Ingmar Bergman

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This guy doesn't have a thread yet? Anyways, I've been watching a ton of his films lately, and he's quickly skyrocketed up the list of my favorite directors. I figured I'd post here about them as opposed to the Movie Tab, because I feel that a lot of them (especially the better ones ) require more in-depth discussion. So feel free to share your thoughts on Bergman here! I'll get posting about his films in chronological order soon enough, but right now, I would rank them as such:

Fanny and Alexander

Persona

Cries and Whispers

Scenes From a Marriage

Wild Strawberries

The Passion of Anna

The Silence

Winter Light

Hour of the Wolf

Through a Glass Darkly

The Seventh Seal


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Persona

Cries and Whispers
+
Wild Strawberries

The Virgin Spring

Hour of Wolf
-
Summer With Monika

Passion of Anna
-
The Silence
-

I still have alot to see, but right now he's my favorite foreign director. I'll be watching cries and Whispers and the seventh seal anyday now, and I will edit this post with the ratings and ranking I give them amongst the other ones I've seen.
Also really want to watch Scenes From A marriage and Magician
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Yeah, there's no body mutilation in it



^I can't wait to hear your thoughts on Cries and Whispers. It's kind of similar to Persona, but it's less experimental and is emotionally devastating in a way that Persona is not. Anyways, I have a feeling you'll love it.



Winter Light is a really good one that seems to get less notice. Any of you seen it? Thoughts?
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It's grim, pretty straightforward and slow, basically about struggling to find meaning when conventional faith fails and life seems oppressively empty. It's also gorgeous and the performances are sublime.



Haven't seen it yet, but I have heard that it's supposed to be one of his better films.
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.

Apparently it was Ingmar Bergman's favourite film out of all the ones he made.



^I read somewhere that he said persona (and I believe Winter Light was the second one) literally saved his life



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.

Apparently it was Ingmar Bergman's favourite film out of all the ones he made.
Ah yes, the Marta character. I'm not otherwise familiar with that actress but she was for me the real center of the film. The letter-reading scene was stunning, and of course the scene near the end between her and Tomas was searing.



^Right now, Ingrid Thulin is narrowly eclipsed by Liv Ullmann as my favorite Bergman actress.

Beginning my posts about the Bergman films I've seen:

Wild Strawberries (1957)



The earliest Bergman film I've seen is also by far the warmest. The story is simple- an old professor goes on a road-trip to an honoring of his career. It's driven by a fantastic central performance by Victor Sjostrom, and he creates one of the most well-explored characters I've come across in Bergman. What's really amazing is how the screenplay allows the audience to accept the flaws of Sjostrom's character, despite the way they are often brought up. Over the course of the film's day-long narrative structure, I felt like I really gained an understanding of this man- the mistakes he's made in life, and also the love that he learns to embrace. There are also some brilliant dream sequences which foreshadow the surrealistic and experimental aspects of Bergman's late-60s work.






I never pitied a character more than I pittied him, I don't even fully know why. I was very depressed by the time I was done, and when he was walking along getting his award, you could see a whole lifetime go past your eyes. So well crafted and odd, the couple from the crash, were so cruel. And even though it wasn't based on a sad story it turned my stomach inside out



Wild Strawberries is a masterclass in appreciation of life's details. Anyone who can watch it and remain unmoved may as well be dead.



Here's a review for ech Bergman I've seen (best to worse) some I've already posted in movie tab II, some are just archived from my RT page

Persona
Ingmar Bergmans Persona is one of the finest films I've ever seen. Before watching this someone told me that he liked it better the second time around, if I like it anymore the second time around then Ill have a new favorite film. The film began with a series of multiple ultra violent clips. Ranging from the slaughtering of a lamb to a tarantula. This strange opening got you ready for what's to come in this film. The basic plot is a young nurse who's taking care of an actress, who has chose not to speak for unknown reasons. They go to a summer house in the middle of nowhere together, that's where it all begins.

This film is a piece of art. It is Dante's Inferno of cinema. Its a gallery of Jan van Eyck in motion. This is one of the few movies that defines what film is. Especially when we go into the art house portion of cinema. Ingmar Bergman made it very clear that this is art. That this isn't real. He did this by reminding everyone it's a movie. Similar things have been done in the future, like in Grindhouse for example but no one did it like Bergman did. There was a shot in this movie of Bergman and his crew filming a scene. There was a moment when there was an effect of the shooting reel burning. To add on to the artistic effect, Bergman only used what he absolutely needed. Only five characters, and only props that were used by the characters were shown in the film. This wasn't just a movie, it was art at its finest point.

Potential spoilers ahead. As this film carried on it became clear that the nurse was gonna have the personality of the actress. Now what I loved is this wasn't really what happened. It was a physiological merge. At one moment the nurse is saying the actresses life story, the next she is yelling "No I am not you!". They never became one. This is what made it so Ming boggling. As mind boggling as Donnie Darko, Eraserhead, 2001: A Space Odyssey, it ranks amongst these great films. And I would rank it amongst my five favorites. It truly is a piece of art.


Wild Strawberries
Even though Bergmans Wild Strawberries had a "happy" ending, it was one that brought out pity. Just deep pity, sorrow, and curiosity about our protagonist. The protagonist is an old man by the name of Isak. He is going on a car ride back home to get an honorary award. With him his judgmental daughter-in-law and young hitchhikers caught in a love triangle. While 90% of the film was in the car ride only 50% of that was Isak actively in the car. We had many flashbacks and strange dreams which brought out David Lynches "Eraserhead" type of feeling out. The directing was almost perfect except I believe the camera work for the car crash scene was a tad off, making it confusing. It's still a good Ingmar Bergman film that I enjoyed. On the other I can't call it his best like many do, it was miles deep in some of the greatest foreign films ever but an equal amount of miles away from reaching Persona.


