Filmmakers on Other Filmmakers

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
vogler
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:42 am
Location: England

#1 Post by vogler » Wed Sep 13, 2006 3:31 pm

Here are some quotes from Ingmar Bergman on his views about other film-makers from the excellent Ingmar Bergman site.

Here is a link to the location of these quotes because they are a bit hard to find.

On Michelangelo Antonioni:

"He's done two masterpieces, you don't have to bother with the rest. One is Blow-Up, which I've seen many times, and the other is La Notte, also a wonderful film, although that's mostly because of the young Jeanne Moreau. In my collection I have a copy of Il Grido, and damn what a boring movie it is. So devilishly sad, I mean. You know, Antonioni never really learned the trade. He concentrated on single images, never realising that film is a rhythmic flow of images, a movement. Sure, there are brilliant moments in his films. But I don't feel anything for L'Avventura, for example. Only indifference. I never understood why Antonioni was so incredibly applauded. And I thought his muse Monica Vitti was a terrible actress." --Ingmar Bergman, 2002

On Jean-Luc Godard:

"I've never gotten anything out of his movies. They have felt constructed, faux intellectual and completely dead. Cinematographically uninteresting and infinitely boring. Godard is a fucking bore. He's made his films for the critics. One of the movies, Masculin/Féminin, was shot here in Sweden. It was mindnumbingly boring."

On Orson Welles:

"For me he's just a hoax. It's empty. It's not interesting. It's dead. Citizen Kane, which I have a copy of - is all the critics' darling, always at the top of every poll taken, but I think it's a total bore. Above all, the performances are worthless. The amount of respect that movie's got is absolutely unbelievable. Aghed: How about The Magnificent Ambersons? Bergman: Nah. Also terribly boring. And I've never liked Welles as an actor, because he's not really an actor. In Hollywood you have two categories, you talk about actors and personalities. Welles was an enormous personality, but when he plays Othello, everything goes down the drain, you see, that's when he's croaks. In my eyes he's an infinitely overrated filmmaker."

So what do you make of that then?
I actually find his dissenting opinions quite refreshing. Although I love the work of Jean-luc Godard I'm not too keen on Welles or Antonioni either (but I wouldn't go quite as far as Bergman).

The following is also on the site concerning Bergman's favourite films.

In connection to the 18th Göteborg Film Festival 1994, Bergman chose his eleven all time favourite films:

The Circus (Charles Chaplin, USA 1928)

Port of Shadows (Marcel Carné, France 1938)

The Conductor (Andrzej Wajda, Poland 1979)

Raven's End (Bo Widerberg, Sweden 1963)

The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Dreyer, France 1927)

The Phantom Carriage (Victor Sjöström, Sweden 1921)

Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, Japan 1951)

La Strada (Federico Fellini, Italy 1954)

Sunset Blvd. (Billy Wilder, USA 1950)

Two German Sisters (Margarethe von Trotta, BRD 1981)

Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky, Soviet Union 1969)

User avatar
toiletduck!
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:43 pm
Location: The 'Go
Contact:

#2 Post by toiletduck! » Wed Sep 13, 2006 3:45 pm

The man's more than earned his opinion, and I never once assumed that my cinematic tastes would mix with Bergman, but jesus, man... fucking harsh!

-Toilet Dcuk

User avatar
Michael
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:09 pm

#3 Post by Michael » Wed Sep 13, 2006 3:48 pm

I never understood why Antonioni was so incredibly applauded. And I thought his muse Monica Vitti was a terrible actress."
Hmm...she was not supposed to be acting, was she?

User avatar
Barmy
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 3:59 pm

#4 Post by Barmy » Wed Sep 13, 2006 3:51 pm

Well, his list of favourite films is, mostly, very old school and B.O.R.I.N.G.

I've always felt Godard and Welles are overrated, even though I find much of their work to be interesting.

Antonioni is one of my all-time faves, but I can appreciate the criticism. In a way I don't really disagree with what ol' Bergy says about il Maestro.

