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Ingmar Bergman passed away, 89 years old


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#16 dirac

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 05:17 PM

Clipping this bit from a post by papeetepatrick in another thread:

It's always driven out art, but art has also always been able to hold its own. I know what you mean, but I think I see it as a normal process--after all, we need not pretend the class system is not still alive and well. Now, we even have another NYTimes bone to pick since yesterday--tee hee, of course, not really, you were linking to an article about religiosity, I'm referring to the A.O. Scott article. I just looked at that Bergman/Antonioni article, and begin to think that it's some of the journalistic standards I find vulgar--as in 'Before Them, Films Were Just Movies', which is such hype and silly nonsense (in fact, it is vulgar in the extreme) I was unable to bring myself to read any further



I didn’t mind the Scott article as much as I did another piece that showed up in the Times, this one on the op-ed page, by Jonathan Rosenbaum. Absolutely insufferable. (Reminded me of the scene in ‘Manhattan’ where Diane Keaton and Michael Murphy are knocking Bergman, among other artists, and putting them in their ‘Academy of the Overrated.’)

#17 papeetepatrick

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 05:46 PM

Absolutely insufferable. (Reminded me of the scene in ‘Manhattan’ where Diane Keaton and Michael Murphy are knocking Bergman, among other artists, and putting them in their ‘Academy of the Overrated.’)


Yes, it's pretty bad, especially decrying his 'power to entertain', which is something that never popped into my mind, and that is not associated with the great European filmmakers; but neither can I see it as anything but more abundance. I wouldn't think of the adjective 'entertaining' for Bergman quite as quickly as I would for, say, Luchino Visconti (I find 'the Damned' overwhelmingly entertaining), but that's actually the one thing I got from the article, although I'll be able to use it for better purpose IMO. The argument is not quite as cartoonlike as some I've recently read by the Brookings Institution, but it may be that he is allergic to Bergman the same way I am to Woody Allen. I don't doubt Allen's talent and ability to entertain, because many people obviously are. But I have never seen a single film of Woody Allen that I liked; something of the personality that I cannot keep from finding odious and insincere always comes through. And even though in the autobio 'the Magic Lantern', there is demonstrated something of the pinched cruelty in his meeting with Garbo--in which he literally revels, as if having discovered America or something, in letting us know that 'her mouth was ugly'--I still find many of the Bergman films moving and even beautiful. Even the cleverest Woody Allen films, such as 'the Purple Rose of Cairo' leave me cold and totally unmoved. So Allen's interest in Bergman is not an angle I am ever in touch with. I was ranting on after finally watching 'Annie Hall' recently, and someone said something 'Interiors' being such an attempt at the Bergmanesque. I said 'well, it doesn't show', although I was only saying that I couldn't stand that movie either.

#18 bart

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 06:09 PM

There's a short obituary -- with wonderful photo -- in this week's Economist.

http://www.economist...tory_id=9581178

Critics wondered whether there was a general message in his films. Mr Bergman sometimes denied he had one. Yet he usually found a saving moment in the misery: a selfless communication, in word or gesture, between two human beings. At the end of “Wild Strawberries” the hero, an aged professor, is belatedly reconciled with his family and his past. As the scene was filmed, Mr Bergman noted, the old actor's face “shone with secretive light as if reflected from another reality”. That secretive light, or hidden love, was just what the director had been searching for.

Nice.

#19 dirac

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 05:15 PM

Yes, it's pretty bad, especially decrying his 'power to entertain', which is something that never popped into my mind, and that is not associated with the great European filmmakers; but neither can I see it as anything but more abundance. I wouldn't think of the adjective 'entertaining' for Bergman quite as quickly as I would for, say, Luchino Visconti (I find 'the Damned' overwhelmingly entertaining), but that's actually the one thing I got from the article, although I'll be able to use it for better purpose IMO.



I don’t have any objection to calling Bergman entertaining, because to me he is; there is an element of entertainment (in the non-frivolous sense) in any successful film, and if it doesn’t entertain you then something is not working. I didn’t like Rosenbaum’s condescending tone and critics who toss around ‘entertaining’ as if it were an insult set my teeth on edge. (The reference to George Cukor got to me particularly – it’s not only meant to be condescending but it’s inaccurate – Cukor had many skills as a director but storytelling per se was not his long suit.)

