-office earnings; and two, that his films tended to be low-budget affairs. (Cries and Whispers
Cries and Whispers
Cries and Whispers is a 1972 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Harriet Andersson, Kari Sylwan, Ingrid Thulin and Liv Ullmann. The film is set on a mansion at the end of the 19th century and is about two sisters who watch over their third sister on her deathbed, torn...

, for instance, was finished for about $450,000, while Scenes from a Marriage
Scenes from a Marriage
Scenes from a Marriage is a 1973 Swedish TV series written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. The story explores the disintegration of a marriage between Marianne, a lawyer, and Johan, a professor over a long period, using a restricted cast, a naturalist, hyper-realistic cinematic...

, a six-episode television feature, cost only $200,000.)

Technique


Bergman usually wrote his own screenplays, thinking about them for months or years before starting the actual process of writing, which he viewed as somewhat tedious. His earlier films are carefully constructed and are either based on his plays or written in collaboration with other authors. Bergman stated that in his later works, when on occasion his actors would want to do things differently from his own intention, he would let them, noting that the results were often "disastrous" when he did not do so. As his career progressed, Bergman increasingly let his actors improvise
Improvisation
Improvisation is the practice of acting, singing, talking and reacting, of making and creating, in the moment and in response to the stimulus of one's immediate environment and inner feelings. This can result in the invention of new thought patterns, new practices, new structures or symbols, and/or...

 their dialogue. In his latest films, he wrote just the ideas informing the scene and allowed his actors to determine the exact dialogue. When viewing daily rushes, Bergman stressed the importance of being critical but unemotive, claiming that he asked himself not if the work is great or terrible, but if it is sufficient or if it needs to be reshot.

Subjects


Bergman's films usually deal with existential
Existentialism
Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual...

 questions of mortality, loneliness, and religious faith
Faith
Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing, or a belief that is not based on proof. In religion, faith is a belief in a transcendent reality, a religious teacher, a set of teachings or a Supreme Being. Generally speaking, it is offered as a means by which the truth of the proposition,...

. While these topics could seem cerebral, sexual desire found its way to the foreground of most of his films, whether the setting was a medieval plague (The Seventh Seal
The Seventh Seal
The Seventh Seal is a 1957 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. Set during the Black Death, it tells of the journey of a medieval knight and a game of chess he plays with the personification of Death , who has come to take his life. Bergman developed the film from his own play...

), upper-class family activity in early twentieth century Uppsala (Fanny and Alexander
Fanny and Alexander
Fanny and Alexander is a 1982 Swedish fantasy drama film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. It was originally conceived as a four-part TV movie and cut in that version, spanning 312 minutes. A 188-minute version was created later for cinematic release, although this version was in fact the...

) or contemporary alienation (The Silence
The Silence (1963 film)
The Silence is a 1963 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Ingrid Thulin and Gunnel Lindblom. The plot focuses on two sisters – the younger a sensuous woman with a young son, the elder more intellectually orientated and seriously ill — and their tense relationship as...

). His female characters are usually more in touch with their sexuality than the men, and unafraid to proclaim it, sometimes with breathtaking overtness (e.g., Cries and Whispers
Cries and Whispers
Cries and Whispers is a 1972 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Harriet Andersson, Kari Sylwan, Ingrid Thulin and Liv Ullmann. The film is set on a mansion at the end of the 19th century and is about two sisters who watch over their third sister on her deathbed, torn...

) as would define the work of "the conjurer," as Bergman called himself in a 1960 Time Magazine cover story. In an interview with Playboy in 1964, he said: "...The manifestation of sex is very important, and particularly to me, for above all, I don't want to make merely intellectual films. I want audiences to feel, to sense my films. This to me is much more important than their understanding them." Film, Bergman said, was his demanding mistress.

Bergman's views on his career



When asked about his films, Bergman said he held Winter Light
Winter Light
Winter Light is a 1962 Swedish drama film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Bergman regulars Gunnar Björnstrand, Ingrid Thulin and Max von Sydow. The film follows Tomas Ericsson , pastor of a small rural Swedish church, as he deals with existential crisis and his...

, Persona
Persona (film)
Persona is a film by Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, released in 1966, and starring Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann. Bergman held this film to be one of his most important; in his book Images, he writes: "Today I feel that in Persona—and later in Cries and Whispers—I had gone as far as I could go...

, and Cries and Whispers
Cries and Whispers
Cries and Whispers is a 1972 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Harriet Andersson, Kari Sylwan, Ingrid Thulin and Liv Ullmann. The film is set on a mansion at the end of the 19th century and is about two sisters who watch over their third sister on her deathbed, torn...

 in the highest regard, though in an interview in 2004, Bergman said that he was "depressed" by his own films and could not watch them anymore. In these films, he said, he managed to push the medium to its limit. Bergman stated on numerous occasions (for example in the interview book Bergman on Bergman) that The Silence meant the end of the era in which religious questions were a major concern of his films.

