Some Bergman Youtube

(July 16, 2020)

Some years ago, I watched a whole bunch of stuff by Ingmar Bergman. As a result, I was sitting on a pile of really obscure things that I had acquired from various sources that I uploaded to Youtube a few years later. I then uploaded a bunch of subtitles and translated one of the pieces … Continue reading Some Bergman Youtube

Some Bergman Subtitles

(November 29, 2019)

I was wondering how much work it is to do subtitles for some of the Bergman rarities I uploaded yesterday: Somebody has written a subtitling mode for Emacs, so I wondered whether that was going to be my new hobby. But then it occurred to me that there’s a gazillion of busy bees out there: … Continue reading Some Bergman Subtitles

Some Bergman Things

(November 28, 2019)

Some years back, I watched a whole bunch of things Ingmar Bergman had done. Most of his movies “proper” are available through conventional means, but a surprising number of things weren’t. (We’re talking plays like The Ghost Sonata (on one end of the video quality scale) to The School for Wives (on the other end), … Continue reading Some Bergman Things

87 Bergman Things Redux

(March 30, 2018)

When I embarked upon my majestic Ingmar Bergman journey (ahem) there basically were two reasons for doing so: 1) I really wanted to, and c) it’s silly, and XIV), this box set had been released: I thought it was a complete collection, but it’s basically half his output. I’ve seen most of Bergman’s films before, … Continue reading 87 Bergman Things Redux

BTLXXXVII 2004: Bergman Island

(March 29, 2018)

Bergman Island. Marie Nyreröd. 2004. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. This is basically a long interview with Bergman. Apparently these filmmakers were the first who was given access to film at Bergman’s home at the Färö island, and it’s a rather fabulous place. But this is not a completely successful documentary. It seems to want to wring too much … Continue reading BTLXXXVII 2004: Bergman Island

BTLXXXVI 2003: Behind Saraband

(March 29, 2018)

Yes, he’s painting the leaves with yellow paint to make it look more like autumn. Behind Saraband (I Bergmans regi). Torbjörn Ehrnvall. 2003. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. This is the “making of” documentary from Saraband, Bergman’s final film (both as a director and a writer). He’s a very spry 85 year old here. Still a very hands on, … Continue reading BTLXXXVI 2003: Behind Saraband

BTLXXXV 2003: Saraband

(March 29, 2018)

Saraband. Ingmar Bergman. 2003. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Bergman’s winding down of his career over several decades is deliberate and well-directed: He said goodbye to directing films with his most successful production Fanny & Alexander (a tribute to his grandmother); his final film script was Faithless (where he sort of apologised for his life); he wound down his … Continue reading BTLXXXV 2003: Saraband

BTLXXXIV 1978: The Making of Autumn Sonata

(March 29, 2018)

The Making of Autumn Sonata. Ingmar Bergman. 1978. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. This bluray showed up in my mailbox the other day, and I was all “wat” because I’ve already seen Autumn Sonata. But after ripping it I recalled that the reason I bought it was that there’s a huge “making of” film included: It’s three and a … Continue reading BTLXXXIV 1978: The Making of Autumn Sonata

BTLXXXIII 2000: The Image Makers

(March 28, 2018)

The Image Makers (Bildmakarna). Ingmar Bergman. 2000. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. This is the TV version of what Bergman wanted to be his final theatre staging. If you think “TV theatre”, this is it: It has an aesthetic that harks back to (or emulates perfectly) the first wave of “TV theatre” in the 60s and 70s when they … Continue reading BTLXXXIII 2000: The Image Makers

BTLXXXII 2000: Faithless

(March 28, 2018)

Faithless (Trolösa). Liv Ullmann. 2000. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Another film directed by Liv Ullmann, but this time without Sven Nykvist. It’s a film about making a story, and also about that story. It’s a fun way to approach this story, but it’s a pretty harsh self-portrait Bergman’s painted of himself. (Assuming that the young asshole of a … Continue reading BTLXXXII 2000: Faithless

BTLXXXI 1997: Behind In the Presence of a Clown

(March 25, 2018)

Behind In the Presence of a Clown (I sällskap med en clown). unknown. 1997. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Geeze. The “making of” films of Bergman’s films in the 80s and 90s are so fascinating. This is another fly-on-the-wall thing where we follow the taping (it’s TV) of the movie, and it’s pretty great. I didn’t know that Bergman … Continue reading BTLXXXI 1997: Behind In the Presence of a Clown

BTLXXX 1997: In the Presence of a Clown

(March 25, 2018)

In the Presence of a Clown (Larmar och gör sig till). Ingmar Bergman. 1997. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Bergman continues his stories about his family (more fictional than ever). This time it’s more about his uncle Carl (played by the same guy who did the part starting with Fanny & Alexander, so it’s his fourth film in this … Continue reading BTLXXX 1997: In the Presence of a Clown

BTLXXIX 1996: Harald & Harald

(March 24, 2018)

