Today, Ernst Ingmar Bergman would have turned the grand old age of 100. Sadly, Bergman passed away in 2007 (in fact he died on the same day as Michelangelo Antonioni). Bergman left behind a legacy that filmmakers can only dream of, and others have yet to beat. With a record 60 film credits to his name, Bergman changed the face of cinema.
Bergman was born July 14, 1918, the son of a priest. He began his career early with a puppet theatre, which he, his sister, and their friends played with. Even as a child, Ingmar would request to be the director behind these plays. His father was very strict, and forbid Ingmar from attending the cinema. It was his grandmother that introduced Ingmar to cinema, and went with him to several shows when he was a little boy – always in secrecy.
His first job was to save other more famous writers’ poor scripts. Not satisfied with this job, he decided to adapt his own novel he wrote as a student and wrote a screenplay. That screenplay became Torment (1944), and the rest is history, as they say.
He was not only a huge part of cinema, Ingmar Bergman spent many years at, and with, the Royal Dramatic Theatre, both as a director and the head of the entire theatre, writing over 170 plays. He is best known for his contribution to the world of film. Bergman received three Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film during his career: Fanny & Alexander (1984), The Virgin Spring (1960) and Through a Glass Darkly (1961). Placing him second only to Federico Fellini. And he received nine other Academy Award-nominations for his films.
He created such a legacy, and influenced so many directors, that it is impossible to imagine a world without Bergman’s presence. Film critic Philip French referred to Bergman as “one of the greatest artists of the 20th century who found in literature and the performing arts a way of both recreating and questioning the human condition.” Many feel the same way that French did, and Bergman was voted the 8th Greatest Film Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly. And in 2005, he was chosen the world’s greatest living filmmaker by Time magazine.
To celebrate Ingmar’s 100th Birthday, Filmotomy have been running a poll to see what our readers consider the best films directed by Bergman. And the results have been very close indeed.
We did a special podcast episode with Aaron Charles, Editor Robin and myself, where we discussed the themes of Bergman’s film and our recommendations – which I highly recommend. We have had some brilliant reviews, articles and performance pieces, along with my own ‘Bergman diary’ which detail my journey into the world of Bergman. So please check out these pieces, like and share and don’t forget to celebrate Bergman’s birthday!
As Bergman said, “No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight room of the soul.” Well, said Mr Bergman! Happy Birthday from everyone at Filmotomy.
Pages: 1 2