Biography of Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007)

Director and writer of Swedish cinema, also director of theatre, whose full name is Ernst Ingmar Bergman Akerblom. He was born on July 14, 1918 in Uppsala (Sweden) and died on July 30, 2007, in the Faroe Islands.

Second marriage stem formed by the Lutheran Pastor Erik and his wife, Karin, of well-to-do bourgeois family, Ingmar Bergman grew up between a deep, but distant, respect towards his father and a passionate love of his mother. During his childhood, full of conflicts (which will result in a series of themes and very specific reasons in his filmography), received a tremendous emotional impact when he attended, for the first time in his life, to a film session in a theater of Stockholm, the Sture, where she spent the the beautiful black film. His love of cinema was increased when he met operator Slottet, which allowed him access to a projection booth and discover the magic mechanisms that make it possible to watch movies at home of her maternal grandmother. In 1928 Christmas, an aunt gave to the elder brother of Ingmar a toy projector ("a precipitous tin box with fireplace, lamp kerosene and movies endless giving turns" and round on a tape, described Bergman in his memoirs), which gave this little interested as little functional purpose, the future Swedish teacher in Exchange for half of his army of Tin soldiers. Later, to supplement his love of film, he built a small puppet theater that never ceased to expand. In coming years, Bergman, that in parallel to his nearly forty films, has mounted at least three pieces of theater, said that "while the theatre was the faithful wife, the film was the costly dear".

In 1931, the Bergman family moved definitely to Stockholm, since his father was appointed chaplain in the parish of Hedwige-Eleonora, first, and then Royal Chaplain of the Court. After finishing his secondary studies, he entered in 1937 in the Faculty of Arts, where some years later he graduated in literature and art history with a thesis on Strindberg, who was later instrumental in their theatrical productions. During this period he was fascinated by the realism and more poetic fantasy films of the French of the time: meat, Duvivier, Cocteau and company, which, as we shall see, took many things for films such as the seventh seal (1957) or the spring maiden (1960), for example. In 1938, his first play, mounted at the University to a foreign port, of Sutton Vane. The following year, the rector of the University made him the Manager of the University Theatre, where already a dream came true direct the voyage of Pedro works the lucky and Pelican, his beloved August Strindberg. From 1940 to 1942, alternating their roles in the theatre of the University, was Assistant Director at the famed Theatre Dramaten in Stockholm. By then, he had already written his first dramatic piece, the death of Gaspar, who rode in the University Theatre with great public success. One of the representations came Carl Anders Dymling, the President of the Svensk Filmindustri, the company's most important cinema of Sweden in those years, who, sensing the talent of this young (24 years) theatre director, offered him work as a screenwriter.

In 1944, he wrote a short novel which titled torture, which became his first film script. That same year, he was appointed director of the municipal theatre of Helsingborg, becoming, at age 26, the youngest theatre director of all time in Sweden, post which he held until 1946, and that it gave to its most important step made at the teatro municipal of Gothenburg (1946-49), where, in addition to mounting the Caligula by Albert Camus, he began to learn the true craft of theatre, task that culminated with the Assembly in 1949 his first modern American drama: A Streetcar Named desire, Tennessee Williams.

But a few years earlier, in 1945, Bergman had directed his first feature film, Kris ('Crisis'), with his screenplay, adaptation of the work Moderdyret, the playwright Leck Fischer. It was received with indifference enough by Swedish critics, so the Svensk Filmindustri recommended him to continue writing scripts for other directors. I do not despair, and a year later, thanks to the support of the independent producer Lorens Marmstedt, is managing it rains on our love (1946), a romantic and very sensual story inspired by the interwar French cinema. Two years later, shot in 18 days and with a tiny budget, prison (1948), his first success of public and critics. From now on, no one discussed his genius.

The truth is that Bergman films, ones more, other less, they carry some autobiographical in its interior. Art and life come together in their work as they have not done so in any other film Narrator, and, like all life, his artistic work has experienced continuous stylistic and thematic landslides of one film to the other, from one decade to another, so that their work can not must be classified in the traditional straight line, but neither be divided into temporary piecesthat would be something like its stages, and each piece, in small pieces, that would mean his films.

The early films of Bergman are the least personal, because they were based on already existing literary works and was a self-taught intelligent who picked the best of others and the worst of the best: Skepp till Indialand ("boat towards the India", 1947), and especially the wonderful rain over our heart (1946), directly linked to the so-called French poetic realism of interwaras already mentioned, as well as a free woman (1948) should be a lot to Italian neorealism, at that time in full swing. But in them you can see already a technical expertise (acquired in the tables of course) and a certain touch, which mark the later work of the Swedish master.