Harald & Harald. Ingmar Bergman. 1996. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. This is a satirical political short (all unusual things for Bergman) about a text produced by the Ministry of Culture in Sweden. It’s funny, but I don’t have the context here, so I’m slightly lost. Here’s a typical sentence they’re reading and making fun of: “The theatre is … Continue reading BTLXXIX 1996: Harald & Harald

BTLXXVIII 1996: Private Confessions

(March 24, 2018)

Private Confessions (Enskilda samtal). Liv Ullmann. 1996. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. I couldn’t find this film anywhere: Not on Amazon, not Netflix, not nowhere, so I torrented it. And the torrent turned out to be with Spanish dialogue. *sigh* But then it turns out that some kind person has put the entire thing on Youtube. Thank you. Pernilla … Continue reading BTLXXVIII 1996: Private Confessions

BTLXXVII 1995: The Last Gasp

(March 23, 2018)

The Last Gasp (Sista skriket). Ingmar Bergman. 1995. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. The first ten minutes is documentary: Bergman shows us clips from old Swedish films (pre 1920) and tells us a bit about the people that made the films. And then we get a one act TV play where Bergman imagines a meeting between two of these … Continue reading BTLXXVII 1995: The Last Gasp

BTLXXVI 1992: The Best Intentions

(March 23, 2018)

The Best Intentions (Den goda viljan). Bille August. 1992. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. The copy I had of this film didn’t work, so I had to watch it via Amazon Prime, and it turns out to have two levels of subtitling in English: One from the theatrical version (burned into the film) and one for the hard of … Continue reading BTLXXVI 1992: The Best Intentions

BTLXXV 1993: The Bacchae

(March 17, 2018)

The Bacchae (Backanterna). Ingmar Bergman. 1993. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Bergman had first staged this opera to great acclaim at the Stockholm opera. This TV version is, as usual with Bergman, hugely reworked. And between the acts we get a five minute lecture about Dionysus. Anyway, it’s trey fab, especially the first act. I think it loses some … Continue reading BTLXXV 1993: The Bacchae

BTLXXIV 1992: Sunday’s Children

(March 16, 2018)

Sunday’s Children (Söndagsbarn). Daniel Bergman. 1992. ⭐⭐★★★★. This film is based on a script by Ingmar Bergman (which is again based on a chapter of his autobiography Laterna Magica). It’s about Bergman’s fraught relationship with his father, and it’s directed by Bergman’s son Daniel. It’s like Bergman-o-rama. The most amazing thing about this film is … Continue reading BTLXXIV 1992: Sunday’s Children

BTLXXIII 1992: Before Madame de Sade

(March 16, 2018)

Before Madame de Sade (Inför Markisinnan de Sade). 1992. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. This is an interview that was shown before Madame de Sade on Swedish TV, so I should probably have watched it first, but I hate knowing stuff about things I’m going to see, so I didn’t. Hah! Bergman mostly talks about Mishima and not so … Continue reading BTLXXIII 1992: Before Madame de Sade

BTLXXII 1992: Madame de Sade

(March 16, 2018)

Madame de Sade (Markisinnan de Sade). Ingmar Bergman. 1992. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. This is the TV version of Mishima’s play that Bergman had staged at several theatres. It looks like it’s been somewhat reworked for TV: It’s by no means just a filmed version of the stage version. I got my copy off of teh torrenz, and … Continue reading BTLXXII 1992: Madame de Sade

BTLXXI 1986: The Blessed Ones

(March 15, 2018)

The Blessed Ones (De två saliga). Ingmar Bergman. 1986. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. Bergman ended his film career with Fanny & Alexander, but after Bergman’s previous TV film was upscaled from 16mm to 32mm and shown in theatres anyway, he apparently decided to make sure this never happened again by doing his first TV movie on video. (He’d … Continue reading BTLXXI 1986: The Blessed Ones

BTLXX 1983: Ingmar Bergman Bids Farewell to Film

(March 15, 2018)

Ingmar Bergman Bids Farewell to Film (Ingmar Bergman tar farväl av filmenb). Nils-Petter Sundgren. 1983. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Hey! Another documentary following Fanny & Alexander. The previous one was a fly-on-the-wall “making of”, and it was absolutely brilliant. This one is basically a guy interviewing Bergman about Fanny & Alexander for an hour. For what it is, … Continue reading BTLXX 1983: Ingmar Bergman Bids Farewell to Film

BTLXIX 1985: The Making of Fanny & Alexander

(March 14, 2018)

The Making of Fanny & Alexander (Dokument Fanny och Alexander ). Ingmar Bergman. 1985. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. I’ve seen more than a handful of “making of” films, but this is pretty unique. The documentary camera person is present throughout the filming and must have been just a few inches from the cinematographer. It really feels as if … Continue reading BTLXIX 1985: The Making of Fanny & Alexander

BTLXVIII 1984: Karin’s Face

(March 10, 2018)