Theatrical work


Although Bergman was universally famous for his contribution to cinema, he was also an active and productive stage director all his life. During his studies at Stockholm University
Stockholm University
Stockholm University is a state university in Stockholm, Sweden. It has over 28,000 students at four faculties, making it one of the largest universities in Scandinavia. The institution is also frequently regarded as one of the top 100 universities in the world...

, he became active in its student theatre, where he made a name for himself early on. His first work after graduation was as a trainee-director at a Stockholm theatre. At twenty-six years, he became the youngest theatrical manager in Europe at the Helsingborg City Theatre
Helsingborg City Theatre
Helsingborg City Theatre is the city theatre of Helsingborg in south of Sweden. It's one of the most well-known city theatres in Sweden....

. He stayed at Helsingborg
Helsingborg
Helsingborg is a city and the seat of Helsingborg Municipality, Skåne County, Sweden with 97,122 inhabitants in 2010. Helsingborg is the centre of an area in the Øresund region of about 320,000 inhabitants in north-west Scania, and is Sweden's closest point to Denmark, with the Danish city...

 for three years and then became the director at Gothenburg city theatre from 1946 to 1949.

He became director of the Malmö
Malmö
Malmö , in the southernmost province of Scania, is the third most populous city in Sweden, after Stockholm and Gothenburg.Malmö is the seat of Malmö Municipality and the capital of Skåne County...

 city theatre in 1953 and remained for seven years. Many of his star actors were people with whom he began working on stage, and a number of people in the "Bergman troupe" of his 1960s films came from Malmö
Malmö
Malmö , in the southernmost province of Scania, is the third most populous city in Sweden, after Stockholm and Gothenburg.Malmö is the seat of Malmö Municipality and the capital of Skåne County...

's city theatre (Max von Sydow
Max von Sydow
Max von Sydow is a Swedish actor. He has also held French citizenship since 2002. He has starred in many films and had supporting roles in dozens more...

, for example). He was the director of the Royal Dramatic Theatre
Royal Dramatic Theatre
The Royal Dramatic Theatre is Sweden's national stage for "spoken drama", founded in 1788. Around one thousand shows are put on annually on the theatre's eight running stages....

 in Stockholm from 1960 to 1966 and manager from 1963 to 1966.

After Bergman left Sweden because of the tax evasion incident, he became director of the Residenz Theatre
Residenz Theatre
The Residence Theatre or New Residence Theatre of the Residence in Munich was built from 1950 to 1951 by Karl Hocheder...

 of Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

, Germany (1977–84). He remained active in theatre throughout the 1990s and made his final production on stage with Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen was a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. He is often referred to as "the father of prose drama" and is one of the founders of Modernism in the theatre...

's The Wild Duck at the Royal Dramatic Theatre
Royal Dramatic Theatre
The Royal Dramatic Theatre is Sweden's national stage for "spoken drama", founded in 1788. Around one thousand shows are put on annually on the theatre's eight running stages....

 in 2002. A complete list of Bergman's work in theatre can be found under "Stage Productions and Radio Theatre Credits" at Ingmar Bergman filmography
Ingmar Bergman filmography
Ingmar Bergman was a Swedish screenwriter and film director. Between 1944 and 2003 he directed more than 40 feature films and wrote multiple screenplays for others...

.

Tax evasion charges


On 30 January 1976, while rehearsing August Strindberg
August Strindberg
Johan August Strindberg was a Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter. A prolific writer who often drew directly on his personal experience, Strindberg's career spanned four decades, during which time he wrote over 60 plays and more than 30 works of fiction, autobiography,...

's Dance of Death
The Dance of Death (play)
The Dance of Death is a play in two parts written by August Strindberg in 1900.-Plot:In Part I, Edgar and his wife Alice live in a granite fortress on a desolate island. Bored and embittered, they torment each other with petty intrigues and well-worn accusations...

 at the Royal Dramatic Theatre
Royal Dramatic Theatre
The Royal Dramatic Theatre is Sweden's national stage for "spoken drama", founded in 1788. Around one thousand shows are put on annually on the theatre's eight running stages....

 in Stockholm, he was arrested by two plainclothes police officers and charged with income tax evasion. The impact of the event on Bergman was devastating. He suffered a nervous break-down as a result of the humiliation and was hospitalized in a state of deep depression.

The investigation was focused on an alleged 1970 transaction of 500,000 Swedish kronor (SEK) between Bergman's Swedish company Cinematograf and its Swiss
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 subsidiary Persona, an entity that was mainly used for the paying of salaries to foreign actors. Bergman dissolved Persona in 1974 after having been notified by the Swedish Central Bank and subsequently reported the income. On 23 March 1976, the special prosecutor Anders Nordenadler dropped the charges against Bergman, saying that the alleged crime had no legal basis, saying it would be like bringing "charges against a person who has stolen his own car, thinking it was someone else's". Director General Gösta Ekman, chief of the Swedish Internal Revenue Service, defended the failed investigation, saying that the investigation was dealing with important legal material and that Bergman was treated just like any other suspect. He expressed regret that Bergman had left the country, hoping that Bergman was a "stronger" person now when the investigation had shown that he had not done any wrong.

