Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Wayne State University Press
Ingmar Bergman is the third book by influential film critic Robin Wood to be republished by Wayne State University Press within its Contemporary Approaches to Film and Media Series. Like Wood’s other early auteurist studies, Ingmar Bergman was an influential milestone when it was first published in 1969. ...
In August 2006, Robin signed a contract with Wayne State University Press to reprint the monographs The Apu Trilogy, Ingmar Bergman, Claude Chabrol, and Arthur Penn with the idea that he would update each of the books. I don’t remember if it was suggested that he begin the project with the Bergman book; ...
Ingmar Bergman was originally published in the United States in 1969 by Praeger Publishers. © 1969 by Movie Magazine Ltd. “Moments of Release” appeared originally in the Times Educational Supplement (March 2, 1973). “Call Me Ishmael” appeared originally in Canadian Forum 41 (November 1983): 41–42. ...
Introduction: Journeys: För att inte tala om alla dessa kvinnor
The first mental images that the name Ingmar Bergman conjures up are probably of the bizarre, the outlandish, the extreme, the abnormal, the picturesque; the apparitions of Death, the chess game, the flagellants, the witch burning in The Seventh Seal; the dream sequences of Wild Strawberries; ...
Parents and Victims: Frenzy, Prison, Port of Call
In Hour of the Wolf the artist Johan Borg (Max von Sydow) describes a childhood punishment that has affected all his subsequent development: he was locked in a completely dark cupboard in which, he was told, there lurked a small creature who would bite his toes off. ...
Innocence and Experience: Summer Interlude, Summer with Monika, Waiting Women
Of the Bergman films I have seen, Summer Interlude is the earliest in which one feels in the presence of a great artist, not merely a gifted, precocious, or ambitious one. The film shows an achieved mastery both in the overall line, the inner movement, and in the minutiae of mise-en-scène in which that movement finds local expression. ...
Broken Dreams: Sawdust and Tinsel, Journey into Autumn
Sawdust and Tinsel and its immediate successor, A Lesson in Love, both have distinctive flavors unique in strength if not in kind in Bergman’s work; and they are at almost opposite poles. A Lesson in Love is arguably the warmest and funniest of all Bergman’s films, characterized by an overall atmosphere of relaxed good nature. ...
Lessons in Love: A Lesson in Love, Smiles of a Summer Night, Wild Strawberries
A Lesson in Love is one of Bergman’s most underestimated and neglected films. Critics tend to dismiss it as a lightweight and marginal throw-off or as a sketch for Smiles of a Summer Night (though the film it more strikingly anticipates is Wild Strawberries). ...
Doubts and Fears: The Seventh Seal, The Face, The Devil’s Eye
Gathering storm clouds pierced by sudden light as voices sing loudly and challengingly, then the film’s first clearcut image: filmed from a low angle a bird of prey hangs ominously, poised to swoop: “When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in Heaven for the space of about half-an-hour. . . .” ...
The Isaksson Films: So Close to Life, The Virgin Spring
The Ulla Isaksson films are easily the best Bergman made between Wild Strawberries and the Trilogy. At first sight they may appear to have little in common: a film set in a modern maternity ward, centered on the childbirth experiences of three women; a film set in the Middle Ages, ...
The Trilogy: Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, The Silence
At the start of Through a Glass Darkly appear the words “To Käbi, My Wife”: as far as I know, this is the only example of a dedication in Bergman’s work. Diffident as the critic may be about prying into private matters and resolute to talk about the art, not the artist, with films as personal and often introverted as Bergman’s, ...
Intermezzo: Now About These Women
Each Bergman film since Prison has its own defined individual character, but in obvious ways Now About These Women is unusually isolated from all the rest. It remains—until A Passion is released—Bergman’s only film in color, and it uses color to accentuate the deliberately artificial and stylized prettiness of the decor. ...
The World Without, The World Within: Persona, Hour of the Wolf, Shame
Art comments on life. But does it? Even tragedy, traditionally held highest of the arts, with pretensions to illuminating the significance of human existence, leaves huge areas, and huge possibilities, almost untouched. Those areas have always existed, but in our century they have extended themselves enormously in the artist’s consciousness. ...
Moments of Release: Cries and Whispers (1973)
It was The Seventh Seal in 1957 that established Bergman’s reputation internationally. At the time, the film appeared a vividly imagined medieval fresco with contemporary overtones. In fact, it also established a basic structure that has recurred intermittently in Bergman’s films ever since. ...
Call Me Ishmael: Fanny and Alexander (1983)
Bergman’s statement that Fanny and Alexander will be his last film is doubtless to be understood more rhetorically than literally: he has already completed another. Admittedly he specified that it would be his last theatrical film, and the new one, After the Rehearsal, was made for Swedish television ...
Persona Revisited (1994)
What follows is part addendum to, part correction of, the account of Persona I offered in my book on Ingmar Bergman almost thirty years ago. That account was written after my first few viewings of this inexhaustibly fascinating, disturbing, and difficult work and at the height of the widespread “Bergmania” in which I shared, ...
From the Life of the Marionettes: Bergman, Sweden, and Me (2000)
Bergman’s films are, before everything else, personal. The most fully characteristic are intense psychodramas in which one feels one is watching an internal battle being played out—a battle among human individuals but also among warring and often murderous impulses within a single mind or personality. ...