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

Super Bowl Red Carpet Teen Animation period drama Toys Oscars crime thriller social media Cartoon Network Infographic Martial Arts Hulu Trailer CMT FX Nominations politics dramedy science fiction Valentine's Day TBS FXX TIFF Opinion Ghostbusters SDCC Schedule TCM Year in Review Disney Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt History 2017 American Society of Cinematographers Video Games psycho Kids & Family Nickelodeon Freeform cops Podcast Sundance USA El Rey X-Men Set visit comiccon The Arrangement Pirates Lionsgate Adult Swim President Amazon WGN OWN sports LGBTQ Universal A&E vampires DC Comics ITV APB historical drama diversity serial killer Election sitcom crime drama Musical BBC Writers Guild of America biography Extras Dark Horse Comics AMC MTV 2015 BBC America VICE Pop Holidays Food Network Crackle 24 frames Certified Fresh Netflix DirecTV Best and Worst Watching Series Grammys TruTV PBS HBO Comedy Central MSNBC Winter TV GIFs ABC Family Comedy Sneak Peek Music CBS All Access Reality Competition CBS boxoffice TV singing competition TNT supernatural political drama Box Office E3 Bravo VH1 Mystery zombie Musicals Fall TV Superheroes TLC Summer NYCC Marathons Masterpiece aliens BET ABC Logo Mindy Kaling discovery Tumblr cooking Syfy police drama 2016 First Look Ellie Kemper FOX Sci-Fi YA TCA 2017 crime Star Trek composers Interview Showtime Tomatazos Cosplay GoT Rom-Com Country Mary Tyler Moore Awards Lifetime adventure docudrama war thriller RT History Emmys Countdown SundanceTV NBC Calendar Marvel Star Wars Reality Esquire TCA CNN Biopics harry potter Rocky Trivia Drama Action travel cinemax Winners IFC Rock Comic Book based on movie GLAAD Horror Starz Spring TV transformers 007 The CW Polls and Games Fox News TV Land technology Fantasy Photos ESPN PaleyFest Character Guide Premiere Dates E! Thanksgiving Disney Channel Nat Geo