Even though the charges were dropped, Bergman became disconsolate, fearing he would never again return to directing. Despite pleas by the Swedish prime minister Olof Palme
Olof Palme
Sven Olof Joachim Palme was a Swedish politician. A long-time protegé of Prime Minister Tage Erlander, Palme led the Swedish Social Democratic Party from 1969 to his assassination, and was a two-term Prime Minister of Sweden, heading a Privy Council Government from 1969 to 1976 and a cabinet...

, high public figures, and leaders of the film industry, he vowed never to work again in Sweden. He closed down his studio on the island of Fårö
Fårö
Fårö is a small Baltic Sea island north of the island of Gotland, off Sweden's southeastern coast. It is the second-largest island in the province. It has a population of fewer than 600 and has become a popular summer resort. The island has no banks, post offices, medical services or police...

, suspended two announced film projects, and went into self-imposed exile in Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

, Germany. Harry Schein
Harry Schein
Harry Schein was an Austrian born Swedish writer and a major figure in Swedish culture. Schein was a founder of the Swedish Film Institute and acted as its first Managing Director from 1963 to 1978....

, director of the Swedish Film Institute
Swedish Film Institute
The Swedish Film Institute was founded in 1963 to support and develop the Swedish film industry. The institute is housed in the Filmhuset building located in Gärdet, Östermalm in Stockholm...

, estimated the immediate damage as ten million SEK (kronor) and hundreds of jobs lost.

Return


Although he continued to operate from Munich, by mid-1978 Bergman had overcome some of his bitterness toward the government of Sweden. In July of that year he visited Sweden, celebrating his sixtieth birthday at Fårö, and partly resumed his work as a director at Royal Dramatic Theatre. To honor his return, the Swedish Film Institute
Swedish Film Institute
The Swedish Film Institute was founded in 1963 to support and develop the Swedish film industry. The institute is housed in the Filmhuset building located in Gärdet, Östermalm in Stockholm...

 launched a new Ingmar Bergman Prize to be awarded annually for excellence in filmmaking.

Still, he remained in Munich until 1984. In one of the last major interviews with Bergman, conducted in 2005 at Fårö
Fårö
Fårö is a small Baltic Sea island north of the island of Gotland, off Sweden's southeastern coast. It is the second-largest island in the province. It has a population of fewer than 600 and has become a popular summer resort. The island has no banks, post offices, medical services or police...

 Island, Bergman said that despite being active during the exile, he had effectively lost eight years of his professional life.

Bergman retired from filmmaking in December 2003. He had hip surgery in October 2006 and was making a difficult recovery. He died peacefully in his sleep, at his home on Fårö, on 30 July 2007, at the age of eighty-nine, the same day that another renowned film director, Michelangelo Antonioni
Michelangelo Antonioni
Michelangelo Antonioni, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI was an Italian modernist film director, screenwriter, editor and short story writer.- Personal life :...

, also died. He was buried on the island on 18 August 2007 in a private ceremony. A place in the Fårö churchyard was prepared for him under heavy secrecy. Although he was buried on the island of Fårö, his name and date of birth were inscribed under his wife's name on a tomb at Roslagsbro churchyard, Norrtälje Municipality
Norrtälje Municipality
Norrtälje Municipality is a municipality in Stockholm County in east central Sweden. Its seat is located in the city of Norrtälje....

, several years before his death.

On 6 April 2011, the Bank of Sweden announced that Bergman's portrait will feature on the new 200 kronor
Swedish krona
The krona has been the currency of Sweden since 1873. Both the ISO code "SEK" and currency sign "kr" are in common use; the former precedes or follows the value, the latter usually follows it, but especially in the past, it sometimes preceded the value...

 banknote, beginning in 2014–15.

Family



Bergman was married five times:
  • 25 March 1943 – 1945, to Else Fisher
    Else Fisher
    Else Marie Fisher-Bergman , born in Melbourne, Australia, was a Swedish choreographer, dancer, theatre director and writer...

    , choreographer and dancer (divorced). Children:
    • Lena Bergman
      Lena Bergman
      Lena Bergman is a Swedish social services employee. She is the daughter of Ingmar Bergman and Else Fisher and was born in Stockholm, Sweden. In her youth, she appeared as an extra in three of her father's movies.-Filmography:...

      , actress, born 1943.
  • 22 July 1945 – 1950, to Ellen Lundström, choreographer and film director (divorced). Children:
    • Eva Bergman
      Eva Bergman
      Eva Bergman is a Swedish director of film, theatre and television, who currently works at Dramaten.She is the daughter of fellow Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, and has been married to the crime writer Henning Mankell since 1998.-Filmography:*En Midsommarnattsdröm *Trappen *One Love and the Other...