The theme more courted by Bergman was certainly the problem, very decisive in their life, religion and, of course, as if it were a string, existential loneliness. Prison (1949), his first film with own script, would be vital for the rest of his career, as he moves between the abstract representation and allegory. This religious section, the seventh seal (1957) is probably his testimony more beautiful and, at the same time, more enigmatic, more admired; also the most analyzed, surely because he proposed, through a kind of Fable in the middle ages, the problems of current daily life, death and the existence of God. Later, Bergman will offer other "pessimistic" works, the answers to the questions that torment him here. The seventh seal begins with the flight of the Eagle of the Apocalypse, where we are with the usual characters of the paintings of the medieval churches, with their penitents in perpetual mourning, their soldiers and their cures, representatives respective of the social and religious order. Bergman presents, from a clearly agnostic position, the anguish of the existence and the search for the secrets of death, with the single idea that concerned at this time: the only value which nothing escapes is the love that gives life and joy. Many decades after its completion, the film remains a spiritual beauty and plastic so enveloping that it imposed, with the unforgettable image of Max von Sydow playing chess with death (the eternal Bengt Ekerot), even today, as one of the biggest films of world cinema.

But its top on the religious issue is its well-known and adored "trilogy of silence", with which would remove is the mask of the sacred which, in the words of the director, "cover you view". With the first installment, as in a mirror (1960) - Bergman would declare that this is really his first film ("others are not but sketches")-, is presented as a filmmaker in crisis, and, under the pseudonym of Ernest Riffe, wrote a harsh criticism to his work in the special issue of the magazine Chaplin. This first chapter it describes it as "conquered certainty"; the second, the impressive the communicants (1963), as "unmasked certainty"; and, finally, the shocking silence (1963) called a "negative impression". The truth is that these three films, diametrically opposite each other, also marked what may be called the discovery of the Aesthete, the Bergman in its purest form, with a cinematic style refined, precise and technically insurmountable, but deeply bergmaniano. In a mirror, with that austere style, and offers through Karin (the wonderful Harriet Andersson), victim of a hereditary pathology, prisoner of the circle family (that will come to incest to painfully break the solitude, words and insufficient gestures for a relationship barrier), personal and fundamental search for human relations and your question about God. With music by Bach, in a natural setting that becomes a closed space, Bergman masterfully directs his characters as a Quartet instruments. The camera focuses on the faces, gestures, things, in a passive way, and communicates us the anguish and the existential vertigo that woman and the three men. The communicants, the second installment of the trilogy, is a profoundly religious work, almost more than others that make proclamation of faith, until the end, which didn't like too believers. However, the third, the silence, mutilated on many occasions by their frankly explicit sex scenes, is the silence made film, the entire film, situated in midst of war, reveals a symbolic Expressionism, a feeling of emptiness, absence of absolute despair. All, translated by grim images, makes us see the famous vision of a world without God Bergman.

Another important issue in the filmography, and therefore in life, Bergman is the relationship between men and women, men and women, marriage and life in common; a vision, true, little romantic. Here you could describe a series of films (made, according to Bergman, for nutritional reasons) deeply dedicated to feminine (some, even comedies), back in the Decade of the half-century: three women (1952), a lesson in love (1954) and smiles of a night of summer (1955). The latter, that the Swedish director won his first international award at the Festival de Cannes, is more than a philosophy of existence expressed through a cross game of love and erotic sensuality, wonderful fun. The game of debauchery is shown to perfection, thanks to the direction of actors and especially actresses, a true Group, a true family bergmaniana. But in this section of strange women, but women must also mention the unforgettable summer with Monika (1953), with (again) the wonderful and sensual Harriet Andersson as Monika. Realistic drama of a young couple fleeing misery and hypocritical society, chronic swollen two beings of freedom, reflection on its relations with nature, the film was, at the time of its release, the subject of various misunderstandings by some obtuse who did not see in it but a work destined to specialized circuits, because of the sexual freedom that testimony. Others, on the other hand, much more lucid, were fascinated by the formal boldness of the staging and the strength of your address, surrounded by nature in the wild nature, which gave rise to one of the highest levels of Bergman, strawberries SavaJe (1957). Bergman returned to play the family portraits and married life in common in the 1970s with a fascinating film, Woodworm (1971), which had a player of international renown like it was Elliot Gould; and with the television series, distributed abroad in commercial theaters, secrets of a marriage (1973).

But nothing would serve the religion and human relations in the life and work of Bergman without the subject of artists. This is made clear in the fact that many of his films take in very artistic: the circus, in the shadowy night circus (1953); a film Studio, in prison (1949); the "theatre magic health", in the face (1958), and the theatre, the "real Theatre", as Bergman, it wanted to in the master Persona (1966), with the stunning Liv Ullman and Bibi Anderson; in the works for television the rite (1969) and in the absolute masterpiece of Bergman, its authentic cinematic Testament, ironic and semibiografico monument of the artist, Fanny and Alexander (1982). However, again, a trilogy, the trilogy that follows person, that is, the hour of the Wolf (1968), shame (1968) and passion (1969), is considered the Summit of this problem, also known as the "Lighthouse trilogy", because they were there shot and there lived Bergman a good season.