The Virgin Spring
When his daughter is raped by a group of hunting and gathering brothers, the father seeks revenge, and it comes to him.
While the story isn't anything refreshing or extremely creative Bergman's directorial style makes it work. Whether it was the cinematography or the scenery in a directorial sense everything was perfect. The acting wasn't anything amazing or even anything good but the characters weren't really of strong focus to the film. It was more of justice in a 1300s small city, and it was delivered


Hour of Wolf
Apparently INever wrote a review for this one apparently, anyways it's a creepy and odd horror. The obsessive family was as creepy as the one in Texas Chainsaw Massacare


Passion Of Anna
If you make it past a very dull first 50 mins you should enjoy it. If it remained at the same pace as the first fifty-minutes this would've been more toward the 2 star range. *There will be one scene in this first half that'll leave you shaken up, the rest will leave you yawning. After this the film builds up as you see Anna's darker side. She was always a weird one but we never saw the sinister version of her. Bergman style is very unique even using clips from past films of his and interviewing the actors for character analysis mid movie.


The Silence
The Silence is the first Ingmar Bergman film I couldn't connect to. Which is odd since it's not to much different to ones I have loved. I felt no emotional attachment to the three characters. The tension between sisters was absolutely irrelevant to me. Passion of Anna (which I gave 3 stars) is the next worse Bergman to this, but I still felt like I was in it. Not physically, but I was following the story, not here. This frustrates me because it is one of the more applauded films from Bergman, but I couldn't get into it at all. I still adored the Bergman directing aspect of it. How there were moments with no sounds and suddenly the noise returns. But at the end it felt inconclusive, and it didn't grasp with me.



The Seventh Seal (1957)



Bergman's most pessimistic and overrated film, in my opinion. It has some striking and rightfully iconic imagery, but to me, this is the archetypal doom-and-gloom arthouse flick concerned with existential angst and contemplation. That being said, Bergman is the master of these themes; he just dealt with them much better in later films. In retrospect, The Seventh Seal comes across to me as a wounded cry from an artist who was, at the time, tortured by the silence of God in what he saw as an empty world. Not exactly cheerful topics, but Bergman would continue to refine them in his Faith Trilogy before reaching the pinnacle of his religious themes in Cries and Whispers (a movie which says infinitely more about God and death). This one, then, is merely interesting as an early and slightly banal exploration of the ideas that would preoccupy Bergman for much of his career.






The Seventh Seal



Bergman's most pessimistic and overrated film, in my opinion. It has some striking and rightfully iconic imagery, but to me, this is the archetypal doom-and-gloom arthouse flick concerned with existential angst and contemplation. That being said, Bergman is the master of these themes; he just dealt with them much better in later films. In retrospect, The Seventh Seal comes across to me as a wounded cry from an artist who was, at the time, tortured by the silence of God in what he saw as an empty world. Not exactly cheerful topics, but Bergman would continue to refine them in his Faith Trilogy before reaching the pinnacle of his religious themes in Cries and Whispers (a movie which says infinitely more about God and death). This one, then, is merely interesting as an early and slightly banal exploration of the ideas that would preoccupy Bergman for much of his career.
I can't agree with this because your premise is off. First, it's more of a comedy than anything. Second, the pessimism comes from your reaction, whereas the film itself has no conclusive opinion since it's a contemplation exercise, hence the chess. I dunno where you're getting existential angst from, let alone debasing it as generic. I don't know any another film that makes fun of everything it seriously considers while considering it still.



I don't know any another film that makes fun of everything it seriously considers while considering it still.
Good statement.
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"Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."



Cries and Whispers (1972)
The underlying color of this notorious Ingmar Bergman film was red. Red, as in the red associated with blood, anguish,envy,Satan, anyways it's not a blissful color. Ingmar Bergman concentrated on it, and planted it all around. Harriet Andersson who play the ill Agnes, put up a terrifyingly real and brutal performance. Her agony was always with us. The heavy breathing scene left me stiff to the inner marrow of my bones. The film was as gruesome as it was delicate, perfectly paced and raw to the core.






I can't agree with this because your premise is off. First, it's more of a comedy than anything. Second, the pessimism comes from your reaction, whereas the film itself has no conclusive opinion since it's a contemplation exercise, hence the chess. I dunno where you're getting existential angst from, let alone debasing it as generic. I don't know any another film that makes fun of everything it seriously considers while considering it still.
If it's a comedy, I didn't find it very funny. And the existential angst seems pretty obvious- the protagonist spends the whole film contemplating the existence of God. Certainly it's much less subtle than in Bergman's later films.

Donnie, glad you loved Cries and Whispers.



If it's a comedy, I didn't find it very funny. And the existential angst seems pretty obvious- the protagonist spends the whole film contemplating the existence of God. Certainly it's much less subtle than in Bergman's later films.
The word angst is what threw me off though. I would also interject that it's moreso regarding mankind; religion's place in it comes after. The time period is also relevant because it probably marked a major period where people involved in religion started to think about it.

Also it could be not funny because you went into it thinking it's not a comedy. Very possible.