Legendary Director Ingmar Bergman dies at 89

Iconoclast filmmaker dies at home in Faro, Sweden


Ingmar Bergman, the “poet with a camera,” died in his sleep at his home in Faro, Sweden Monday at the age of 89. The director of such influential films as The Seventh Seal, Persona, Cries and Whispers, and Fanny and Alexander, Bergman was known for his literary sensibilities and existential ruminations. The director’s work has exerted a profound influence on filmmakers as disparate as Woody Allen, Lars Von Trier, and Wes Craven.

Bergman’s childhood and early career is outlined in potent detail in his autobiography The Magic Lantern. A precursor to the slide projector, Bergman acquired a magic lantern from his brother in trade for 100 tin soldiers. Citing his imagination as a refuge from the oppressive discipline of a Lutheran clergyman father and housewife mother, it’s rather poetic he should enter the realm of cinema by trading toys for visions. (Fanny and Alexander, about an upper-class family in Upsala before the First World War, is regarded as a loosely autobiographical portrayal of his youth).


Bergman on the set of Saraband

Bergman left his home at the age of 19 and got a menial job at the Royal Opera House. In 1942 the Swedish Film Industry hired him as an assistant scriptwriter. Torment (aka Frenzy or Hets), a script he wrote in 1944 was filmed by then dominant director Alf Sjoeberg and went on to win several awards including the grand prize at the 1946 Cannes Film Festival. Promptly thereafter, Bergman began his directorial career, producing an average of one film a year. When his comedy Smiles of a Summer Night (1955) appeared in theaters he won international acclaim. Bergman also worked in television, directing everything from soap commercials to the monumental miniseries Scenes from a Marriage (1973).

Bergman frequently collaborated with such notables as Max von Sydow, , Harriet Andersson, Gunnar Bjornstrand, Ingrid Thulin, Erland Josephson, and especially Liv Ullmann, with whom he produced ten films and a daughter.

Bergman won Academy Awards for best foreign film in 1960 (The Virgin Spring), 1961 (Through a Glass Darkly) and 1963 (Winter Light). The latter two films were part of his “faith trilogy,” and it’s suggested the third in the series (The Silence) was too sexually suggestive to be considered for the Oscars. In 1972, two of his films, Persona and Wild Strawberries (1957), were included in Sight and Sound’s prestigious poll of critics as two of the 10 greatest films of all time. In 2005, Time Magazine called him the world’s greatest living filmmaker.

The Associated Press reports the filmmaker, director of 54 features, and 129 stage productions, never fully recovered from a hip surgery he had in October. His last film was 2005’s Saraband.

Bergman is survived by his nine children. Funeral services have not yet been announced but the Swedish Film Institute plans a memorial event for the month of August.

Tag Cloud

psychological thriller Comics on TV CMT Ovation Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt toy story Trophy Talk teaser ESPN Paramount Network stand-up comedy President Comic Book golden globes Britbox Brie Larson Election Nominations Mary Poppins Returns based on movie Amazon robots festivals SundanceTV Musical social media revenge cats political drama FX Lionsgate Elton John Fantasy Country Heroines Starz Video Games dceu Pet Sematary cars finale TNT WGN Emmy Nominations Chilling Adventures of Sabrina E! Sci-Fi anthology RT21 Reality Competition TCA 2017 SDCC TIFF Extras Oscars 21st Century Fox game of thrones Peacock Awards Reality Interview Ellie Kemper YA Calendar Holidays game show Columbia Pictures boxoffice Biopics Thanksgiving period drama Vudu TV Land adventure green book Valentine's Day TLC MCU Christmas DC Universe 2015 south america Rom-Com Kids & Family DC Comics romance Logo Arrowverse VH1 Tarantino CBS All Access Pride Month 007 true crime sports Epix cults thriller NBC children's TV RT History hispanic comiccon Photos DirecTV spanish language Teen Opinion streaming tv talk Creative Arts Emmys Sundance Now harry potter CNN Family serial killer Fox News supernatural Watching Series Chernobyl Mystery science fiction ratings FXX crime Warner Bros. binge hist Premiere Dates talk show Paramount Countdown aliens Walt Disney Pictures richard e. Grant Sony Pictures 2019 71st Emmy Awards video USA San Diego Comic-Con Schedule dc Spike Superheroes Song of Ice and Fire animated Food Network Freeform Showtime 2018 witnail Mary Tyler Moore spain LGBT TCM zero dark thirty Writers Guild of America cinemax Certified Fresh The CW El Rey Black Mirror docudrama Rocketman Disney ghosts WarnerMedia Infographic facebook unscripted cops MSNBC 2016 zombies war Super Bowl Tumblr Nat Geo GIFs MTV Star Wars Disney streaming service Cosplay 20th Century Fox TBS Spring TV Marathons CBS strong female leads Star Trek psycho Esquire The Witch TruTV BBC America IFC vampires Binge Guide Syfy Comedy Central miniseries AMC Lucasfilm mutant sequel singing competition space Tomatazos LGBTQ CW Seed justice league TV FOX Lifetime Year in Review SXSW latino ABC Family IFC Films PaleyFest diversity what to watch The Arrangement Shudder Fall TV Music PBS composers Pop series discovery Captain marvel anime Winter TV Pirates YouTube Red New York Comic Con natural history transformers historical drama DC streaming service crime drama Nickelodeon dramedy movies Superheroe Stephen King APB YouTube Premium Box Office Mudbound Musicals Awards Tour mockumentary BET dragons VICE DGA Mindy Kaling Emmys Marvel Action Bravo Pixar zombie theme song jamie lee curtis Film Festival E3 Martial Arts blaxploitation Trailer HBO Max Trivia Winners Rocky foreign politics Television Academy 24 frames Shondaland Horror Character Guide First Reviews Podcast See It Skip It medical drama Sneak Peek Comedy NYCC elevated horror adaptation crossover biography Masterpiece Women's History Month ABC BBC OWN Ghostbusters police drama 2017 HBO Set visit spy thriller Spectrum Originals quibi Hulu Anna Paquin Apple Amazon Prime Video Drama doctor who technology cooking spider-man travel GLAAD Cartoon Network National Geographic American Society of Cinematographers 45 Animation TCA Dark Horse Comics ITV Polls and Games X-Men disaster Toys Mary poppins Disney Channel Acorn TV Cannes A&E First Look award winner Film Rock kids nature Universal comic casting GoT book Summer History Red Carpet USA Network Sundance Western Amazon Prime television Netflix sitcom Best and Worst Quiz Grammys crime thriller spinoff Crackle Adult Swim