Karin’s Face (Karins ansikte). Ingmar Bergman. 1984. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. This short is basically Bergman showing us some pictures from his family album, with an emphasis on pictures of his mom. I got my copy off of teh torrenzes. The accompanying music is sentimental in the extreme. Perhaps Bergman should have used a disco soundtrack instead. But … Continue reading BTLXVIII 1984: Karin’s Face

BTLXVII 1984: After the Rehersal

(March 10, 2018)

After the Rehersal (Efter repetitionen). Ingmar Bergman. 1984. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Bergman insists that he had meant for Fanny & Alexander to be his final theatrical release, but After the Rehearsal ended up being released for cinemas in the US anyway. That’s the version on this DVD, I think, because it looks super-grainy and very crackly and … Continue reading BTLXVII 1984: After the Rehersal

BTLXVI 1983: The School for Wives

(March 9, 2018)

The School for Wives (Hustruskolan). Ingmar Bergman. 1983. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. This play was rehearsed by Alf Sjöberg (the director), but he died and Bergman decided (as a tribute) to film the piece for TV. So it’s the usual kind of Molière farce. It’s funny, of course and the actors are great. It’s very filmed theatre, though. … Continue reading BTLXVI 1983: The School for Wives

BTLXV 1982: Fanny & Alexander

(March 9, 2018)

Fanny & Alexander. Ingmar Bergman. 1982. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Bergman’s final “real” film, and like some of the preceding ones, there’s a TV series version and a shorter theatrical release. I’ve seen the TV version a couple of times before, so this time I’m watching the theatrical edit. And it’s restored gloriously by Criterion on Bluray. I … Continue reading BTLXV 1982: Fanny & Alexander

BTLXIV 1980: From the Life of the Marionettes

(March 3, 2018)

From the Life of the Marionettes (Aus dem Leben dem Marionetten). Ingmar Bergman. 1980. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Bergman called this his only real German film: Conceived, written and filmed while Bergman was in his German exile. And it certainly feels like an outlier in Bergman’s career. For one, the audio quality is way beneath Bergman’s usual standards. … Continue reading BTLXIV 1980: From the Life of the Marionettes

BTLXIII 1979: Fårö Document 1979

(March 3, 2018)

Fårö Document 1979 (Fårö-dokument 1979). Ingmar Bergman. 1979. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. This is Bergman’s second documentary film about the island he made his home and workplace: Fårö. (Which doesn’t mean “sheep island” even if it looks like it.) Most of his most successful films were filmed on the island, and he did two documentaries about people living … Continue reading BTLXIII 1979: Fårö Document 1979

BTLXII 1978: Autumn Sonata

(March 3, 2018)

Autumn Sonata (Höstsonaten). Ingmar Bergman. 1978. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Huh! I may not have seen this one before… It seems rather unfamiliar. In any case: Ingrid Bergman and Liv Ullmann. In a house. Drama. It’s wonderful. Bergman (the director) about Bergman (the actor): I discovered early into our rehearsals that to be understanding and offer a sympathetic … Continue reading BTLXII 1978: Autumn Sonata

BTLXI 1977: The Serpent’s Egg

(March 2, 2018)

The Serpent’s Egg. Ingmar Bergman. 1977. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. Hey! I watched this in 2014! And I’m not really looking forward to watching it again… but apparently I bought a new copy of the DVD for this blog series. Oh, well. Perhaps it’ll be better this time! This is Bergman’s first film after he fled (sort of) … Continue reading BTLXI 1977: The Serpent’s Egg

BTLX 1976: The Dance of the Damned Women

(March 2, 2018)

The Dance of the Damned Women (De fördömda kvinnornas dans). Ingmar Bergman. 1976. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Well, this is a strange one. It’s a wordless short, but it’s not a ballet per se. Before it starts, there’s a woman that explains that this is what we’re going to see, and that afterwards there will be a discussion, … Continue reading BTLX 1976: The Dance of the Damned Women

BTLIX 1976: Face to Face

(March 2, 2018)

Face to Face (Ansikte mot ansikte). Ingmar Bergman. 1976. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Originally a three hour TV series, “[i]t was edited down for theatrical releases for running times from 114 to 135 minutes.” And it stars Liv Ullmann and Erlend Josephson, so it’s very much similar to Scenes from a Marriage in that way. This one’s produced … Continue reading BTLIX 1976: Face to Face

BTLVIII 1975: Silence! Action! The Magic Flute!

(February 24, 2018)

Silence! Action! The Magic Flute! (Tystnad! Tagning! Trollflöjten!). Katinka Faragó, Måns Reuterswärd. 1975. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. This “making of” film of The Magic Flute is really interesting. It’s mostly fly-on-the-wall, and it’s really well edited and funny. “The Magic Flute isn’t just a risible fairy tale… But as a music play, it’s fairy tale/poem/dream.” This is one … Continue reading BTLVIII 1975: Silence! Action! The Magic Flute!