User avatar
vogler
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:42 am
Location: England

#5 Post by vogler » Wed Sep 13, 2006 3:57 pm

Barmy wrote:Well, his list of favourite films is, mostly, very old school and B.O.R.I.N.G.
I'm not familiar with all of the films on his list but I was very surprised by Sunset Blvd (I'm not saying it's a bad film).

I'm definitely with him on Passion of Joan of Arc and Phantom Carriage by my most beloved of all film-makers, Victor Sjöström.

Any film by Tarkovsky has got to be a good choice.

User avatar
hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

#6 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Sep 13, 2006 3:59 pm

ASSHOLE. And I say that as someone who loves Bergman's work (duh...)

The Antonioni diss I can understand, he's not the only one to make similiar criticisms. Godard, I guess it's not surprising because Godard's films have an impish sense of humor to them, which I love, and that's something you rarely see in any of Bergman's work. But "cinematographically uninteresting and infinitely boring"? Whoaaah....

As for Welles, well, to be fair, Kane has been criticized as cold and even hollow...I recall hearing such criticisms when people make the case for Ambersons as the better picture. And Ambersons was definitely ridiculed as too slow and boring when they previewed it in Pomona. But I wouldn't expect those criticisms from BERGMAN, of all people. He's totally OTM about actors and personalities, and I think Welles is definitely a personality (I love Welles, and I love his performances in Falstaff and Kane among others, but he can be a bit of a ham). I'm not sure I'd rake him over the coals for that. ANY star can be labelled a 'personality' regardless of their talents - Chaplin, Cary Grant, Bogart, Cagney, Brando, etc....

User avatar
Barmy
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 3:59 pm

#7 Post by Barmy » Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:01 pm

At least Antonioni did 2 good films whereas Godard and Welles each did 0.

Go Michelangelo!

User avatar
Michael
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:09 pm

#8 Post by Michael » Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:03 pm

At least Antonioni did 2 good films whereas Godard and Welles each did 0.

Which two? Come on, don't be hard on Godard. I take it that you haven't seen Vivre Sa Vie then.

User avatar
Cinephrenic
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:58 pm
Location: Paris, Texas

#9 Post by Cinephrenic » Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:05 pm

I think this is all too subjective. I mean, we really can't go and diss Antonioni, Godard, & Welles according if their films are boring and our or Bergman's taste. Some of Bergman's films are boring, even though he is one of the greatest directors.

User avatar
vogler
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:42 am
Location: England

#10 Post by vogler » Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:05 pm

hearthesilence wrote:ASSHOLE. And I say that as someone who loves Bergman's work (duh...)
I would definitely defend Bergman for having strong opinions. He's just speaking his mind honestly. I think it's healthy for people to express their opinions even if they do radically stray from the popular consensus - and I say that as a huge fan of both Bergman and Godard.

User avatar
Barmy
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 3:59 pm

#11 Post by Barmy » Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:07 pm

Michael, I was going by Bergman's tally. My tally would be quite different.

User avatar
Michael
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:09 pm

#12 Post by Michael » Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:10 pm

Oh I got it now. What's the matter with me?! #-o

User avatar
miless
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 9:45 pm

#13 Post by miless » Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:10 pm

I like some of Bergman's work, but I do think he is an asshole... not as much so as Godard (and I don't like the films of his I've seen) though.
I would rather watch his films than hear him talk about film... he has his share of terrible films (The Serpents Egg being the most pronounced)

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Spelling Bee Champeen
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

#14 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:10 pm

vogler wrote:I would definitely defend Bergman for having strong opinions. He's just speaking his mind honestly. I think it's healthy for people to express their opinions even if they do radically stray from the popular consensus - and I say that as a huge fan of both Bergman and Godard.
Oh -- Bergman has the _right_ to express his views -- but we have the right to note that his remarks are mean-spirited and vacuous. If posted on a board like this by an unknown, his remarks would (rightly) be viewed as trollish.

