Ingmar Bergman: in memoriam
What are your favorite films of his? What do you think his main contributions were? What is is about Ingmar Bergman that makes him such a titan of international cinema?
I remember when I took Intro to Film at BYU, and we had a unit on "international film", and the three directors we discussed were Bergman, Fellini, and Kurosawa. Which is appropriate, I guess, since they tend to be the three most well known foreign directors. Why is that? What made Bergman so much more well known than Dreyer or Tarkovsky or Truffaut? Maybe becausw of a little help from Woody Allen?
The thing I appreciate about Bergman is that he made films about the big spiritual questions. Is there a God? What are we doing here? What happens after death? What is most important in life? He spent his life thinking about these things and working out his thoughts through his films. Which is probably why I don't respond as well to Godard and others who seem like they were more just trying to be edgy without having anything to say.
I haven't seen even a fourth of Bergman's films (he made over 50), but the ones I have seen leave a definite impact. You feel like you've really experienced something, even though it doesn't all make sense you can tell there's something There.
Some favorite moments:
In the Seventh Seal when Antonius Bloc and squire are questioning the witch, staring at her eyes as she dies to see what she sees.
The dream sequences in Wild Strawberries where the doctor sees himself in the coffin, and goes to judgement.
The single long take in Winter Light of the woman reading her letter to the Pastor. And also the discussion with the humpbacked church assistant about Christ's suffering.
The fade to red in Cries and Whispers
The Papageno/Papagena song in the Magic Flute where they both remove each other's pull-away clothing (sounds racy, but it's hilarious and delightful)
Anyway, let's here what the rest of you think...