Ingmar Bergman (1918) Swedish filmmaker
"The theatre is my faithful wife, the movie is my costly mistress"
Ingmar Bergman, still active as stage director and theatre manager, has become famous because of the forty movies he made between 1943 and 1982, an average of one per year. The Swede's international breakthrough came in 1955 with Sommernattens leende (Smiles of a Summer Night), a somewhat cynical comedy and a variation on William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
But a true exceptional product he left behind with Det sjunde inseglet (The Seventh Seal) in 1957. The image of Swedish film would never be the same after this. Det sjunde inseglet deals with a Middle Age legend about a knight who plays chess with death... and loses. Bergman in fact depicts the always failing human, then as well as now.
The also in 1957/1958 extremely popular Smultronstället (Wild Strawberries) is a melancholic movie because of Bergman's effective use of free associative pictures. The story is about an elderly professor who travels through Sweden by car, just to be honoured by the Academia (famous thanks to Alfred Nobel's will) for one last time. Ingmar Bergman proved his multi-functionality once again with Jungfrukällen (The Virgin Spring) in 1960. In a rape and murder of a young nobility girl from the Middle Ages by a bunch of rough guys and the horrid revenge of her father, Bergman combines extremely ascetic filming with huge psychological tension. For Bergman too the sixties had started.
His last famous movie Fanny och Alexander (Fanny and Alexander) about the childhood experiences of the two, contains many autobiographical elements. In fact it's his artistical testament, partly explaining his gloomy but passionate view on human existence.
Ernst Ingmar Bergman (born July 14, 1918 in Uppsala) was director of theatre in Helsingborg at the age of 26 already. Because of his huge success as a filmmaker, he enjoyed the same key position in Göteborg (Gothenburg) and Malmö, and finally in the Royal Theatre in Stockholm. Here he promoted excitingly new interpretations of Shakespeare en Henrik Ibsen, that were discussed a lot also. He was married five times.
"I have always admired him, and I wish I could be a equally good filmmaker as he is, but it will never happen. His love for the cinema almost gives me a guilty conscience."