      , film director, born 1945,
    • Jan Bergman, film director (1946–2000), and
    • twins Mats
      Mats Bergman
      Mats Bergman, is a Swedish actor.He is the son of director Ingmar Bergman and Ellen Bergman, twin brother of actress Anna Bergman, and a half-brother of Swedish-Norwegian author Linn Ullmann.-Biography:...

       and Anna Bergman
      Anna Bergman
      Anna Bergman is a former Swedish actress. She is the daughter of film and theatre director Ingmar Bergman and choreographer-director Ellen Bergman, sister to Eva, Jan and Mats Bergman ; and half-sister to Daniel Bergman and Linn Ullmann.Bergman mostly appeared as a performer in several European...

      , both actors and film directors and born in 1948.
  • 1951 – 1959, to Gun Grut, journalist (divorced). Children:
    • Ingmar Bergman Jr, airline captain, born 1951.
  • 1959 – 1969, to Käbi Laretei
    Käbi Laretei
    Käbi Alma Laretei is an Estonian-born Swedish concert pianist.Her father was a diplomat in the service of the Republic of Estonia; when the Soviet Union invaded the country he and his family fled to Sweden. Laretei has had a long and distinguished career as a pianist and in the 1960s...

    , concert pianist (divorced). Children:
    • Daniel Bergman
      Daniel Bergman
      Daniel Sebastian Bergman , born 7 September 1962, is a Swedish film director. He is the son of Ingmar Bergman and Käbi Laretei. He also directed an episode on the Swedish horror series CHOCK, with Ernst-Hugo Järegård.-Selected filmography:* 1987 - Ägget...

      , film director, born 1962.
  • 11 November 1971 – 20 May 1995, to Ingrid von Rosen
    Ingrid von Rosen
    Ingrid von Rosen was married to Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman. Born Ingrid Karlebo in Stockholm in 1930, she was married to the Swedish count Jan-Carl von Rosen in 1953. In 1971 she married Ingmar Bergman...

     (maiden name Karlebo) (widowed). Children:
    • Maria von Rosen, author, born 1959.


The first four marriages ended in divorce, while the last ended when his wife Ingrid died of stomach cancer
Stomach cancer
Gastric cancer, commonly referred to as stomach cancer, can develop in any part of the stomach and may spread throughout the stomach and to other organs; particularly the esophagus, lungs, lymph nodes, and the liver...

 in 1995, aged 65. Aside from his marriages, Bergman had romantic relationships with actresses Harriet Andersson
Harriet Andersson
Harriet Andersson is a Swedish actress, known outside Sweden for being part of one of director Ingmar Bergman's stock company....

 (1952–55), Bibi Andersson
Bibi Andersson
Bibi Andersson is a Swedish actress.-Early life:Bibi Andersson was born as Berit Elisabeth Andersson in Kungsholmen, Stockholm, the daughter of Karin , a social worker, and Josef Andersson, a businessman...

 (1955–59), and Liv Ullmann
Liv Ullmann
Liv Johanne Ullmann is a Norwegian actress and film director, as well as one of the "muses" of the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman...

 (1965–70). He was the father of writer Linn Ullmann
Linn Ullmann
Linn Ullmann, originally Karin Beate Ullmann, is a Norwegian author and journalist. A prominent literary critic, she also writes a column for Norway's leading morning newspaper and has published four novels....

 with actress Liv Ullmann
Liv Ullmann
Liv Johanne Ullmann is a Norwegian actress and film director, as well as one of the "muses" of the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman...

. In all, Bergman had nine children, one of whom predeceased him. Bergman was eventually married to all of the mothers except Liv Ullmann, but his daughter with his last wife, Ingrid von Rosen, was born twelve years before their marriage.

Influence


Many filmmakers have praised Bergman and cited his work as a major influence on their own:
  • Woody Allen
    Woody Allen
    Woody Allen is an American screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, jazz musician, author, and playwright. Allen's films draw heavily on literature, sexuality, philosophy, psychology, Jewish identity, and the history of cinema...

     referred to Bergman as "probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera."
  • Robert Altman
    Robert Altman
    Robert Bernard Altman was an American film director and screenwriter known for making films that are highly naturalistic, but with a stylized perspective. In 2006, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized his body of work with an Academy Honorary Award.His films MASH , McCabe and...

  • Pedro Almodóvar
    Pedro Almodóvar
    Pedro Almodóvar Caballero is a Spanish film director, screenwriter and producer.Almodóvar is arguably the most successful and internationally known Spanish filmmaker of his generation. His films, marked by complex narratives, employ the codes of melodrama and use elements of pop culture, popular...

  • Olivier Assayas
    Olivier Assayas
    Olivier Assayas is a French film director and screenwriter.He made his debut in 1986, after directing some short films and writing for the influential film magazine Cahiers du cinéma.-Career:...

