>I love film. My passion for the cinema is as much a part of me as my skin, eyes, teeth, and hands. It is cellular. Today, we lost of one of the great ones, an auteur in the purest sense. A man whose body of work had not just a great influence on me, but a vast number of creative spirits and lovers of film throughout the world.
Ingmar Bergman, the “poet with the camera” who is considered one of the greatest directors in motion picture history, died today on the small island of Faro where he lived on the Baltic coast of Sweden, Astrid Soderbergh Widding, president of The Ingmar Bergman Foundation, said. Bergman was 89.
Critics called Mr. Bergman one of the directors — the others being Federico Fellini and Akira Kurosawa — who dominated the world of serious film making in the second half of the 20th century.
Like many artists, Bergman often drew inspiration from observing life:
The ideas for his films, he said, came to him in many ways. “Persona,” the study of two women in neurotic intimacy, came to life, he said, when one day he saw two women sitting together comparing hands. “I thought to myself,” he said, “that one of them is mute and the other speaks.”
The germ for “The Silence” — in which a dying woman and her sister are in a foreign country with no means of communication — came from a hospital visit, he said, where “I noticed from a window a very old man, enormously fat and paralyzed, sitting in a chair under a tree in the park.”
“As I watched,” he said, “four jolly, good-natured nurses came marching out, lifted him up, chair and all, and carried him back into the hospital. The image of being carried away like a dummy stayed in my mind.”
I first saw it as a miniseries on PBS (it was later repackaged as a three-hour film) when I was an eggheaded twelve-year-old and was absolutely riveted by the intensity of interaction between the characters as they experienced the extreme highs and lows of matrimony. Its star, Liv Ullmann (who had a child and a long-term relationship with Bergman), instantly became one of my favorite actresses. I remain an avid fan of her body of work to this day.
If you’ve never seen a Bergman film, do yourself a tremendous favor and watch a marathon of his projects. While his work might not be for everyone, his stories are powerful, moving, and pull from the true and expansive range of human emotion in ways that few directors have done before or since his arrival in the world of cinema.
…which chronicles how the grown daughters of a dysfunctional well-to-do family try their best to keep their family unit connected after their father divorces their mother and moves on to a happy new relationship, while the mother, a woman riddled with OCD and a refusal to accept change, passive-aggressively controls those around her and systematically falls apart. Check it out if you get a chance. It is very Bergmanesque and is a film I have watched again and again.