Submit Your
2000s
List
The deadline for the Top Films of the 2000s list is TODAY! Submit your ballot now, or read about it here

Ingmar Bergman

Tools    





Hour of the wolf was creepy as all hell, the puppeteering scene was so passive yet so intense.
And when he was having sex with his wife and everyone surrounding him laughing, ya that was f**ked up


BTW Hitchfan
Did you watch the theatrical or TV version of Fanny & Alexander. If anyone's seen both which would you reccomend?
__________________
Yeah, there's no body mutilation in it



Freaky stuff. I often wonder what went on in the mind of Ingmar Bergman
__________________
"Puns are the highest form of literature." -Alfred Hitchcock



The Passion of Anna (1969)



My pick for Bergman's most underrated movie, The Passion of Anna is the story of a doomed relationship between two people, played by Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann, on a barren Swedish island. As usual with Bergman, the frigid setting matches the emotionally desolate people within it. Von Sydow has just ended his marriage and Ullmann is coping with the deaths of her husband and son. What ensues is one of Bergman's most intense and violent dramas.

Yet The Passion of Anna is made in a way that feels unlike any other Bergman film. In one scene, the screen is bathed in beautiful bright orange, a stylistic flair highly uncharacteristic of the Swedish master. Like Persona and Hour of the Wolf, it's a highly experimental film, especially unique for the way the story occasionally breaks away to interviews with the actors in-between scenes. Surely one of Bergman's most captivating and compelling portraits of isolation, The Passion of Anna speaks with unflinching honesty about our inability to rid ourselves of the past and its ghosts.






BTW Hitchfan
Did you watch the theatrical or TV version of Fanny & Alexander. If anyone's seen both which would you reccomend?
I saw the theatrical version, and even based on that I think it's his greatest achievement. I should be getting the Criterion boxset for Christmas, so I'll definitely watch the TV version when I get the chance (which I hear is even better).



Passion of Anna is very unique in interviewing actors during the film conducting character studies, and using scenes from his past movies in dreams. I just found the story bland and it looked awkward in color. I'd give it
+



Cries and Whispers (1972)



To give you an idea of my admiration for this masterpiece, I'll begin by saying that Cries and Whispers is far and away the most devastating and emotionally jarring film I have ever seen. Bergman never cut deeper than he does here; this is the screen's supreme master of human emotions descending into a hellish pit of hatred, pain and anguish.

In turn-of-the-19th-century Sweden, two women visit their dying sister and her maid, who is the only person in the film shown to be genuinely caring for the cancer-stricken woman. The two sisters, played by Liv Ullmann and Ingrid Thulin in two of their very best performances, are cruel and emotionally detached, as shown by their nightmarish relationships with their husbands and each other.

Much has been said already about the symbolism of the deep red colors that the film is drenched in, so I won't waste words there. It's no exaggeration to say Cries and Whispers is Bergman's most painful film, but it's also the director's final statement on two of his pre-eminent themes: death and religion. The former is seen often in Bergman's work, but never as brutally as it is here. The latter can be seen in the unwavering faith of Anna, the maid, who as I mentioned is the only person willing to care for the dying sister. What I think Bergman is saying is, despite his own lack of faith, it's better to live with faith if it lets you live with love; perhaps he even envies Anna.

What truly confirms Cries and Whispers as a masterpiece is its ending. Without spoiling anything for those who have not seen the film, it is incredibly life-affirming, and perfectly shows why Bergman was the ultimate humanist filmmaker. What we are left with is not a depressing movie, but rather an unforgettable and flawless work by a true master of both the cinema and human emotions.



I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this one if you've seen it- it's one of my absolute favorites.




Watching Agnes lie in bed twisting her body in anguish like some demon-possessed victim as the disease slowly devours her flesh and soul is a life-changing experience to say the least.



The performance of Angus was the most real acting I've ever seen. Everytime she moaned in pain all my nerves clenche together, most intense and painful scene I've experienced

I read a user review on Rottentomatoes saying the acting was exaggerated, they were all puppets of Bergman he was playing with, and that Bergman over did his own techniques. I couldn't disagree more. I think after Persona it's his best film, and probably the strongest.

The color red was so dominant, that you could feel agony and evil all around. Very intresting characters and just an all round fascinating film



Scenes From a Marriage (1973)



Having at last rid himself of his demons with Cries and Whispers, Bergman would move away from his usual existential themes to focus on human love and the institution of marriage. To me, Scenes From a Marriage might just be the screen's quintessential love story; I can think of no other film whose portrayal of romance is more heartbreakingly true and realistic.

A lesser director might take voyeuristic glee in the film's premise. After all, we are essentially watching the ugly and melodramatic decay of a marriage. Yet the minimalism of the film prevents any such thing occurring. This is not an entertaining film, but given the subject matter, why should it be? It is nearly three hours long (or five, if you watch the television version, which I have not seen) and features just two principal characters aside from a few others who appear on screen briefly. And the intense close-ups Bergman employs further implicate the audience in what is happening; this is real, and it is painful.

