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

Schedule TIFF Video Games talk show golden globes period drama MTV ESPN 007 FOX Walt Disney Pictures TNT historical drama Awards Mary Tyler Moore ABC Superheroes ITV Thanksgiving CW Seed Song of Ice and Fire war Masterpiece IFC Films boxoffice Rom-Com FXX Food Network TLC Set visit Cartoon Network Acorn TV Photos LGBTQ Logo crossover CBS Universal NBC Opinion Disney Channel TV Land WGN blaxploitation ratings Fall TV Ellie Kemper Summer Action GoT Watching Series Martial Arts TruTV PBS technology Comedy adventure Starz YA VICE American Society of Cinematographers Drama DC Universe docudrama robots YouTube Red cinemax crime thriller biography Showtime Toys Spike SXSW Valentine's Day comiccon Character Guide El Rey GLAAD Comedy Central Pirates 2016 National Geographic vampires Syfy NYCC hist travel crime Crackle Shondaland Sony Pictures Grammys romance Musical The Arrangement finale Polls and Games Hulu Kids & Family Marvel Mindy Kaling Disney zombie Animation USA Network police drama Marathons DirecTV Bravo Countdown 20th Century Fox Certified Fresh USA The CW BBC America Christmas PaleyFest Teen Star Trek Britbox Mystery Reality Competition Ghostbusters diversity GIFs Trivia 24 frames aliens harry potter Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Holidays Ovation Biopics spy thriller Lucasfilm medical drama singing competition political drama DC streaming service MSNBC TCM crime drama festivals Fox News TV VH1 CBS All Access 2017 serial killer Sneak Peek Cosplay doctor who sports Music Paramount Spring TV CNN cats Infographic A&E Box Office BET Adult Swim Netflix Nickelodeon Best and Worst Winter TV RT History Reality psycho Writers Guild of America zombies justice league AMC Fantasy Warner Bros. dramedy Trailer discovery IFC Musicals Lifetime mutant DC Comics Paramount Network Amazon Creative Arts Emmys Extras Emmys Columbia Pictures Winners Freeform Star Wars History TCA 2017 CMT dceu Rock thriller streaming HBO TBS cops E3 APB cooking 45 Country Sundance Oscars Podcast cults transformers composers BBC Nominations Lionsgate based on movie Tumblr Apple dc Tomatazos 21st Century Fox TCA Pixar FX supernatural Rocky Sundance Now social media Dark Horse Comics Interview Election Super Bowl sitcom X-Men binge Sci-Fi unscripted Comic Book SDCC 2015 Esquire Year in Review Horror Red Carpet Western President First Look ABC Family Premiere Dates YouTube Premium science fiction Nat Geo what to watch OWN Pop Calendar SundanceTV politics E! Superheroe See It Skip It