Whatever his virtues as a film maker may be, they don't carry over to his film criticism.

User avatar
vogler
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:42 am
Location: England

#15 Post by vogler » Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:12 pm

miless wrote:I would rather watch his films than hear him talk about film... he has his share of terrible films (The Serpents Egg being the most pronounced)
It should be remembered that Bergman is equally harsh about his own films. He's not trying to imply that these film-makers are crap and he is the greatest.

User avatar
Barmy
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 3:59 pm

#16 Post by Barmy » Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:12 pm

Serpent's Egg is actually one of my fave Bergmans. I'm just surprised that he didn't put a couple of his own films in his Top 10.

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Spelling Bee Champeen
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

#17 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:14 pm

vogler wrote:It should be remembered that Bergman is equally harsh about his own films. He's not trying to imply that these film-makers are crap and he is the greatest.
What is your basis for saying that he is not dismissing the work of Godard and Welles as "crap"? He is saying their work is utterly valueless -- seems close enough to "crap" to me.

User avatar
Barmy
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 3:59 pm

#18 Post by Barmy » Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:18 pm

Next time I get dissed for calling something "crap", instead I'll call it a hoax, empty, dead, a total bore, worthless, terribly boring and infinitely overrated.

User avatar
vogler
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:42 am
Location: England

#19 Post by vogler » Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:19 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:
vogler wrote:It should be remembered that Bergman is equally harsh about his own films. He's not trying to imply that these film-makers are crap and he is the greatest.
What is your basis for saying that he is not dismissing the work of Godard and Welles as "crap"? He is saying their work is utterly valueless -- seems close enough to "crap" to me.
No, the emphasis there was on the bit about him not saying that he is the greatest. I'm just saying that he is equally critical of his own and others films.

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Spelling Bee Champeen
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

#20 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:26 pm

vogler wrote:No, the emphasis there was on the bit about him not saying that he is the greatest. I'm just saying that he is equally critical of his own and others films.
I'd be interested in reading any quotes by Bergman in which he described all his own work as totally worthless.

User avatar
vogler
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:42 am
Location: England

#21 Post by vogler » Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:30 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:If posted on a board like this by an unknown, his remarks would (rightly) be viewed as trollish.
What does this mean? It sounds a bit hostile. These are Bergmans comments on films which are considered very important and since Bergman is also a very important film-maker I thought that people might be interested in them. Don't shoot the messenger - I'm not trying to provoke anyone. I may have misunderstood your comment though.

I have to say that I laughed out loud when I read the Godard comment. I love much of Godards work and from my point of view Bergman is way off on that but I still found it interesting to read what he thought.

I am also wondering about the translation of these comments - do you think it is possible that they didn't sound quite as harsh as that when he said them (presumably) in Swedish?

User avatar
vogler
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:42 am
Location: England

#22 Post by vogler » Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:33 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:I'd be interested in reading any quotes by Bergman in which he described all his own work as totally worthless.
No you're quite right - he has never said ALL of his own films are worthless. He is seriously critical of a lot of them though.

User avatar
Barmy
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 3:59 pm

#23 Post by Barmy » Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:35 pm

Well, a lot of Bergman does suck--he made at least 20 useless films. Even Godard and Welles haven't achieved that.

User avatar
hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

#24 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:43 pm

Welles hasn't even made 20, period. Actually, he's had about 20 that never got off the ground...I guess you can't call them "films" if they've never been finished, or even shot, but they are, indeed, useless.

It's kind of amusing. You never expect filmmakers to act like such primadonnas in a bitch-slap contest.

[edit: this was in a response to a post that mysteriously vanished]

User avatar
Barmy
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 3:59 pm

#25 Post by Barmy » Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:46 pm

According to Bergman, Godard made 89 sucky films and Welles made, or attempted to make, 40 sucky films (just going by imdb).

I'm glad Welles hated Bergman. Apparently he hated Antonioni too.

Who does Godard hate?

Who does Antonioni hate?

I'd love to know.
Last edited by Barmy on Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Post Reply