Monday, July 30, 2007

RIP Ingmar Bergman

JA here - I'm sure Nat would want to say something on the death of Ingmar Bergman if he were here, or at least give y'all a chance to say what he meant to you in the comments.

Myself, I just started really appreciating Bergman over the past couple years or so (thanks to Netflix and the mini-festivals one can schedule one's self); I haven't even come close to seeing even half of the films by him, but what I have seen so far has been astonishing. Cries and Whispers, Fanny & Alexander, The Virgin Spring, Persona... all films that couldn't have been made by anyone else and that deeply enriched not only my own love of cinema and what it can accomplish, but the very language and possibility of film itself.

Below is a brief clip from Persona, which is my favorite Bergman film so far, probably because Bergman understood that the greatest terrain he could ever point his camera at and study was the face of Liv Ullman:



What's your favorite Bergman film? Or even just a moment - I, being a horror buff, have often thought that the puppetry scene in Fanny & Alexander is one of the scariest moments ever filmed.

32 comments:

Mikadzuki said...

Today is truly a sad day for cinema.

Vila i frid, Ingmar.

Anonymous said...

Wild Strawberries.

Cinema, cinema, cinema: great writing + beautifully shot images.

Marcelo - Brazil.

mikadzuki said...

Oh right.

My favorite Bergman is Fanny and Alexander (which also happens to be my all-time favorite film). Amazing imagery, writing and acting.

John T said...

While The Seventh Seal is my favorite, Wild Strawberries holds a special place in my heart as it was my first introduction to Bergman, and the only one of his films I managed to see in theatres (thank god for retrospectives). Professor Bjorg's dream sequence alone had me hooked on Bergman forever.

Beau said...

I read this five minutes ago, and gasped out loud here in this internet cafe.

I've never known what it was like to hear about the passing of a celebrity and feel true remorse and sadness knowing they're no longer among the living. Today, I do.

I just started crying about Ingmar Bergman having passed on.

J.J. said...

Autumn Sonata. (My thoughts on it are here.

(Regarding Fanny and Alexander: Bergman played with puppets when he was young. It was his first step toward directing.)

Luke said...

So sad.

Favourite film - definitely Fanny and Alexander, although choosing the best is almost unfair to the rest of his amazing masterpieces.

Favourite moment therein - "You won't get rid of me that easily!" Chilling counterpoint to an almost happy ending.

Rest in Peace, Master. You will be missed.

norbizness said...

Seconding Wild Strawberries, with Persona and The Seventh Seal right behind. In terms of pure bleakness, The Virgin Spring is the picture.

Nick Davis said...

Persona for me, with Shame, Cries and Whispers, The Seventh Seal, and Fanny & Alexander following not far behind. Can you imagine having your fourth best picture be as magnificent as any of these, or any of the others everyone has named? The Virgin Spring is probably my tenth or twelfth favorite Bergman, and I love it.

My intro to world cinema came in the form of a report I gave on Ingmar Bergman in the 10th grade, where I learned (badly) two or three phrases in Swedish and can't even imagine what I felt I had to tell everyone in my class. He's a huge figure for me in terms of enticing me toward the cinema, and even though the stingiest things get written about him these days (why does the Bergman vs. Godard thing never die, and why does he lose all the time?), I'll always defend him as one of the preeminent masters.

NATHANIEL R said...

i've been woefully remiss in completing my education about Bergman but my two favorites are Persona (when i finish watching it i can only ever mutter 'clearly one of the 10 f***est greatest movies ever made' but sometimes i love cries and whispers more because it was my first. and you know how firsts are: you never forget them.

this is the first i'm hearing of it since i've been traveling today. so sad....

Kamila said...

Yes, this is a very sad day for cinema. One of the greatest directors is not with us anymore. However, cinema is an immortal art. Bergman will survive through his work. And, as long as we keep watching his movies, he will be with us.

Rest in peace, Mr. Bergman.

Nick Davis said...