BTLVII 1975: The Magic Flute

(February 24, 2018)

The Magic Flute (Trollflöjten). Ingmar Bergman. 1975. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. This was the most expensive TV production ever made in Sweden at the time, so there were the usual mutterings of “scandal”, but they sold the finished TV show to so many countries that it ended up earning the Swedish TV company a lot of money. This … Continue reading BTLVII 1975: The Magic Flute

BTLVI 1974: The Misanthrope

(February 24, 2018)

The Misanthrope (Misantropen). Ingmar Bergman. 1974. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. This is a TV recording of a Danish theatre production of Moliere’s The Misanthrope directed by Bergman. It’s quite fun, and Ghita Nørby as Célimène is a blast to watch. I don’t think anyone would quite have guessed that it was a Bergman production if they hadn’t known, … Continue reading BTLVI 1974: The Misanthrope

BTLV 1973: Scenes from a Marriage

(February 23, 2018)

Scenes from a Marriage (Scener ur ett äktenskap). Ingmar Bergman. 1973. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. I’ve seen the TV series before, so I thought it might be fun to see the cinema version, too. I vaguely remember the TV series as being a very involving soap opera. The cinema version is apparently just an edited-down version (they lopped … Continue reading BTLV 1973: Scenes from a Marriage

BTLIV 1970: The Lie

(February 23, 2018)

The Lie. Alan Bridges. 1970. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. This is the British version of The Lie, which I saw the Swedish version of last weekend. So we’re skipping back from 1973, way back to the misty days of 1970, when a bunch of European countries all recorded their own versions of the same Bergman script. I’m not … Continue reading BTLIV 1970: The Lie

BTLIII 1973: The Ghost Sonata

(February 23, 2018)

The Ghost Sonata (Spöksonaten). Ingmar Bergman. 1973. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. What a strange artefact. This is from the collection of the Bergman bootlegger, and it’s a video recording from 1973 of Bergman’s production of Strindberg’s The Ghost Sonata from a single camera placed on the balcony, apparently. There’s a lot of video ghosting whenever anybody moves, which … Continue reading BTLIII 1973: The Ghost Sonata

BTLII 1972: Cries & Whispers

(February 17, 2018)

Cries & Whispers (Viskningar och rop). Ingmar Bergman. 1972. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Unless I misremember the following films, Cries & Whispers is sort of the end of an era: It’s the last of the classic 60s films (even if we’re now in the 70s). After this, it all becomes a bit confusing, with TV productions (sometimes cut … Continue reading BTLII 1972: Cries & Whispers

BTLI 1970: The Lie

(February 17, 2018)

The Lie (Reservatet). Jan Molander. 1970. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. This TV play (directed by Jan Molander from a script by Bergman) had its origin in the work with The Passion of Anna film: The script for that film apparently started off as this script, but then evolved into something very different, so Bergman gave the original script … Continue reading BTLI 1970: The Lie

BTL 1971: The Touch

(February 14, 2018)

The Touch (Beröringen). Ingmar Bergman. 1971. ⭐⭐★★★★. The intention was to shoot The Touch in both English and Swedish. In an original version that doesn’t seem to exist anymore, English was spoken by those who were English-speaking and Swedish by those who were Swedes. I belive that it just possibly was slightly less unbearable than … Continue reading BTL 1971: The Touch

BTXLIX 1969: The Passion of Anna

(February 14, 2018)

The Passion of Anna (En passion). Ingmar Bergman. 1969. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Whaa? This film is not in 4:3? It’s more like… 16:11? At least the DVD is. And it’s in colour, too, but Bergman’s already done that. You kinda think of Bergman as being extremely distinctive and set in his own ways, but viewing his films … Continue reading BTXLIX 1969: The Passion of Anna

BTXLVIII 1969: The Rite

(February 10, 2018)

The Rite (Riten). Ingmar Bergman. 1969. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Bergman had done a handful of things for TV before, but up until this one, they had all been theatre plays adapted for TV. This is his first “real” film for TV, and he apparently made it because he was fed up with how much time and effort … Continue reading BTXLVIII 1969: The Rite

BTXLVII 1968: Shame

(February 10, 2018)

Shame (Skammen). Ingmar Bergman. 1968. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Bergman goes political. It’s an incredible film, but Bergman was dissatisfied himself: In other words, we are talking about poorly constructed manuscript. The first half of the film is really nothing more than an endlessly drawn-out prologue that ought to have been over and done within ten minutes. What … Continue reading BTXLVII 1968: Shame

BTXLVI 2004: Hour of the Wolf: The Search for Sanity

(February 10, 2018)

Hour of the Wolf: The Search for Sanity. Greg Carson. 2004. ⭐⭐★★★★. This is the first Bergman film that was sold to distributors in the US before it was filmed, and as such the rights for the DVD are somehow in American hands. But that means that there’s a documentary featurette in English, edited together … Continue reading BTXLVI 2004: Hour of the Wolf: The Search for Sanity

BTXLV 1968: Hour of the Wolf

(February 9, 2018)

