Ingmar Bergman

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domino harvey
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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#301 Post by domino harvey » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:46 pm

I meant he didn't direct it, only wrote it, but it's a great film

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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#302 Post by mteller » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:23 pm

jindianajonz wrote:I want to go back and watch Bergman's filmography, but the problem is there's so damn much of it. I'm not concerned as much about the time as the hastle and expense of tracking down all the non-R1 odds and ends. I currently have all the Criterion releases and the MGM box set, as well as The Rite and All These Women. Which other releases should I try to hunt down, and which would I not be missing out on if I skip?
I've seen everything except 7 of the TV productions. These are my favorites that aren't on R1:

In the Presence of a Clown
Brink of Life
Hustruskolan
Spöksonaten (The Ghost Sonata)

Less essential, but still good:

Sista skriket (The Last Gasp)
Oväder (Storm)
Dreams
Ett drömspel (A Dream Play)
Mr. Sleeman Is Coming
Bildmakarna (The Image Makers)
The Venetian
Fängelse (Prison, a.k.a. The Devil's Wanton)
Secrets of Women
A Ship to India
Markisinnan de Sade

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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#303 Post by Zot! » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:47 pm

warren oates wrote:I was going to recommend From The Life of Marionettes
I'm not sure I would consider this film much of a success, but it's certainly an interesting curiosity that reflects on his career and personal affairs at the time. Generally for my tastes the popular ones are popular for a reason, but do find the more obscure titles to be revelatory once you're already familiar with the director.

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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#304 Post by swo17 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:54 pm

I'd recommend Prison and A Lesson in Love.

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domino harvey
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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#305 Post by domino harvey » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:07 pm

Yes, A Lesson in Love is quite nice. Don't like From the Life of Marionettes at all

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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#306 Post by warren oates » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:13 pm

I wouldn't say I'm a "fan" of the film either. But it does feel more integral to his body of work in a way that other less well-known or popular films don't, if only for its connection to Scenes From A Marriage.

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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#307 Post by jindianajonz » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:21 pm

My big debate right now is the R2 Classic Bergman box. Unfortunately, I didn't buy it on amazon.com when it was going for $30 last week, and now it is more than double that price. And since I just watched Crisis last night, the films on that set would be next in my chronological sequence, and I'm not sure if I want to put everything on hold while I wait for it to get shipped from England.

I see a Ship to India and Dreams are on mteller's "good but not essential" list. Is this box worth waiting on, or should I just move straight on to Prison?

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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#308 Post by domino harvey » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:05 pm

I wrote about all of Bergman's 40s output here if that helps

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jindianajonz
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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#309 Post by jindianajonz » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:24 pm

domino harvey wrote:I wrote about all of Bergman's 40s output here if that helps
Drat! I thought I could safely skip these until I got your plot description of A Ship Bound for India- it almost sounds too crazy to pass up! Still, I think the Eclipse set and Prison will be enough of a "taster" for the films of this period. Thanks for the advice, everybody!

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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#310 Post by Zot! » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:28 pm

jindianajonz wrote:My big debate right now is the R2 Classic Bergman box. Unfortunately, I didn't buy it on amazon.com when it was going for $30 last week, and now it is more than double that price. And since I just watched Crisis last night, the films on that set would be next in my chronological sequence, and I'm not sure if I want to put everything on hold while I wait for it to get shipped from England.

I see a Ship to India and Dreams are on mteller's "good but not essential" list. Is this box worth waiting on, or should I just move straight on to Prison?
I think it's a great set, but I don't think you're missing anything by coming back to it later, if you want to wait for a sale. The films in the set aren't chronological.

By the way, what is the connection between Marrionettes and Scenes from a Marriage?

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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#311 Post by warren oates » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:37 pm

DVD box copy wrote:From the Life of Marionettes continues the story of Katarina and Peter Egermann, the feuding, childless couple who appear in Scenes From A Marriage.
#spinoff

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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#312 Post by Zot! » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:44 pm

warren oates wrote:
DVD box copy wrote:From the Life of Marionettes continues the story of Katarina and Peter Egermann, the feuding, childless couple who appear in Scenes From A Marriage.
#spinoff
Really? Isn't that Sarabande?

Edit: Sorry, I last saw this a long time ago and did not remember that this is the same characters. Especially since Bergman loves to name everybody the same thing. Is this like alternate reality or something? How does this fit in with Sarabande. I'm getting confused.

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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#313 Post by domino harvey » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:52 pm

They're minor characters, not the main characters

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warren oates
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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#314 Post by warren oates » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:52 pm

Saraband is a sequel about the main couple, you know, the ones with entirely different names. (Note: not childless.) Marionettes is a sidequel about minor characters. Have you actually seen these films?

But, whatever, Zot!, if you're not going to believe me, you could, I don't know, just Google yourself into the correct information. It's not as if Bergman or his films are remotely obscure.

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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#315 Post by Zot! » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:33 pm

warren oates wrote:Saraband is a sequel about the main couple, you know, the ones with entirely different names. (Note: not childless.) Marionettes is a sidequel about minor characters. Have you actually seen these films?