  • Francis Ford Coppola
    Francis Ford Coppola
    Francis Ford Coppola is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. He is widely acclaimed as one of Hollywood's most innovative and influential film directors...

     stated: "My all-time favorite because he embodies passion, emotion and has warmth"
  • Guillermo del Toro
    Guillermo del Toro
    Guillermo del Toro is a Mexican director, producer, screenwriter, novelist and designer. He is mostly known for his acclaimed films, Blade II, Pan's Labyrinth and the Hellboy film franchise. He is a frequent collaborator with Ron Perlman, Federico Luppi and Doug Jones...

     stated: ‘Bergman as a fabulist – my favorite – is absolutely mesmerizing.’
  • Todd Field
    Todd Field
    William Todd Field, known professionally as Todd Field is an American actor and writer/director. He has received three Academy Award nominations.-Background and personal life:...

     stated: "He was our tunnel man building the aqueducts of our cinematic collective unconscious."
  • Krzysztof Kieślowski
    Krzysztof Kieslowski
    Krzysztof Kieślowski was an Academy Award nominated influential Polish film director and screenwriter, known internationally for The Double Life of Veronique and his film cycles The Decalogue and Three Colors.-Early life:...

     stated: "This man is one of the few film directors—perhaps the only one in the world—to have said as much about human nature as Dostoevsky or Camus."
  • Stanley Kubrick
    Stanley Kubrick
    Stanley Kubrick was an American film director, writer, producer, and photographer who lived in England during most of the last four decades of his career...

     stated: "I believe Ingmar Bergman, Vittorio De Sica and Federico Fellini are the only three filmmakers in the world who are not just artistic opportunists. By this I mean they don't just sit and wait for a good story to come along and then make it. They have a point of view which is expressed over and over and over again in their films, and they themselves write or have original material written for them."
  • Ang Lee
    Ang Lee
    Ang Lee is a Taiwanese film director. Lee has directed a diverse set of films such as Eat Drink Man Woman , Sense and Sensibility , Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon , Hulk , and Brokeback Mountain , for which he won an Academy...

     stated: "For me the filmmaker Bergman is the greatest actor of all..."
  • François Ozon
    François Ozon
    François Ozon is a French film director and screenwriter and whose films are usually characterized by sharp satirical wit and a freewheeling view on human sexuality....

  • Chan-wook Park
  • Eric Rohmer
    Éric Rohmer
    Éric Rohmer was a French film director, film critic, journalist, novelist, screenwriter and teacher. A figure in the post-war New Wave cinema, he was a former editor of Cahiers du cinéma....

     stated: "The Seventh Seal is 'the most beautiful film ever'"
  • Marjane Satrapi
    Marjane Satrapi
    Marjane Satrapi is an Iranian-born French contemporary graphic novelist, illustrator, animated film director, and children's book author...

  • Mamoru Oshii
    Mamoru Oshii
    Mamoru Oshii is a Japanese filmmaker, television director, and writer. Famous for his philosophy-oriented storytelling, Oshii has directed a number of popular anime, including Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer, Ghost in the Shell, and Patlabor 2...

  • Paul Schrader
    Paul Schrader
    Paul Joseph Schrader is an American screenwriter, film director, and former film critic. Apart from his credentials as a director, Schrader is most notably known for his screenplays for Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and Raging Bull....

     stated: "I would not have made any of my films or written scripts such as Taxi Driver had it not been for Ingmar Bergman. What he has left is a legacy greater than any other director. I think the extraordinary thing that Bergman will be remembered for, other than his body of work, was that he probably did more than anyone to make cinema a medium of personal and introspective value."
  • Martin Scorsese
    Martin Scorsese
    Martin Charles Scorsese is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian. In 1990 he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation, and in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation...

     stated: "I guess I'd put it like this: if you were alive in the 50s and the 60s and of a certain age, a teenager on your way to becoming an adult, and you wanted to make films, I don't see how you couldn't be influenced by Bergman. You would have had to make a conscious effort, and even then, the influence would have snuck through."
  • Steven Spielberg
    Steven Spielberg
    Steven Allan Spielberg KBE is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, video game designer, and studio entrepreneur. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg's films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as an...

     stated: "His love for the cinema almost gives me a guilty conscience."
  • Andrei Tarkovsky
    Andrei Tarkovsky
    Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky was a Soviet and Russian filmmaker, writer, film editor, film theorist, theatre and opera director, widely regarded as one of the finest filmmakers of the 20th century....

     Tarkovsky held Bergman in very high regard, noting him and Robert Bresson
    Robert Bresson
    -Life and career:Bresson was born at Bromont-Lamothe, Puy-de-Dôme, the son of Marie-Élisabeth and Léon Bresson. Little is known of his early life and the year of his birth, 1901 or 1907, varies depending on the source. He was educated at Lycée Lakanal in Sceaux, Hauts-de-Seine, close to Paris, and...

     as his two favourite filmmakers, stating "I am only interested in the views of two people: one is called Bresson and one called Bergman". Such was Bergman's influence, Tarkovsky's last film was made in Sweden with Sven Nykvist
    Sven Nykvist
    Sven Vilhem Nykvist was a Swedish cinematographer. He worked on over 120 films, but is known especially for his work with director Ingmar Bergman...

