Category: ingmar bergman



Ingmar Bergman and Liv Ullmann on the set of Cries and Whispers, photographed by Bo-Erik Gyberg, 1972.

ozu-teapot: Fanny och Alexander (Fanny and Ale…


Fanny och Alexander (Fanny and Alexander) | Ingmar Bergman | 1982

The Fifth Act: Demons

Gunn Wållgren, Bertil Guve

filmstruck: A Glimpse Into the Bergman Archive…


A Glimpse Into the Bergman Archives by Pablo Kjolseth

Taschen books are known for their “enormous formats that would crush most coffee tables to splinters,” as Rebecca Mead points out in a New Yorker article on another printer (Gerhard Steidl). For film geeks such as myself, Taschen’s enormous format is a plus as it mimics the joys of the big screen, albeit in book form. My first Taschen book was The Stanley Kubrick Archives and it’s full of revealing interviews, blueprints for set designs, screenplays, essays and interesting ephemera.  Taschen now has a new book out called The Ingmar Bergman Archives, and given how FilmStruck has 45 (!) Bergman titles currently available to view, I thought I’d delve into some Taschen excerpts on five titles that overlap with Max von Sydow.


Commenting on the machinations of working with a film studio, Bergman swings around to focus on his aesthetics regarding camerawork with actors. Reading this excerpt brings to mind the iconic way Death (Bengt Ekerot) and The Knight (von Sydow) are framed by the seaside as they play their famous game of chess: “There are many directors who forget that our work in films begins with the human face. We certainly can become completely absorbed in the aesthetics of montage; we can bring together objects and still life into a wonderful rhythm; we can make nature studies of astounding beauty; but the approach to the human face is without doubt the distinguishing quality of the film.”


This story takes place in the mid-1800s and involves Albert Emanuel Vogler (Max von Sydow), a mesmerist and magician who is traveling to Stockholm with his troupe only to be placed under house arrest. Erland Josephson, who played the Consul Abraham Egerman, had this to say about the film: “In THE FACE, Ingmar (through von Sydow) was the magician and I was the representative of society scrutinizing people.” Bergman had this to add: “Unfortunately, it’s not so funny as I intended it to be. The actor who was the big comic role was so drunk all the time he couldn’t remember his lines or what he had to do. So about a third of his part had to be cut, which meant that the film lost its balance and became too serious.”


With THE VIRGIN SPRING Bergman won the first of his Academy Awards in 1961 and later provided Wes Craven with inspiration for his gritty thriller LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (’72). When Bergman was done filming THE VIRGIN SPRING, he felt good about himself. “I thought I’d made one of my best films. I was delighted, shaken. I enjoyed showing it to all sorts of people.” But he would later belittle THE VIRGIN SPRING as “an aberration” and “a lousy imitation of (Akira) Kurosawa.” His biggest grudge was feeling he’d allowed the film to be too sentimental.


Karin (Harriet Andersson) is trying to recover from mental illness on a Baltic island. Along for the ride is her husband (von Sydow), young brother (Lars Passgård) and father (Gunnar Björnstrand). In a section titled “Invisible Shadows,” cinematographer Sven Nykvist had this to say: “Ingmar’s films radically changed in character, starting with THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY. To have been present throughout this process has been one of my most important experiences as a photographer. There is no doubt that working with Ingmar was an eye-opener, but I dare say that he in me found a tool and a twin soul, someone who thought about things the same way as he did. After completing the film, we both felt that we had to continue to work together.”


The following message by Bergman was read on February 10th, 1963, at “a fundraising show in Falun for the benefit of Skattunge church” and the day before the films official premiere: “I once had a dream, or a vision, and I imagined that dream to be of importance to other people, so I wrote the manuscript and made the film. But it is not until the moment when my dream meets with your emotions and your minds that my shadows come to life.”

undiaungato: Chatting with Death on the set …


Chatting with Death on the set of The seventh seal (1957)

via The Criterion Collection

ozu-teapot: Såsom i en spegel (AKA Through A G…


Såsom i en spegel (AKA Through A Glass Darkly) | Ingmar Bergman | 1961

Lars Passgård, Harriet Andersson



Harriet Andersson in Through a Glass Darkly (1961)

nostalgic-solitude7: The Seventh Seal (Ingmar …


The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)

ozu-teapot: Persona | Ingmar Bergman | 1966 L…


Persona | Ingmar Bergman | 1966

Liv Ullmann

ozu-teapot: Viskningar och Rop (Cries And Whis…


Viskningar och Rop (Cries And Whispers) | Ingmar Bergman | 1972

Liv Ullmann, Ingrid Thulin

ozu-teapot: July 2018 / The month in teapots /…


July 2018 / The month in teapots / Bergman Fest Special Edition:

  • Det regnar på vår kärlek (It Rains on Our Love) | Ingmar Bergman | 1946
  • En Passion (A Passion) | Ingmar Bergman | 1969
  • Tystnaden (The Silence) | Ingmar Bergman | 1963
  • Hamnstad (AKA Port Of Call) | Ingmar Bergman | 1948
  • En lektion i kärlek (A Lesson in Love) | Ingmar Bergman | 1954
  • Fanny och Alexander (Fanny and Alexander) | The Fifth Act: Demons | Ingmar Bergman | 1984 
  • Sommaren med Monika (Summer with Monika) | Ingmar Bergman | 1953
  • Sommarlek (Summer Interlude) | Ingmar Bergman | 1951
  • The Touch (Beröringen) | Ingmar Bergman | 1971