Hour of the Wolf (Vargtimmen). Ingmar Bergman. 1968. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. After the Tour de France of Persona, Hour of the Wolf is a bit of a let-down. The scenes seem to carry no weight. Instead of the shots being filled to the brim with (possible) meaning, they’re kinda just… there… here. But it’s a hard act … Continue reading BTXLV 1968: Hour of the Wolf

BTXLIV 1967: Stimulantia

(February 9, 2018)

Stimulantia (“Daniel” section). Ingmar Bergman. 1967. ⭐⭐★★★★. The mid-60s wasn’t Bergman’s busiest period, film-wise. All These Women in 64, Persona in 66, and Hour of the Wolf in 68. Well, OK, for anybody else, that’s a quite impressive schedule, but Bergman had basically done about two films per year until now, so… Anyway! This is … Continue reading BTXLIV 1967: Stimulantia

BTXLIII 1966: Persona

(February 9, 2018)

Persona. Ingmar Bergman. 1966. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Of all of Bergman’s films, this is probably the one that has launched the most doctoral theses. So I’m going to refrain from my usual trivial nattering and just say: It’s kinda good, innit? This post is part of the 87 Bergman Things series.

BTXLII 1964: All These Women

(February 4, 2018)

All These Women (För inte tala om alla dessa kvinnor). Ingmar Bergman. 1964. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. This is Bergman’s directorial colour film debut. Weirdly enough, it’s his second colour film script, and both of them are co-written with Erland Josephson. It’s like they got together to write scripts for colour adaptation… This is also Bergman’s final comedy. … Continue reading BTXLII 1964: All These Women

BTXLI 1963: The Silence

(February 4, 2018)

The Silence (Tystnaden). Ingmar Bergman. 1963. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Bergman thought that this would be another box office disaster (like Winter Light), but instead it became the producer’s (Svensk Filmindustri) biggest movie so far. And it’s not difficult to agree with Bergman (it’s about two women and a boy in a hotel in a country where they’re … Continue reading BTXLI 1963: The Silence

BTXL 1963: Wood Painting

(February 3, 2018)

Trämålning. Lennart Olsson. 1963. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. This is a rather weird one. It’s a short-ish TV movie (directed by Lennart Olsson) based on the old one-act play that Bergman earlier had developed into The Seventh Seal. (Yes. Very confusing.) The actors are variable, but Ulla Akselson (as the witch) is great. I got a copy of … Continue reading BTXL 1963: Wood Painting

BTXXXIX 1963: A Dream Play

(February 3, 2018)

A Dream Play (Ett drömspel). Ingmar Bergman. 1963. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Boo! Uno Herring is back in this TV play. I still can’t really understand what he’s saying: His diction is so … strange. Some sounds are half-swallowed, and there’s the occasional extra syllable that shouldn’t really be in that word. So it’s subtitle time again, which … Continue reading BTXXXIX 1963: A Dream Play

BTXXXVIII 1961: Behind Winter Light

(February 2, 2018)

Behind Winter Light (Bakomfilm Nattvärdsgästerna). Ingmar Bergman. 1961. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. I’m really starting to enjoy the commentaries by whoever that is on these “behind the scenes” shorts. They’re terse, but to the point. This is 3x longer than any of the previous films, though, and perhaps it would have been an idea to give her somebody … Continue reading BTXXXVIII 1961: Behind Winter Light

BTXXXVII 1963: Winter Light

(February 2, 2018)

Winter Light (Nattvardsgästarna). Ingmar Bergman. 1963. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. 1963 was a particularly busy year for Bergman: I’ve got five things from that year scheduled here. There’s nothing in 1962, though, so perhaps there were just a lot of stuff percolating… Bergman turned down a 24x pay raise from MGM and stayed in Sweden. Watching this straight … Continue reading BTXXXVII 1963: Winter Light

BTXXXVI 1961: The Pleasure Garden

(February 2, 2018)

The Pleasure Garden (Lustgården). Alf Kjellin. 1961. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. Bergman thought it was about time that Svensk Filmindustri did a proper colour film, but he didn’t have time to do it himself. So he co-wrote the screenplay (with a pseudonymous credit) and left Alf Kjellin to direct it. It was pretty much universally panned at the … Continue reading BTXXXVI 1961: The Pleasure Garden

BTXXXV 1961: Through a Glass Darkly

(January 27, 2018)

Through a Glass Darkly (Såsom i en spegel). Ingmar Bergman. 1961. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Harriet Andersson is back! After the relationship with Bergman ended (and Bergman started one with her sister), she’d been gone from Bergman’s films for some years. Along with Gunnar Björnstrand and Max von Sydow, this little film has an extremely solid cast. Even … Continue reading BTXXXV 1961: Through a Glass Darkly

BTXXXIV 1960: The Devil’s Eye

(January 27, 2018)

The Devil’s Eye (Djävulens öga). Ingmar Bergman. 1960. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. The studio had bought the rigths to a dusty Danish comedy called The Return of Don Juan. Dymling and I entered into a shameful agreement. I wanted to direct The Virgin Spring, which he detested. He wanted me to direct The Devil’s Eye which I detested. … Continue reading BTXXXIV 1960: The Devil’s Eye

