Login | Forgot Password? | Join the Community
Ingmar Bergman DIRECTOR


Ernst Ingmar Bergman was a famous director, writer, and producer for stage, television, and film. He intensified the emotions of his characters through his fragmented narrative style of filming and camera manipulation.  Bergman drew the audience in to connect and identify with his actors, offering his art to be that of an experience, not just a show.

Bergman was born July 14, 1918, in Uppsala, Sweden to a Lutheran pastor. As a child, he was surrounded by religion and harsh discipline. Early on, he found films to be an escape from his strict upbringing and at age six, he even started making his own. Only a few years after, he began producing his own plays for a puppet theater. Bergman later attended Stockholm University, where he studied literature, history, and art. While there, he became actively involved in theater, writing and acting in plays. Following graduation, he worked as a trainee-director at a theater in Stockholm. During this time, he published some stories and wrote a number of scripts for stage shows. Eventually, he managed different theaters like Helsingborg City Theatre (1944-46), and directed at some such as Gothenburg City Theatre (1946-49), Malmö City Theatre (1953-60), and the Dramaten in Stockholm (1960-66), where he also served as manager for the last three years.

In 1943, Bergman began his career in film when Svensk Filmindustri hired him to be in their script department. His debut piece was “Torment” (1944). However, he was given a chance to direct on his next adaptation of a drama by Leck Fischer, “Crisis” (1946). While the movie wasn’t a box office smash, it got the new director up on his feet in the film industry. His next four films were also adaptations, “It Rains on Our Love” (1947), “A Ship Bound for India” (1947), “Night is My Future” (1948), and “Port of Call” (1948). He first directed his own original screenplay for “Prison” (1949), which was based off of the idea that the devil ruled the world. This showed his recurring theme of the battle between good and evil, with the latter tending to always jump from its hiding in the shadows at the end. However, it was with the artist drama “Sawdust and Tinsel” (1953) that he finally broke out and showed his star.

Bergman’s first international success came soon after, with “Smiles of the Summer Night” (1955), about a lawyer who reconnected with a former mistress. A landmark picture appeared shortly following. “Wild Strawberries” (1957) dealt with a man’s journey through isolation, the structure of the film not unlike many of his features. In 1957 he also released the Black Death era based “The Seventh Seal”, in which Death was actually personified. These two films won numerous awards and honors, putting Bergman at the top. The writer additionally explored religion, which he did quite often, in both “The Magician” (1958) and “The Virgin Spring” (1960). The latter, centered on a Godly spring that 'talked' to the father of a raped and murdered virginal maiden, even earned the Best Foreign Film Oscar.

In the 1960s, Bergman embarked on creating his religious trilogy. They included “Through a Glass Darkly” (1961), “Winter Light” (1962), and “The Silence” (1963). All focused on the thin line between insanity and reason. They also depicted how a world responds to love: the first described love as virtuous and filled with God, the second explicated love as cold but not impossible, the third portrayed love and God as non-existent. Through the rest of the decade he continued with the same type of sophistication present in the trilogy. His intense “Persona” (1966), revealed that while people can be physically present in the same moment, they can never be spiritually attached, making them all alone and forever isolated. This turned out to be the director’s greatest masterpiece. Soon after, he came out with another trilogy of sort, all of which were filmed from Bergman’s own austere island of Fårö. “Hour of the Wolf” (1968) showed a painter who slowly descended into craziness. “Shame” (1968) depicted the severing of a marriage between a musician and his wife during a war. “The Passion of Anna” (1969) followed two widows on an island who are prevented from essential healing due to mysterious animal cruelty happenings.

In the 1970s, he produced his first English language piece, “The Touch” (1971). It was followed by such Swedish pictures as “Cries and Whispers” (1972), “Scenes from a Marriage” (1973), and “Autumn Sonata” (1978). During this decade, he also started to venture more into the small screen. “The Magic Flute” (1975) is probably his most notable television endeavor. After the seventies he began directing and writing far less work, quite possibly due to a 1976 arrest for tax fraud arrest, even though the charges were later dropped.