And even though in the autobio 'the Magic Lantern', there is demonstrated something of the pinched cruelty in his meeting with Garbo--in which he literally revels, as if having discovered America or something, in letting us know that 'her mouth was ugly'--I still find many of the Bergman films moving and even beautiful.


Personally Bergman seems to have been - well, kind of a creep in many ways.

I have never seen a single film of Woody Allen that I liked; something of the personality that I cannot keep from finding odious and insincere always comes through.


I like him better than you do but I also know what you mean. “Interiors” is awful. I saw it again on cable recently with the intention of returning to it with a completely open mind, and it was just as bad as ever. (Opposing views welcome. :lol:)

#20 kfw

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 06:12 PM

Jonathan Rosenbaum writes in the Times:

Riddled with wounds inflicted by Mr. Bergman’s strict Lutheran upbringing and diverse spiritual doubts, these films are at times too self-absorbed to say much about the larger world, limiting the relevance that his champions often claim for them.

An interest in the so-called big questions of whether or not God exists, and of how to live a good and contented life when in doubt of God's existence or convinced of God's' absence, is apparently "self" absorption in Rosenbaum's view. The "larger" world is not that of the posited creator but of what has heretofore been understood as creation, and in the modern world the questions humankind has always considered primary are less noteworthy than the task of changing the language of cinema to say something "new," a category of self-evident superiority to the old. Bergman's neuroses and resentments were particular and not common, unique and not universal, so that his popularity was a triumph of the chic, not a sign of moral seriousness.

#21 bart

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 04:56 AM

Good point, kfw. Maybe one's response -- or non-response -- to much of Bergman's work is connected to whether or not one can share his concerns and identify with the images he uses to convey them.

Given his concerns and values (not to mention his "look" and sense of pacing), it was probably wise of him to ignore suggestions that he go to Hollywood.

#22 dirac

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 11:13 AM

The latest:

And

in fact, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has titled its new exhibition on the Oscar-winning director who has inspired and influenced such filmmakers as Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen, "Ingmar Bergman: Truth and Lies." The show marks the first time since the director's death in 2007 at the age of 89 that the Ingmar Bergman Foundation at the Swedish Film Institute has allowed access to the filmmaker's personal material.

Oddly, during his lifetime, Bergman said in numerous interviews that he never kept any of his papers, scripts, photos or letters and didn't even care what happened to his films after his death. But in reality he had meticulously kept artifacts from his 60-year career in a room in his house on the island of Faro in the Baltic Sea.


Not odd at all, really.

#23 4mrdncr

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 09:02 PM

And very glad he did.

I'm glad I got to re-read this thread. "Interiors" was the first film I ever had to review (I was a sophomore) for the H.S. newspaper. My editor knew I'd already seen some of the usual Bergman films (I don't think anyone else in my class had), but I think I got the job of reviewer for the rest of my time in H.S. because everyone was shocked by my use of the words "pleonastic palaver" to describe Allen's version of a Bergman film. I like Bergman, but only tolerate Allen. The only things I liked about "Interiors" were the spare settings, ocean views, and of course: cinematography.

#24 dirac

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 09:54 PM

Thanks for posting, 4mrdncr. I feel a little more warmly toward "Interiors" than I used to. Not that it's necessarily any better a movie, but I respect Allen's using his what was then recently acquired clout to make a genuinely risky film. The relationship between Geraldine Page and her three daughters is nicely done.

The father was a stern Lutheran, very unforgiving and demanding and Bergman's severe upbringing left him with scars for life.


Which Ingmar duly passed on, evidently. Of his (nine, I think) surviving children, fathered on numerous women whose marriages Bergman had often as not destroyed, three of them showed up for the funeral. (I was considering that while watching "Faithless" directed by Ullmann from a screenplay by Bergman. He was hard on himself, but not nearly enough.)

#25 dirac

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 03:54 PM

Gunnar Fischer, RIP. He lived to be a ripe old 100.

“We came to an agreement quite early to never become each other’s ‘bowing servants,’ ” Mr. Fischer told The Washington Post in 2008. “We were never to praise each other or to give compliments about what we read in the newspaper. We were critical and could always speak our minds.”

The two drifted apart after making the 1960 film “The Devil’s Eye,” for reasons that have never been explained fully, although creative friction on that film and scheduling conflicts have been cited.




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