Without ever leaving aside the theatre, and after announcing at the end of the filming of Fanny and Alexander who was leaving the cinema (to make way for young directors, according to him), in the early 1990s wrote the scripts of two clearly autobiographical works: the extraordinary best intentions (1991), Bille August, and children on Sunday (1992), his son Daniel Bergman. Even in 2003, Swedish television premiered the last film by the great Director: Sarabande.

1970 awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial for its undoubted contribution to cinema; with many awards at international festivals and nominated on numerous occasions, as screenwriter and director, to the Hollywood Oscar; author of two books of memoirs of great success (the magic lantern and images), Ingmar Bergman is probably the largest European filmmaker of all time, the most complex inciteful and scholar of religion, of philosophy, of love, of friendship, of man, of women, of the theatre, of life, which it has served cinema, as ideal meansFor more precise, robust performances and real potential. For Ingmar Bergman, great Dominator of the silence and the solitude, the cinema has been its language and image, his thinking.

Bergman has continued directing despite his advanced age. Most of the works have been for the small screen, but in November 2005 he presented Saraband, plot that had already filmed for television and that in this film version featured the participation of Liv Ullman and Julia Dufvenius.

Filmography

As screenwriter

1944: Tortura.1947: Kvinna utan ansikte.1948: Eva.1950: Medan staden sover.1951: Franskild.1956: Sista paret ut.1961: Lustgarden.1969: Reservatet (for TV). 1991: the best intenciones.1992: children of Sunday.

As a Director

1945: Kris.1946: it rains on our love (and coguion). 1947: Skepp till Indialand (and coguion). 1948: eternal night; A free woman (and screenplay) 1949: prison (and screenplay); Torst.1950: Till glädjé (screenplay); Sant hander inte har.1951: games of summer (and coguion). 1952: three women (and screenplay). 1953: A summer with Monika (coguion); Night circus (and screenplay). 1954: A lesson in love (and screenplay). 1955: dreams (and screenplay); Smiles of a night of summer (and screenplay). 1956: the seventh seal (and screenplay); Wild strawberries (and screenplay). 1957: on the threshold of life (and coguion). 1958: face (and screenplay). 1959: the spring of the doncella.1960: the eye of the Devil (and screenplay). 1961: as in a mirror (and screenplay). 1962: the communicants (and screenplay). 1963: silence (and screenplay). 1964: these women! (and coguion). 1966: person (and screenplay). 1967: the hour of the Wolf (and screenplay). 1968: shame (and screenplay). 1969: the rite (screenplay; for TV). 1970: passion (and screenplay). 1971: Woodworm (and screenplay). 1972: cries and whispers (and screenplay). 1973: Secrets of a marriage (and screenplay) (and TV series). 1974: the magic flute (opera for TV). 1975: face to face (and screenplay) (and TV series).1977: The egg of the Snake (and screenplay). 1978: Sonata of autumn (and screenplay). 1980: the life of puppets (and screenplay). 1982: Fanny and Alexander (and screenplay) (and TV series). 1984: after the test (for TV). 1985: chosen (for TV). 2003: Saraband (for TV). 2005: Saraband.

Documentaries

1969: Document faro.1979: Lighthouse 1979.1986 document: document on Fanny and Alexander; Karins ansikte.

Other

1951: Bris (nine Bris SOAP advertising shorts for the AB Sunlight). 1967: Stimulantia (episode entitled Daniel).

Bibliography

BERGMAN, i.: Pictures, Barcelona: Tusquets, 1992.

-: Le silence, Paris: Seuil, 1972.

-: Scenes from a marriage, Valencia: Fernando Torres Editor, 1975.

BJOERKMAN, S.: Conversations with Ingmar Bergman, Barcelona: Anagrama, 1975.

COMPANY, J. M.: Ingmar Bergman, Barcelona: Barcanova, 1981.

-: Ingmar Bergman, Madrid: Cátedra, 1990.

DONNER, j.: Ingmar Bergman, Paris: Seghers, 1973.

LAURENTI, r.: About Ingmar Bergman, Madrid: Sedmay, 1976.

MASSERMAN, r.: Filmologia of Bergman, God, life and death, Buenos Aires: fraternal, 1988.

RANIERI, T.: Ingmar Bergman, Firenze: Nuova Italy, 1979.

SICLIER, j.: Ingmar Bergman, Madrid: Rialp, 1962.

TRASATTI, S.: Ingmar Bergman, Firenze: Nuova Italy, 1991.

WOOD, r.: Ingmar Bergman, Madrid: Fundamentals, 1972.