In 1982 he released his most autobiographical piece, “Fanny and Alexander”. The Oscar winning film was infused with childhood memories, as well as themes absorbed from many of the films he had created over the years. This movie was Bergman’s last directing effort for the motion pictures, although what ensued were television movies like “After the Rehearsal” (1984), “Madame de Sade” (1992), and his final job, “Saraband” (2003). However, he persisted with his writing slightly longer, coming out with TV films such as “A Little Night Music” (1990) and “In the Presence of a Clown” (1997), as well as motion pictures like “The Best Intentions” (1992), “Sundays Children” (1992), and his concluding major feature, “Faithless” (2000). His very last script writing can be seen in the made for TV film “Bergmanova” (2005).

While Bergman had lessened his involvement in the film industry, he kept himself busy directing for the stage until his death. Bergman passed away on his island of Fårö on July 30, 2007. He was eighty nine years old. His reputation never met its demise, though, and his marvelous memory still lives on. With all of the uncovering of identities, unveiling of emotional ties to beings and God, and exploitation of the human consciousness, it was no surprise that the great director/writer secured over sixty six award wins and many nominations. He more importantly used film as a means to explore what is, once stating: “No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight room of the soul.”    

2005       Bergmanova sonata

2003       Saraband 

2002       Persona

2000       The Image Makers

2000       Faithless

1997       In the Presence of a Clown

1996       Private Confessions 

1995       The Last Gasp 

1993       Backanterna 

1992       Sunday's Children 

1992       The Best Intentions 

1992       Madame de Sade 

1991       The Best Intentions 

1990       A Little Night Music

1986       The Making of Fanny and Alexander  

1986       De två saliga

1985       Dom Juan 

1984       After the Rehearsal 

1984       Karin's Face 

1983       Hustruskolan

1982       Fanny and Alexander

1981       Sally and Freedom

1980       Fårö-dokument 1979 

1980       From the Life of the Marionettes

1979       My Beloved 

1978       Rätt ut i luften

1978       Autumn Sonata

1977       Paradistorg

1977       The Serpent's Egg 

1977       A Little Night Music 

1976       Face to Face 

1975       The Magic Flute 

1974       The Misanthrope  

1973       Scenes from a Marriage

1973       The Lie 

1972       Cries and Whispers 

1971       The Touch 

1970       Fårödokument 1969

1970       Play for Today  

1970       The Lie

1970       Sliki na drvo 

1969       The Passion of Anna 

1969       The Rite 

1968       Shame 

1968       Hour of the Wolf 

1967       Stimulantia 

1966       Persona 

1965       Don Juan  

1964       All These Women

1963       A Dream Play

1963       The Silence 

1963       Painting-On-Wood 

1963       Winter Light

1962       Staden 

1961       The Pleasure Garden

1961       Through a Glass Darkly

1960       The Virgin Spring 

1960       Storm Weather 

1960       The Devil's Eye 

1958       The Magician

1958       Brink of Life

1958       Rabies 

1958       The Venetian 

1957       Mr. Sleeman Is Coming 

1957       Bakomfilm smultronstället 

1957       Wild Strawberries  

1957       Night Light 

1957       The Seventh Seal 

1956       Last Pair Out 

1955       Smiles of a Summer Night

1955       Dreams 

1954       A Lesson in Love 

1953       Sawdust and Tinsel

1953       Monika 

1952       Secrets of Women 

1951       Divorced 

1951       Summer Interlude 

1950       While the City Sleeps 

1950       To Joy  

1950       This Can't Happen Here 

1949       Thirst 

1949       Prison 

1948       Eva 

1948       Port of Call 

1948       Music in Darkness 

1947       Frustration 

1947       Woman Without a Face 

1946       It Rains on Our Love 

1946       Crisis 

1944       Torment  

Matinee Classics - Ingmar Bergman directing Fanny and Alexander, one of his 16 films on the AFI list
Matinee Classics - Persona starring Bibi Andersson, Liv Ulmann, Margaretha Krook, Gunnar Björnstrand and Jörgen Lindström
Matinee Classics - Smiles of a Summer Night starring Ulla Jacobsson, Eva Dahlbeck, Harriet Andersson, Margit Carlqvist, Gunnar Bjoornstrand, Jarl Kulle, Åke Fridell, Bjorn Bjelfvenstam, Naima Wifstrand, Jullan Kindahl, Gull Natorp, Birgitta Valberg and Bibi Andersson

Copyright © 2014 Matinee Classics LLC - All Rights Reserved. Developed by: VividConcept.com