RIP Ingmar Bergman

Ok, in all honesty I haven’t seen more than 1 of his films, but apparently this man, Ingmar Bergman, is one of the most celebrated and influential film makers in history. Today I flipped to IMDB and the breaking news was that he died today at his home in Faro, Sweden, at the age of 89.

From IMDB:

Ingmar Bergman, the Swedish director considered one of the most influential and acclaimed filmmakers of modern cinema, died at his home in Faro, Sweden, on Monday; he was 89. The death was announced by the Swedish news agency TT and confirmed by Bergman’s daughter, Eva, and Astrid Soderbergh Widding, president of The Ingmar Bergman Foundation, though an official cause of death was not yet given. Nominated for nine Academy Awards throughout his career and honored with the Irving G. Thalberg award in 1971, Bergman was cited as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, with his bleak, unsparing yet highly emotional explorations of the human psyche and its relation to life, sex, and death, in both highly symbolic and intensely personal films; he most notably influenced Woody Allen, who considered him the greatest of filmmakers.

The one film of his that I was fortunate enough to see at least most of (I was exhausted in class and fell asleep), had some amazing imagery and breathtaking mis-en-scene. This movie was his 1982 holiday classic, Fanny och Alexander (Fanny and Alexander). This epic children’s fairy tale about death, loss, and rebuilding life was very, very powerful and for the scenes that I was conscious to I was treated to some of the most influential shots I had ever seen. Here’s a clip from the film provided by YouTube

Here are a few citations from his personal info on Wikipedia

“As a director, Bergman favored intuition over intellect, and chose to be unaggressive in dealing with actors. Bergman saw himself as having a great responsibility toward them, viewing them as collaborators often in a psychologically vulnerable position. He stated that a director must be both honest and supportive in order to allow others their best work.”

It is a strong insight like that which creates a powerful and potential-releasing relationship between Director and Cast/Crew. That is something to strive for.

His Message to Young Film Makers

“Bergman encouraged young directors not to direct any film that does not have a “message,” but rather to wait until one comes along that does, yet admitted that he himself was not always sure of the message of some of his films.”

I’ve made a lot of random films, and in the end they will be shelved for personal viewing pleasure, not to be made for audiences to gain anything except laughs from. However, I would push to strive to be in this kind of position- to live up to his expectations that people want to communicate ideas through film- thus unleashing the true potential of the Art.


Ingmar at Work

Academy Awards

In 1971, Bergman received The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award at the Academy Awards ceremony. Three of his films have won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film: The Virgin Spring in 1961; Through a Glass Darkly in 1962; and Fanny and Alexander in 1984.

Many filmmakers worldwide, including Americans Woody Allen and Robert Altman, and Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky, have cited the work of Bergman as a major influence on their work.

* Nominated: Best Original Screenplay, Smultronstället (1960)
* Nominated: Best Original Screenplay, SÃ¥som i en spegel (1963)
* Nominated: Best Original Screenplay, Viskningar och rop (1974)
* Nominated: Best Picture, Viskningar och rop (1974)
* Nominated: Best Director, Viskningar och rop (1974)
* Nominated: Best Director, Ansikte mot ansikte (1977)
* Nominated: Best Original Screenplay, Höstsonaten (1979)
* Nominated: Best Original Screenplay, Fanny och Alexander (1984)
* Nominated: Best Director, Fanny och Alexander (1984)

Sources include,, YouTube and Google Images.

However I highly recommend this link, from the people who would really take the care and time to know- Turner Classic Movies, and they also report that the next showing of his films will be Octorber 14th at 2:00 AM, Fanny Oct Alexander will be playing.

However you should get out there and rent one of his fantastic titles and bone up on your knowledge of film! I think I’ll check out a few myself before going back to college. He is obviously worth the time.