    , Bergman's longtime cinematographer, and several of Bergman's favoured actors including Erland Josephson
    Erland Josephson
    Erland Josephson is a Swedish actor and author. He is best known to international audiences for his work in films directed by Ingmar Bergman, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Theodoros Angelopoulos.-Biography:...

    . Bergman likewise had great respect for Tarkovsky, stating; "Tarkovsky for me is the greatest director"
  • André Téchiné
    André Téchiné
    André Téchiné , is a French screenwriter and film director. He has had a long and distinguished career that places him among the best post-New Wave French film directors....

  • Liv Ullmann
    Liv Ullmann
    Liv Johanne Ullmann is a Norwegian actress and film director, as well as one of the "muses" of the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman...


Academy Awards


In 1971, Bergman received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award at the Academy Awards
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

 ceremony. Three of his films won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The list of his nominations and awards follows:
  • Won: Best Foreign Film The Virgin Spring
    The Virgin Spring
    The Virgin Spring is a 1960 Swedish drama film directed by Ingmar Bergman. Set in medieval Sweden, it is a revenge tale about a father's merciless response to the rape and murder of his young daughter. The story was adapted by screenwriter Ulla Isaksson from a 13th century Swedish ballad, "Töres...

     (Jungfrukällan) (1960)
  • Won: Best Foreign Film Through a Glass Darkly
    Through a Glass Darkly (film)
    Through a Glass Darkly is a 1961 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman, and produced by Allan Ekelund. The film is a three-act "chamber film", in which four family members act as mirrors for each other. It is the first of many Bergman films to be shot on the island of Fårö...

     (Såsom i en spegel) (1961)
  • Won: Best Foreign Film Fanny and Alexander
    Fanny and Alexander
    Fanny and Alexander is a 1982 Swedish fantasy drama film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. It was originally conceived as a four-part TV movie and cut in that version, spanning 312 minutes. A 188-minute version was created later for cinematic release, although this version was in fact the...

     (Fanny och Alexander) (1983)
  • Nominated: Best Original Screenplay, Wild Strawberries
    Wild Strawberries (film)
    Wild Strawberries is a 1957 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman, about an old man recalling his past. The original Swedish title is Smultronstället, which literally means "the wild strawberry patch", but idiomatically means an underrated gem of a place...

     (Smultronstället) (1957)
  • Nominated: Best Original Screenplay Through a Glass Darkly
    Through a Glass Darkly (film)
    Through a Glass Darkly is a 1961 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman, and produced by Allan Ekelund. The film is a three-act "chamber film", in which four family members act as mirrors for each other. It is the first of many Bergman films to be shot on the island of Fårö...

     (1961)
  • Nominated: Best Original Screenplay, Cries and Whispers
    Cries and Whispers
    Cries and Whispers is a 1972 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Harriet Andersson, Kari Sylwan, Ingrid Thulin and Liv Ullmann. The film is set on a mansion at the end of the 19th century and is about two sisters who watch over their third sister on her deathbed, torn...

     (Viskningar och rop) (1974)
  • Nominated: Best Picture, Cries and Whispers
    Cries and Whispers
    Cries and Whispers is a 1972 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Harriet Andersson, Kari Sylwan, Ingrid Thulin and Liv Ullmann. The film is set on a mansion at the end of the 19th century and is about two sisters who watch over their third sister on her deathbed, torn...

     (Viskningar och rop) (1974)
  • Nominated: Best Director, Cries and Whispers
    Cries and Whispers
    Cries and Whispers is a 1972 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Harriet Andersson, Kari Sylwan, Ingrid Thulin and Liv Ullmann. The film is set on a mansion at the end of the 19th century and is about two sisters who watch over their third sister on her deathbed, torn...

     (Viskningar och rop) (1974)
  • Nominated: Best Director, Face to Face
    Face to Face (1976 film)
    Face to Face is a 1976 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. It tells the story of a psychiatrist who is suffering from a mental illness. It stars Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson. The film was screened at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival, but was not entered into the main competition...

     (Ansikte mot ansikte) (1977)
  • Nominated: Best Original Screenplay, Autumn Sonata
    Autumn Sonata
    Autumn Sonata is a 1978 Swedish drama film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. The film stars Ingrid Bergman, Liv Ullmann and Lena Nyman. It tells the story of a celebrated classical pianist who is confronted by her neglected daughter...

     (Höstsonaten) (1979)
  • Nominated: Best Original Screenplay, Fanny and Alexander
    Fanny and Alexander
    Fanny and Alexander is a 1982 Swedish fantasy drama film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. It was originally conceived as a four-part TV movie and cut in that version, spanning 312 minutes. A 188-minute version was created later for cinematic release, although this version was in fact the...