But, whatever, Zot!, if you're not going to believe me, you could, I don't know, just Google yourself into the correct information. It's not as if Bergman or his films are remotely obscure.
Ah ok, I was genuinely confused. Got it. That makes more sense then. Yes, I have seen all the films in question, but it's been many years, and don't have an encylopedic memory for names, the kids show up in Scenes for all of a 30 seconds or something. (Which I now remember being a topic of discussion at the time between my spouse and I). I do however remember the intense space-disco workout that leads off Marionettes. Talk about memorable.

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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#316 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:39 pm

Inspired by Eva have you also thought about looking into the 'post-retirement' Bergman written films, particularly the semi-autobiographical films The Best Intentions and Sunday's Children? I haven't checked up on whether there are any good DVD releases of these yet, but I think they are as key works as any of Bergman's directed films.

Also if you are going for Tartan Video releases, see if their DVD of Liv Ullmann's Faithless is available (written by Bergman). Not only is it a fascinating film about a writer in his study looking back on the collapse of his marriage after his wife commits adultery with his best friend and arguing with a projection (a ghost? a figment of his imagination? an intellectualisation of his partner's feelings?) about the meaning of the events that unfold in flashback, but I had a recent discussion with someone who got to see Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac and they seemed to tentatively suggest that they felt that there could be some interesting comparisons that could be made with this film.

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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#317 Post by claireboucher » Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:31 am

François Truffaut's auteur theory, which he introduced in his 1954 essay "Une certaine tendance du cinéma français", maintained that a good director exerts such a distinctive style or promotes such a consistent theme that his/her influence is unmistakable in the body of his/her work.

Do you think this applies to Bergman?
After a recent obsessive period of watching Truffaut films and reading the aforementioned essay, I have been applying his theory to as many of my favourite directors as I can, but being a relative newcomer to the world of Bergman, I'm not quite sure what I think. I am yet to finish watching his entire filmography, so I was wondering what those who have seen the majority of it think on this matter?

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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#318 Post by Rayon Vert » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:56 am

I think the auteur theory possibly applies to Bergman more than to any other film director I can think of, in terms of consistency of both themes and style-form. I find almost any Bergman film is instantly recognizable as a "Bergman film". I think he's right up there with directors like Hitchcock, Rohmer, Antonioni and Godard in this way.

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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#319 Post by ermylaw » Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:45 pm

Last year, I watched 39 of Bergman's films (as director) in chronological order. Doing that really helped me to see how he grew as a filmmaker while still maintaining a certain consistency in tone. There is an obvious continuity in terms of theme, but he still had an incredible ability to move between genres and styles. He made The Devil's Eye and Through a Glass, Darkly in sequential years. The former is a moral tale, in a sense, told in a comedic, whimsical style, while the latter is a stripped down chamber-style meditation on faith. Both, though, are unmistakably Bergman -- they are different sides to the same person, both wryly cynical and seriously troubled by contemplating questions of faith and its elusiveness.

Overall, I think it would be very difficult to make the case that he is not an auteur -- I agree that, in many ways, he is the quintessential auteur.

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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#320 Post by domino harvey » Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:06 pm

There are definitely key recurrent themes and approaches, the most prominent of which is the incessant act of performance, as seen in the frequent uses of staged plays and actors. Bergman, for all his visual flourish and talent behind the camera, always strikes me as a play director discovering how to navigate the world of films, whether by choice or cruel twist of fate.

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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#321 Post by ermylaw » Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:17 pm

domino harvey wrote:Bergman, for all his visual flourish and talent behind the camera, always strikes me as a play director discovering how to navigate the world of films, whether by choice or cruel twist of fate.
That is an interesting observation. His earlier films, probably due to outside influence, are much more in line with standard cinema albeit full of very anti-mainstream themes. Rather quickly, though, he settled into his style, which could be described as something like a play director. Describing it as a "cruel twist of fate" is interesting because it doesn't necessarily seem to have been his choice. It seems like he wanted to convey the isolation that people experience in certain emotional states -- whereas a play director might let one into the character's interior world through use of a monologue, Bergman uses the extreme close-up.

His focus on the emotion conveyed by the face during these wrenching scenes of dialogue is, to my mind, his signature style. If anyone else did it, it would seem forced, but he was able to pull it off with his actors and with his understanding of the deeper recesses of people's emotional struggles. It is an excellent example of technique serving the theme and not just technique for the sake of technique. Perhaps this is something that is particularly related to play direction... I don't know about that.

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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#322 Post by domino harvey » Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:26 pm

Yes, Bergman is extremely adept at getting specific, emotive performances from his actors. I can't think of any other director I more closely associate with his regular stable of actors (maybe Preston Sturges, but he uses them for different ends via different means), and I like your suggestion that the extreme closeups of visible emoting take on the same function as an inner monologue in his films

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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#323 Post by nolanoe » Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:34 pm

Bergman is elaborating on the relationship of a body and the space that surrounds him. If he's a play director then so are Polanski and Carpenter.

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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#324 Post by MichaelB » Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:18 am

domino harvey wrote:I can't think of any other director I more closely associate with his regular stable of actors (maybe Preston Sturges, but he uses them for different ends via different means)
Fassbinder is the other obvious one. In fact, this is why some people have assumed that he actually directed Tenderness of the Wolves instead of Ulli Lommel, because practically the entire Fassbinder repertory company turns up in it, including Fassbinder himself. But by all accounts he was only on set for about two days.

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Re: Ingmar Bergman

#325 Post by Rayon Vert » Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:58 am

Ozu, Ford and Rohmer are other directors that come to mind with their own company of rotating actors.

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