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The Bergman Files: Summer Interlude

“I am very fond of Summer Interlude; it is my favourite movie… I don’t mean it’s my best. I don’t know which movie is my best” Bergman speaking of Summer Interlude in a 1960 interview with James Baldwin. The first thing that struck me about Bergman’s tenth directorial effort Summer Interlude (1951) was just how […]

The Bergman Files: This Can’t Happen Here

“This story takes place on a quiet summer’s night, in a very small country, wishing to be as small as possible, almost to the point of non-existence. This wish is to be expected. Thus, all events, situations, characters, settings and lines in this film are made up. Nothing is the way it is depicted. But […]

The Bergman Files: To Joy

“One wants to be a real person and an artist” – the character of Stig early in the film. For me, Bergman had been in a bit of a funk through his last couple of films. But thankfully he blows it out of the water, with the excellent To Joy (1950). There is a refreshing […]

The Bergman Files: Thirst

“It is the politics of relationships and the sociology of the psyche that is really Bergman’s concern. Marriage and the perils of domestic life”. – Michiko Kakutani on the concerns of Bergman’s films. Ingmar Bergman’s 7th directorial effort Thirst (1949) continues in a similar thematic vein to a number of his early efforts, focusing on […]

The Bergman Files: Prison

“Once he wrote a script about a girl named Birgitta Carolina. She went through the world as if living in a real-life morality play, encountering evil, oddity, degeneracy, poetry, and goodness. And the script ended with her finding salvation. In the final scene she stood singing in the uniform of the Salvation Army.” – Vilgot […]

The Bergman Files Guest Post: Port of Call

Here is the fifth installment of The Bergman Files, this review courtesy of fellow critic Jonathon Fisher. Jon is the creator and editor of The Film Brief and host of The Film Brief podcast which you can find on iTunes. Thanks to Jon for the review, and be sure to check out his website and […]

The Bergman Files: Music in Darkness

“I just want to exist. Nothing more” – Bengt, the newly blind protagonist of Music in Darkness. Ingmar Bergman’s fourth film Music in Darkness (1948) continues an unbroken run of love stories. This tale concerns the evolving love between Bengt, an upper class man who is blinded in the film’s opening sequence, and Ingrid from […]

The Bergman Files: A Ship Bound for India

“The adult world is, with few exceptions, cruel hypocritical or at best indifferent” – Birgitta Steene writing about the worldview of Bergman’s early films. Ingmar Bergman’s third directorial feature A Ship Bound for India (1947) tells the story of Johannes, a young man confronting the cruel adult world that Steene mentions in the quote above. […]

The Bergman Files: It Rains on our Love

“There’s a simplicity about his films. They’re very beautiful, very well acted, but at the heart of it is a very simple approach to film-making, an idea that if you record things honestly enough, and in enough detail, even in situations that seem un-dramatic, there will be the ability to move people and show what […]

The Bergman Files: Crisis

“Grandiose Drivel” – how Bergman in later years described Crisis A young Ingmar Bergman had to lobby hard to get the opportunity to make Crisis (1946), his directorial debut. The company Bergman was working for, Svenski Filmindustri, were content making B films on the cheap, using contracted actors. But eventually the director convinced them to […]