     (Fanny och Alexander) (1983)
  • Nominated: Best Director, Fanny and Alexander
    Fanny and Alexander
    Fanny and Alexander is a 1982 Swedish fantasy drama film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. It was originally conceived as a four-part TV movie and cut in that version, spanning 312 minutes. A 188-minute version was created later for cinematic release, although this version was in fact the...

     (Fanny och Alexander) (1983)

BAFTA Awards

  • Nominated: Best Film from any Source, The Magician
    The Magician (1958 film)
    The Magician is a 1958 film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. Its original Swedish title is Ansiktet, which means "the face", and it was released theatrically as The Face in the United Kingdom, although video releases have used the U.S. title.The film stars Max von Sydow as a traveling...

     (Ansiktet) (1960)
  • Nominated: Best Foreign Film, Fanny and Alexander
    Fanny and Alexander
    Fanny and Alexander is a 1982 Swedish fantasy drama film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. It was originally conceived as a four-part TV movie and cut in that version, spanning 312 minutes. A 188-minute version was created later for cinematic release, although this version was in fact the...

     (Fanny och Alexander) (1984)

Berlin Film Festival

  • Won: Golden Bear
    Golden Bear
    According to legend, the Golden Bear was a large golden Ursus arctos. Members of the Ursus arctos species can reach masses of . The Grizzly Bear and the Kodiak Bear are North American subspecies of the Brown Bear....

     for Best Film, Wild Strawberries
    Wild Strawberries (film)
    Wild Strawberries is a 1957 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman, about an old man recalling his past. The original Swedish title is Smultronstället, which literally means "the wild strawberry patch", but idiomatically means an underrated gem of a place...

     (Smultronstället) (1957)
  • Nominated: Golden Bear for Best Film, Through a Glass Darkly
    Through a Glass Darkly (film)
    Through a Glass Darkly is a 1961 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman, and produced by Allan Ekelund. The film is a three-act "chamber film", in which four family members act as mirrors for each other. It is the first of many Bergman films to be shot on the island of Fårö...

     (Såsom i en spegel) (1961)
  • Won: OCIC Prize, Through a Glass Darkly
    Through a Glass Darkly (film)
    Through a Glass Darkly is a 1961 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman, and produced by Allan Ekelund. The film is a three-act "chamber film", in which four family members act as mirrors for each other. It is the first of many Bergman films to be shot on the island of Fårö...

     (1961)

Cesar Awards

  • Nominated: Best Foreign Film, The Magic Flute
    The Magic Flute (1975 film)
    The Magic Flute is Ingmar Bergman's 1975 film version of Mozart's opera Die Zauberflöte. It was intended as a television production and was first shown on Swedish television but was followed by a cinema release later that year. The film was shown at the 1975 Cannes Film Festival, but was not...

     (Trollflöjten) (1976)
  • Nominated: Best Foreign Film, Autumn Sonata
    Autumn Sonata
    Autumn Sonata is a 1978 Swedish drama film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. The film stars Ingrid Bergman, Liv Ullmann and Lena Nyman. It tells the story of a celebrated classical pianist who is confronted by her neglected daughter...

     (Höstsonaten) (1979)
  • Won: Best Foreign Film, Fanny and Alexander
    Fanny and Alexander
    Fanny and Alexander is a 1982 Swedish fantasy drama film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. It was originally conceived as a four-part TV movie and cut in that version, spanning 312 minutes. A 188-minute version was created later for cinematic release, although this version was in fact the...

     (Fanny och Alexander) (1984)
  • Nominated: Best European Film, Saraband
    Saraband
    Saraband is a 2003 Swedish drama film directed by Ingmar Bergman, and his last theatrically released work. The film is a sequel to Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage , bringing back to the screen the characters of Johan and Marianne...

     (2005)

Cannes Film Festival

  • Won: Best Poetic Humor Smiles of a Summer Night
    Smiles of a Summer Night
    Smiles of a Summer Night a.k.a. Smiles on a Summer Night is a 1955 Swedish comedy film directed by Ingmar Bergman. It was the first of Bergman's films to bring the director international success, due to its exposure at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival...

     (Sommarnattens leende) (1955)
  • Nominated: Golden Palm Smiles of a Summer Night
    Smiles of a Summer Night
    Smiles of a Summer Night a.k.a. Smiles on a Summer Night is a 1955 Swedish comedy film directed by Ingmar Bergman. It was the first of Bergman's films to bring the director international success, due to its exposure at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival...

     (Sommarnattens leende) (1955)
  • Won: Jury Special prize The Seventh Seal
    The Seventh Seal
    The Seventh Seal is a 1957 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. Set during the Black Death, it tells of the journey of a medieval knight and a game of chess he plays with the personification of Death , who has come to take his life. Bergman developed the film from his own play...