(How did I forget Smiles of a Summer Night?? Bergman's made so many amazing movies that it's impossible for me to call them all to mind, even when I'm trying...)

Curtis said...

I didn't know he died!! The Film Experience is a downer, lol.
I have been obsessed with Bergman since I rented "Persona" two years ago and although that film was my gateway drug, "Cries and Whispers" is my favorite.

Arkaan said...

Favourite Bergman? "Fanny and Alexander"

It's just a beautiful summation of his career, and is one of the richest films ever made. And I think that's how I'd describe his films - rich. There's just so much in them.

Man, this news is depressing

don from manila said...

Wild Strawberries. Can't shake that one. The flashbacks are ethereal, making a number of filmmakers pay homage to that distinct Bergman touch.

lylee said...

Glad to see so many votes for "Wild Strawberries," to which I'll add mine...Those dream and flashback sequences used to creep me out as a kid, but now all I remember is how damned beautiful it was. In the end, it's a gentler film in many ways than many of his others, but all the more effective for that.

Matt said...

Wild Strawberries
(my favorite movie. period.)

Persona, Cries & Whispers, 7th Seal, F&A, Shame way up on the list as well.

Thanks all for remembering.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Favourite is Persona (also my first Bergman experience), but I have had so many of his films lurking around my DVD queue for way too long. Time to bump them up I reckon.

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

Awful news - but really, nobody who's made Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, Persona, Cries and Whispers, Scenes from a Marriage, Fanny and Alexander etc. etc. could ever really die.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Now, he's being joined on the beach of The Seventh Seal with Michelangelo Antonioni. With these two, Michel Serrault and Ulrich Mure, the European cinema legends are passing at an alarming rate. What's the bet they get someone like Denueve or Ullman to give them a special honourary thing at the Oscars before the In Memorium.

Who's next? Because death always comes in threes.

Milena said...

Antonioni also died yesterday :(

Anonymous said...

For anyone who hasn't read it yet, check out Ebert's tribute to him. It's on his website www.rogerebert.com right now. It hit me so hard. I very rarely am moved to tears by something I read, but it did it. Seek it out if you have the time.

Vancio said...

RIP; Ingmar and Michelangelo.
MY favourite Bergman movie is Cries and Whispers, while my fav Antonioni film is L'Avventura.

Jimmy said...

Really sorry about this gang - but his movies (aka "films") were real yawners.

Sid said...

My favorite is Cries and Whispers -- but again, probably because that was my introduction to Bergman's cinema. But seriously -- his resume is unbeatable.

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

Antonioni died too?! That's just as awful. I don't adore him like I do Bergman (partly since I haven't seen enough of his films) but he was also a revolutionary and a wise man


also - re: "his movies (aka "films") were real yawners"

you know what? you're like so right. Let's talk what dress Sally Field's gonna wear to the Emmys! I say beige!

aff said...

My favorite filmmaker. I'm so saddened by his passing. It's nearly impossible for me to choose my favorite Bergman film...maybe Persona...or Cries and Whispers or Fanny and Alexander or Winter Light or Shame or Scenes from a Marriage...

Jimmy said...

Y Kant - Don't be a hatin'....but, I'd much rather see "Norma Rae," or for that matter, "Smokey & the Bandit" over "Fanny & Alexander." No big deal. Re: Sally / beige @ the Emmys. I doubt it. She did a cute little white Bob Mackie suit for Oscar #1....followed up by a you-really-like-me black number for Oscar #2.

steve said...

My favorites are The Seventh Seal, Autumn Sonata, Cries & Whispers, and Fanny and Alexander. Tons of excellent stuff, though.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Thanks for that completely inappropriate moment there Jimmy.

RC said...

i love wild strawberries.

Anonymous said...

Cries & Whispers, The passion of Anna, Virgin Spring, All all al of them. Not a single one dissapoints. I don't think I would see the world like I see it know if it wasn't for him. He's the father no only of cinema but of deep understanding.