BTXXXIII 1960: Storm Weather

(January 27, 2018)

Storm Weather (Oväder). Ingmar Bergman. 1960. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. This is a TV play shown on the occasion of Strindberg’s 111th birthday or something equally spurious. It features nobody from Bergman’s usual coterie of actors, so perhaps they’re all taken from Bergman’s theatre ensemble? As theatre actors most of them deliver their lines very crisply and precisely, … Continue reading BTXXXIII 1960: Storm Weather

BTXXXII 1960: The Virgin Spring

(January 26, 2018)

The Virgin Spring (Jungfrukällan). Ingmar Bergman. 1960. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. This is Bergman’s first Oscar win? It’s not difficult to guess why (spoiler warning: God turns out to be real; i.e., instant US appeal). Even so, it’s rather good. Sven Nykvist is back as the cinematographer, and that really shows. Every scene is a perfect little tableau. … Continue reading BTXXXII 1960: The Virgin Spring

BTXXXI 1958: Behind The Magician

(January 26, 2018)

Behind The Magician (Bakomfilm Ansiktet). Ingmar Bergman. 1958. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Same narrator as the previous “behind” featurettes. This one’s quite informative. This post is part of the 87 Bergman Things series.

BTXXX 1958: The Magician

(January 26, 2018)

The Magician (Ansiktet). Ingmar Bergman. 1958. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. We’ve now reached the point where a Bergman film can be immediately identified by just looking at any random frame from his movies, so I guess we’ve gone past the “early” bit of his career. It’s all so programmatically present in this one: All the characters being metaphors … Continue reading BTXXX 1958: The Magician

BTXXIX 1958: Brink of Life

(January 26, 2018)

Brink of Life (Nära livet). Ingmar Bergman. 1958. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. At a time when very few men had ever been present at an actual birth, Brink of Life came as a shock for many viewers. The newspapers reported people fainting (the record being set in Bergen in Norway, where eight people passed out during the same … Continue reading BTXXIX 1958: Brink of Life

BTXXVIII 1958: The Venetian Woman

(January 21, 2018)

The Venetian Woman (Venetianskan). Ingmar Bergman. 1958. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. Bergman was so productive these years that establishing a chronology isn’t trivial. But this TV production seems to have been released before his next feature film, but I have no idea which one was made first. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Anyway, it’s Bergman’s second TV production. It was apparently shown … Continue reading BTXXVIII 1958: The Venetian Woman

BTXXVII 1957: Mr. Sleeman is Coming

(January 21, 2018)

Mr. Sleeman is Coming (Herr Sleeman kommer). Ingmar Bergman. 1957. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. This is Bergman’s first TV movie. It doesn’t seem to have gotten an official release, so I had to get it from teh torrenz. It’s a play filmed for TV (with multiple cameras, I think). Bergman’s usual cohort of actors (Bibi Andersson, Max von … Continue reading BTXXVII 1957: Mr. Sleeman is Coming

BTXXVI 1957: Nattens ljus

(January 20, 2018)

Nattens ljus. Lars-Eric Kjellgren. 1957. ⭐⭐★★★★. I got this one from the Bergman Pirate. It’s not officially a Bergman film: He worked on the script, but is uncredited. Is this the only non-Bergman-directed film I’ve seen Gunnar Björnstrand in? And… he’s not as good here as I had come to expect. The entire film is … Continue reading BTXXVI 1957: Nattens ljus

BTXXV 1957: Behind Wild Strawberries

(January 20, 2018)

The narrator says “There’s me”. And if she’s the script girl, then that’s Katinka Faragó, according to imdb. Narrator identified! Possibly! Behind Wild Strawberries (Bakomfilm Smultronstället). Ingmar Bergman. 1957. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. I still don’t know who’s doing the voice-over on these documentaries, but she seems fun. You don’t really get much information beyond what the actors’ … Continue reading BTXXV 1957: Behind Wild Strawberries

BTXXIV 1957: Wild Strawberries

(January 20, 2018)

Wild Strawberries (Smultronstället). Ingmar Bergman. 1957. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Is this Bergman’s greatest commercial success, perhaps? It’s probably second to The Seventh Seal as “The Bergman Film”, though. It’s such a lovely and surprising film. It has a road movie structure where people fade in and out of the proceedings in a very pleasing manner. This post … Continue reading BTXXIV 1957: Wild Strawberries

BTXXIII 1956: Behind The Seventh Seal

(January 20, 2018)

Behind The Seventh Seal (Bakomfilm Det sjunde inseglet). Ingmar Bergman. 1956. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. The narrator on this short is the same as on the previous one, but I still don’t know who it is. Perhaps the script supervisor? The narration is very seat-of-the-pants: The narrator has obviously never seen the footage before, so she’s commenting on … Continue reading BTXXIII 1956: Behind The Seventh Seal

BTXXII 1957: The Seventh Seal

(January 20, 2018)