Yet what I love most about Scenes From a Marriage is not its stark and documentary-like realism, but rather the beauty of the relationship between the couple, Johan and Marianne. They hurt each other many times during this film, and yet they always return to each other and reunite with warm love and affection. You get a very strong sense of the love between these two. They can't live with or without each other. That Bergman was able to recognize this speaks to his wisdom regarding interpersonal relationships; it's something which did not fail to move me.






Before today I had admittedly never seen an Ingmar Bergman film, so I decided to finally get a few of his more popular titles ready to watch and decided to start by watching what many regard his greatest film: Persona. I'll be posting my first thoughts about the director and his work in this thread and will possibly do some full reviews other in my review thread soon.

Persona (1966, Bergman)



I was not really sure what I was going to get with this (to me) new director and new film, and I don't think that the first 10 minutes of work, the opening scene of any other film has had such a memorable impact as this one. We see a bizarre array of ultra violent and strange images such as a penis, a lamb being slaughtered, a tarantula and a nail going through a hand, all these flashing at our eyes as well as the face of a young boy with haunting music playing over in the background.

What follows is equally as memorable and haunting, a truly enthralling film experience which is received with mixed emotions as we witness the minimalistic (and artistic) tale of two women as one, a nurse, is appointed with the task of tending to a now mute actress.

At the film's end I felt similar to how I did having watched Mulholland Drive. I've watched a few interviews with David Lynch following viewing a couple of his films and he talks about how a linear story of a film is not important, films are films. I've also read a bit about Bergman, preparing myself for his films, wikipedia says 'His major subjects were death, illness, faith, betrayal, and insanity.' and it's clear that Persona is not so much a narrative tale but instead a clearly experimental film that is used as a platform to convoy something other than a simple straightforward tale, images, themes, ideas and greater meanings that Bergman wants to display.

Like I have already said, watching Persona was a fantastic experience. It's memorable, haunting, unforgettable, enthralling and at times very disturbing, it's impossible to put a single word on the mixture of emotions and thoughts you'll have once you've seen it.

Rating:


Next Viewings: Wild Strawberries, Cries and Whispers
__________________



Glad you loved it! It certainly worked better for you as an intro to Bergman than it did for me; I was turned off from the director for nearly a year before I finally revisited it. Hope you enjoy Wild Strawberries and Cries and Whispers as well, they're two of my favorites.

As for the Lynch comparisons, the influence is definitely there. Persona and Mulholland Drive make a great triple feature with Robert Altman's 3 Women, another great surreal movie about female identity crisis and psychological conflict.



Great to see you enjoyed it so much. It's crowned my favorite movie, so it's always great to see it get the max rating. As you said it was definenently a thrilling movie that had me in goosebumps. When it was done I just felt like listening to listening to some upbeat movie while laying there thinking about life. Even Lynches Eraserhead which I adore deeply, didn't have that feeling on me. Definently a similar one though.

As far as Wild Strawberries and Cries and Whispers those are my next favorite Bergmans. They're both more towards the emotional side though. Were very depressing



Great to see you enjoyed it so much. It's crowned my favorite movie, so it's always great to see it get the max rating. As you said it was definenently a thrilling movie that had me in goosebumps. When it was done I just felt like listening to listening to some upbeat movie while laying there thinking about life. Even Lynches Eraserhead which I adore deeply, didn't have that feeling on me. Definently a similar one though.

As far as Wild Strawberries and Cries and Whispers those are my next favorite Bergmans. They're both more towards the emotional side though. Were very depressing
I try to be kind on ratings and do them more relatively based on first viewings, so Persona was definitely a 5* for what I felt having it been my first viewing of Bergman. I'll definitely watch it again sometime along with his other films and have a better all round opinion on him and his films then, look forward to it



The only movie I saw from Ingmar Bergman is "Persona" and I enjoyed it a lot, even though I'm not sure I understood everything.



The only movie I saw from Ingmar Bergman is "Persona" and I enjoyed it a lot, even though I'm not sure I understood everything.
I've seen it four times and I still don't think I understand everything.



It sure is, one of my favourites from the director and glad Deadite brought up Winter Light in here. Ingrid Thulin is fantastic in it.



I thought Scenes From A Marriage was brilliant and I have a soft spot for Summer Interlude.



I haven't seen Summer Interlude (or any of Bergman's pre-1957 work ), but Scenes From a Marriage is definitely one of his greatest achievements.



Persona is my favorite among the Bergman films I have watched:

Wild Strawberries (7/10)
Seventh Seal (6/10)
Persona (10/10)
Cries and Whispers (9.5/10)
Fanny and Alexander (9.0/10)