     (Det Sjunde inseglet) (1957)
  • Nominated: Golden Palm The Seventh Seal
    The Seventh Seal
    The Seventh Seal is a 1957 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. Set during the Black Death, it tells of the journey of a medieval knight and a game of chess he plays with the personification of Death , who has come to take his life. Bergman developed the film from his own play...

     (Det Sjunde inseglet) (1957)
  • Won: Best Director Brink of Life
    Brink of Life
    Brink of Life, is a 1958 Swedish film directed by Ingmar Bergman. Bergman won the Best Director Award and Anderson, Dahlbeck, Ornäs and Thulin won the Best Actress Award at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival.-Cast:* Eva Dahlbeck as Stina Andersson...

     (Nära livet) (1958)
  • Nominated: Golden Palm Brink of Life
    Brink of Life
    Brink of Life, is a 1958 Swedish film directed by Ingmar Bergman. Bergman won the Best Director Award and Anderson, Dahlbeck, Ornäs and Thulin won the Best Actress Award at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival.-Cast:* Eva Dahlbeck as Stina Andersson...

     (Nära livet) (1958)
  • Won: Special Mention The Virgin Spring
    The Virgin Spring
    The Virgin Spring is a 1960 Swedish drama film directed by Ingmar Bergman. Set in medieval Sweden, it is a revenge tale about a father's merciless response to the rape and murder of his young daughter. The story was adapted by screenwriter Ulla Isaksson from a 13th century Swedish ballad, "Töres...

     (Jungfrukällan) (1960)
  • Nominated: Golden Palm The Virgin Spring
    The Virgin Spring
    The Virgin Spring is a 1960 Swedish drama film directed by Ingmar Bergman. Set in medieval Sweden, it is a revenge tale about a father's merciless response to the rape and murder of his young daughter. The story was adapted by screenwriter Ulla Isaksson from a 13th century Swedish ballad, "Töres...

     (Jungfrukällan) (1960)
  • Won: Technical Grand Prize Cries and Whispers
    Cries and Whispers
    Cries and Whispers is a 1972 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Harriet Andersson, Kari Sylwan, Ingrid Thulin and Liv Ullmann. The film is set on a mansion at the end of the 19th century and is about two sisters who watch over their third sister on her deathbed, torn...

     (Viskningar och rop) (1972)
  • Won: Palm of Palms (1997)
  • Won: Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (1998) (Special award for his whole works.)

Golden Globe Awards

  • Won: Best Foreign Film Wild Strawberries
    Wild Strawberries (film)
    Wild Strawberries is a 1957 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman, about an old man recalling his past. The original Swedish title is Smultronstället, which literally means "the wild strawberry patch", but idiomatically means an underrated gem of a place...

     (Smultronstället) (1960)
  • Won: Best Foreign Film The Virgin Spring
    The Virgin Spring
    The Virgin Spring is a 1960 Swedish drama film directed by Ingmar Bergman. Set in medieval Sweden, it is a revenge tale about a father's merciless response to the rape and murder of his young daughter. The story was adapted by screenwriter Ulla Isaksson from a 13th century Swedish ballad, "Töres...

     (1961)
  • Won: Best Foreign Film Scenes from a Marriage
    Scenes from a Marriage
    Scenes from a Marriage is a 1973 Swedish TV series written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. The story explores the disintegration of a marriage between Marianne, a lawyer, and Johan, a professor over a long period, using a restricted cast, a naturalist, hyper-realistic cinematic...

     (1975)
  • Won: Best Foreign Film Face to Face
    Face to Face (1976 film)
    Face to Face is a 1976 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. It tells the story of a psychiatrist who is suffering from a mental illness. It stars Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson. The film was screened at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival, but was not entered into the main competition...

     (1976)
  • Won: Best Foreign Film Autumn Sonata
    Autumn Sonata
    Autumn Sonata is a 1978 Swedish drama film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. The film stars Ingrid Bergman, Liv Ullmann and Lena Nyman. It tells the story of a celebrated classical pianist who is confronted by her neglected daughter...

     (1978)
  • Won: Best Foreign Film Fanny and Alexander
    Fanny and Alexander
    Fanny and Alexander is a 1982 Swedish fantasy drama film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. It was originally conceived as a four-part TV movie and cut in that version, spanning 312 minutes. A 188-minute version was created later for cinematic release, although this version was in fact the...

      (1984)

  • Nominated: Best Foreign Film Shame  (1968)
  • Nominated: Best Foreign Film Cries and Whispers
    Cries and Whispers
    Cries and Whispers is a 1972 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Harriet Andersson, Kari Sylwan, Ingrid Thulin and Liv Ullmann. The film is set on a mansion at the end of the 19th century and is about two sisters who watch over their third sister on her deathbed, torn...

      (1973)

Other Awards and honors

  • Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. The Academy’s elected members are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs.James Bowdoin, John Adams, and...

     (1961)
  • The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize
    The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize
    The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize or Gish Prize is given annually to “a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life.” It is one of the richest prizes in the American arts, for example the 2010 winner received...

     (1995)

External links





Bibliographies