The Seventh Seal (Det sjunde inseglet). Ingmar Bergman. 1957. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. This is probably the one film everybody thinks of when you mention Ingmar Bergman, right? Very serious, filled with symbolism and religious anguish. As pop-culture penetration of art film goes, nothing beats Death on the beach playing chess. And Max von Sydow, for the first … Continue reading BTXXII 1957: The Seventh Seal

BTXXI 1955: Smiles of a Summer Night

(January 19, 2018)

Smiles of a Summer Night (Sommarnattens leende). Ingmar Bergman. 1955. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. “A romantic comedy by Ingmar Bergman.” Bergman was depressed but needed money, so he made this little masterpiece, which was also his international break-through, I think. It won prizes in Cannes and everything. Gunnar Björnstrand’s glued-on comedy beard is rather disturbing, though. “The last … Continue reading BTXXI 1955: Smiles of a Summer Night

BTXX 1947: Woman Without a Face

(January 19, 2018)

Princess!? Such lighting. Woman Without a Face (Kvinna utan ansikte). Gustaf Molander. 1947. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. We’re diverging from the chronological Bergman thing again and skipping back from 1956 to 1947: To this Bergman-scripted, but Gustaf Molander-directed thing. It’s weird being back in this period again after the 1955-56 streak of mature-ish Bergman films. It’s all artifice … Continue reading BTXX 1947: Woman Without a Face

BTXIX 1954: Behind Dreams

(January 14, 2018)

Behind Dreams (Bakomfilm Kvinnodröm). Ingmar Bergman. 1954. ⭐⭐★★★★. This is the behind the scenes documentary for Dreams: The first one of these that were created for Bergman films. We get reminiscences by an unnamed female voice that says things like “that’s a lot of blurry images; I think those should be edited out”. It’s hard … Continue reading BTXIX 1954: Behind Dreams

BTXVIII 1955: Dreams

(January 13, 2018)

Dreams (Kvinnodröm). Ingmar Bergman. 1955. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. After the success of A Lesson in Love, you’d think that making the follow-up (with basically the same cast and crew) would be easy enough. But it just doesn’t have the same sparkle. While it isn’t as effortlessly brilliant as the previous movie, it does demonstrate that Bergman the … Continue reading BTXVIII 1955: Dreams

BTXVII 1954: A Lesson in Love

(January 13, 2018)

A Lesson in Love (En lektion i kärlek). Ingmar Bergman. 1954. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Yay. Eva Dahlbeck and Gunnar Björnstrand (Sweden’s Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant) are back in this delicious comedy (which is Bergman’s first real comedy). Harriet Andersson does a wonderful performance as a tomboy 15-year-old, too. It’s a thoroughly entertaining film. This post is … Continue reading BTXVII 1954: A Lesson in Love

BTXVI 1953: Sawdust and Tinsel

(January 10, 2018)

Sawdust and Tinsel (Gycklarnas afton). Ingmar Bergman. 1953. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Finally cinematographer Sven Nykvist is on board (for part of the film). Unfortunately, he doesn’t return to the fold until 1960, I think… This film perhaps marks the beginning of the end of the end of the “Early Bergman” stretch of films? You’ve got Harriet Andersson … Continue reading BTXVI 1953: Sawdust and Tinsel

BTXV 1948: Eva

(January 10, 2018)

Eva. Gustaf Molander. 1948. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. This film didn’t arrive in time for its rightful place in this blog series. Shame! Shame! So cast your mind back from 1953 to the long gone past of 1948… This one is not directed by Bergman, but the script is by him and it’s based on one of his … Continue reading BTXV 1948: Eva

BTXIV 1953: Summer with Monika

(January 8, 2018)

Summer with Monika (Sommaren med Monika). Ingmar Bergman. 1953. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Another box office smash for Bergman, although this one was critically panned at the time. (And the American “version” (edited down and with added nudist camp shots) led to a trial: “Reporting on the case against the distributor, the Los Angeles Examiner quoted Judge Byron … Continue reading BTXIV 1953: Summer with Monika

BTXIII 1952: Secrets of Women

(January 8, 2018)

Secrets of Women (Kvinnors väntan). Ingmar Bergman. 1952. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. After an enforced break after the horrible This Can’t Happen Here, Bergman is back writing and directing this one, designed to be a people-pleasing comedy, because Bergman just couldn’t afford another box office bomb. I think it’s the first kinda real pure Bergman film. The dialogue … Continue reading BTXIII 1952: Secrets of Women

BTXII 1951: Breeze Ads

(January 8, 2018)

Breeze Ads (Reklamfilmer för Bris). Ingmar Bergman. 1951. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. I got these ads as part of a haul from a Bergman bootlegger, but the quality is really bad. You can find much better quality footage here, for instance. This DVD looks like it has been through seven generations of RealVideo compression. These are pretty weird … Continue reading BTXII 1951: Breeze Ads

BTXI 1951: Summer Interlude

(January 6, 2018)

