Ingmar Bergman: A Critical Biography

Ingmar Bergman: A Critical Biography

Peter Cowie

Language: English

Pages: 397

ISBN: 0684177714

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Book by Cowie, Peter

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bear the baby that he rejects. Thanks to the striking personality of Ingrid Thulin, Marianne becomes more than just a foil for Isak. It was her first part in a Bergman film, although she had featured in some of his Malmö stage productions. They pause en route, at the summer villa where Isak used to spend his summer holidays. The old man sinks down beside the familiar strawberry patch as though at an altar. Lulled by his recollections and the pleasant morning weather, he dozes off, drifting into

and Bergman recounted his feelings one rain-swept morning when he and the crew were preparing an elaborate tracking shot through the forest. Just twenty-two people were present. The facilities were rather primitive, and complex technical rehearsals were required. Suddenly a break appeared in the clouds, the sun shone, and Bergman elected to shoot. Then a colleague cried out and pointed upwards. Two majestic cranes soared above the pine trees. “We dropped what we were doing and raced up to the

farmer says, “It’s better to have few friends than too many.” For once, Bergman did not make a film during the summer months. Liv Ullmann, his favourite actress of the period, was shooting The Emigrants on location in the United States. But in the winter of 1969-1970, Bergman decided to produce Strindberg’s A Dream Play, which he had already directed for Swedish television in 1963. He presented the play in ascetic terms, with spartan décor and the mood of a chamber work. It opened in March 1970,

pushes.” (4) Face to Face, however, remains a lachrymose, effusive film, and its symbolism (a baleful, blind old lady who represents Death as surely as the haggard aunt in Summer Interlude) sits uncomfortably with the contemporary nature of its setting – the party with its gays – and the naturalism of the rape scene, or the visit to the concert (where Käbi Laretei is glimpsed playing some Mozart). When Liv Ullmann asked Bergman if audiences would like the film, he replied, “Regard it as a

people who really believes in his intuition.” (11) Bergman himself told an interviewer thirty years ago: “My impulse has nothing to do with intellect or symbolism; it has only to do with dreams and longing, with hope and desire, with passion.” (12). Bergman has his detractors. His rigid, some would say inflexible, view of the world leads to a certain repetition of themes, doubts, and aspirations. The unremitting obsession with death and betrayal, belief and disillusionment, produced in the

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