Summer Interlude (Sommarlek). Ingmar Bergman. 1951. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Oh, right. This film was done before the horrible This Can’t Happen Here, but wasn’t released until a year after due to a strike and economic problems with the film studio. They’re extremely different films: While This Can’t Happen Here is probably the worst film Bergman ever did … Continue reading BTXI 1951: Summer Interlude

BTX 1950: This Can’t Happen Here

(January 6, 2018)

This Can’t Happen Here (Sånt händer inte här). Ingmar Bergman. 1950. ⭐★★★★★. This is a movie that apparently has never gotten a DVD release? I had to source it from teh torrentz, and it looks like it has its origin in a VHS copy. Perhaps it was shown on TV at one point? It’s a … Continue reading BTX 1950: This Can’t Happen Here

BTIX 1950: To Joy

(January 6, 2018)

To Joy (Till glädje). Ingmar Bergman. 1950. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. This is Bergman’s second writer/director credit, and it couldn’t be more different from his first one, Prison. As the title suggests, it’s basically a happy and nostalgic film, where the protagonist is an obvious and hapless stand-in for Bergman himself. It’s pretty funny. Bergman is pretty savage … Continue reading BTIX 1950: To Joy

BTVIII 1949: Thirst

(January 5, 2018)

Thirst (Törst). Ingmar Bergman. 1949. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. After the brilliant Prison completely bombed at the box office, Bergman is back to directing another movie written by somebody else. A bundle of actors from his previous film reappears here, though. It’s a surprisingly vigorous and amusing film: Bergman isn’t sulking after the less than stellar reception of … Continue reading BTVIII 1949: Thirst

BTVII 1949: Prison

(January 5, 2018)

Prison (Fängelse). Ingmar Bergman. 1949. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Finally! A real Bergman film. This is the first of his films that’s both written (not based on a book/play) and directed by Bergman, and we basically get all his obsessions on a plate: Religion, injustice, evil, making movies, symbolism, Fraudianism, watching old movies. It’s the first of these … Continue reading BTVII 1949: Prison

BTVI 1948: Port of Call

(January 5, 2018)

Port of Call (Hamnstad). Ingmar Bergman. 1948. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Oh, it’s Bergman’s 100th birthday this year, so there’s supposed to be a bunch of retrospectives, re-releases and documentaries this year. I had no idea when I embarked upon my Bergmania… Anyway, this is a very strangely edited film. It’s like if the editor is off by … Continue reading BTVI 1948: Port of Call

BTV 1948: Music in Darkness

(December 31, 2017)

Music in Darkness (Musik i mörker). Ingmar Bergman. 1948. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Once again, Birger Malmsten stars, and like Lorens Marmstedt allegedly adviced Bergman two movies ago, “You have to remember that Birger Malmsten is no Jean Gabin”. He still isn’t, but he’s perfectly nice if somewhat uninspiring. (I just had a peek at Bergmans filmography, and … Continue reading BTV 1948: Music in Darkness

BTIV 1947: A Ship Bound For India

(December 31, 2017)

A Ship Bound For India (Skepp till India land). Ingmar Bergman. 1947. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. You can say many things about this film, but you can’t really claim that the DVD transfer is very satisfactory. It’s grainy and uneven as fuck, but perhaps that just reflects the unrestored original film… As would come to be common in … Continue reading BTIV 1947: A Ship Bound For India

BTIII 1946: It Rains On Our Love

(December 30, 2017)

It Rains On Our Love (Det regnar på vår kärlek). Ingmar Bergman. 1946. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Now we’re getting somewhere. This in a different league from the two previous films. It’s based on a play written by a Norwegian guy, but, still, it’s a pretty good story. Very time-appropriate. It’s got a nice flow, and Gunnar Björnstrand … Continue reading BTIII 1946: It Rains On Our Love

BTII 1946: Crisis

(December 30, 2017)

Crisis (Kris). Ingmar Bergman. 1946. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. Bergman’s directorial debut (if you don’t count the last scene of the previous film). The introductory voice-over presents the film as “an everyday play… almost a comedy”. According to Swedish Wikipedia, the production was almost shut down, but the studio head gave Bergman a second chance and restarted the … Continue reading BTII 1946: Crisis

BTI 1944: Torment

(December 29, 2017)

Torment (Hets). Alf Sjöberg. 1944. ⭐⭐★★★★. This is very much a young man’s film: It’s all about a sadistic Latin teacher and his hapless pupils. I’m just guessing, but I assume that it’s Bergman’s revenge on a specific teacher. This isn’t directed by Bergman, but Bergman wrote the script. It still looks a lot like … Continue reading BTI 1944: Torment

87 Bergman Things

(December 29, 2017)

Ingmar Bergman. There’s nobody more jolly, so I’ve long wanted to (re-)watch all his films. But every time I’ve poked around to find a convenient way to do that, I’ve been discouraged by the spotty way his filmography has been made available: One film here; three films on this box set; five on this (with … Continue reading 87 Bergman Things