Ingmar's Cinema

by LZMcK | created - 9 months ago | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public

Organizing Ingmar Bergman's cinematic collection and considering my favourites, his best, and the best scenes and moments from his films. I'll also leave in the description a simple layout for what could be considered Bergman's "Style".

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1. Persona (1966)

Not Rated | 83 min | Drama, Thriller

86 Metascore

A nurse is put in charge of a mute actress and finds that their personae are melding together.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Margaretha Krook, Gunnar Björnstrand

Votes: 90,444

(F) 1 (E) (B)

Character: Alma (Best), Elizabet (Best)

Performance: Liv Ullman (Best), Bibi Andersson (Best)

Scene: Every complete scene in the film (*) Picture monologue. Beach Monologue. Reading the letter. Elizabet approaching Alma.

Moment: Everything in the film.

Persona is the films, next to The Seventh Seal I've heard the most about. Whenever I hear a lot about the excellence of one film, the mindset I have is not necessarily one that everyone else in the world has adopted which is, "I will make sure I feel the exact same way about this movie, and if I don't I will dislike or hate it." What I go in for is, "How will this movie affect me and what are the moments, scenes, characters, and performances that stand out for me?" And in the case of Persona everything has stood out.

Unlike a lot of other films that Bergman has made, Persona falls in the same category as The Silence in that it is a conscious and subconscious examination of humanity at it's most striped down, however unlike The Silence, Bergman is tapping into a much more terrifying study and environment of the human condition; he is not looking at alienating the subjects from each other, he is showing these two characters become so involved intimately with each other that they begin to connect and find each other in themselves, however when the horror of adopting another persona becomes too real that you begin to lose all sense of your own individuality, you begin to reject the person you have become to connect with, and begin to separate yourself from the bond you had begun to build.

Alma being a nurse and Elisabet being an actress and artist is a perfect occupation role for this story to grow. It creates even more tension between the two; one is supposed to take care of the other person and make sure they are getting better despite the fact there is nothing wrong with her physically or mentally and Alma resents and despises her for this, the other is someone who people are supposed to turn to when they are felling insecure and afraid of their own reality and subconscious and yet this one person makes us question our realities more than anyone else, she makes us feel totally alone, just like her son.

The choices made to break the literary narrative with the deconstruction of the film in cutting to images of the film and reminding us that this is not reality makes it all the more real in a way. Bergman isn't trying to hide anything, and that's the point. If he were to just follow these characters with the same editing techniques, but not include the editing in the beginning of the film, I would absolutely feel more distant and critical of the film, but Bergman wants to involve the audience, or at least involve himself in the story. He is a human after all. If he made a movie where he didn't feel a human connection with the characters, how could he expect other humans to connect with it.

For now, the last thing I'll say is this. Where The Silence made me want to understand more in story where understanding is all be inconsequential, Persona was a film I was understanding from beginning to end. There is a lot in this film but there is nothing I feel I missed or that I feel is beyond my grasp. I feel Persona is in me already, and it makes my brain heavy after discovering it. Like a twenty pound weight is hanging from my head. My senses have gone numb and yet I feel more powerful then I have before.


2. Through a Glass Darkly (1961)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama

Recently released from a mental hospital; Karin rejoins her emotionally disconnected family and their island home, only to slip from reality as she begins to believe she is being visited by God.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Harriet Andersson, Gunnar Björnstrand, Max von Sydow, Lars Passgård

Votes: 20,545

(F) 2 (E) (B)

Performance: Harriet Andersson (Best). Lar Passgård (Best). Max Von Sydow

Character: Everyone, Especially Karin (Best)

Scene: Climax (Best)

Moment: Papa spoke to me.

Revisiting the first film that introduced me to Bergman and the movie that inspired my purchasing of the collection was a fascinating experience. Unlike The Virgin Spring, Through a Glass Darkly's power comes from it's complexity. The story is not as simple as Spring, and the themes are much more complicated due to the characters in the film; No one reveals their desires openly, things are revealed in glances and inner conflict. The balance between the power of the individual, the power of love, and the power of god in this movie is on a tricky line, and the navigation of shared weight between is expertly handled. The characters are fully rounded and the performances are perfect. It doesn't feel right to watch this film because you feel as if you're breaching the privacy of the people living on this island; they wish to be alone and together, yet, just like Karin's own god, we are intruding on their world and tearing them towards our world of judgment and examination. This is a film that can make people feel uneasy with themselves and it's all the better for it.

This is one of the greatest movies I've ever seen. It still requires viewing because I feel I missed something in the final conversation and a few moments of communication, but I'll look forward to ever minute of it. Also, Lars Passgård is the example of what the boy character in Summer with Monika was missing. And Boch's music is perfect in the film.

This is a film I want to wrap myself up in and stay with for a long time. It's beautiful yet tragic, as any great drama should be.


3. The Virgin Spring (1960)

Not Rated | 89 min | Drama

An innocent yet pampered young virgin and her family's pregnant and jealous servant set out to deliver candles to church, but only one returns from events that transpire in the woods along the way.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Max von Sydow, Birgitta Valberg, Gunnel Lindblom, Birgitta Pettersson

Votes: 24,347 | Gross: $1.53M

(F) 5 (E) (B)

Performance: Max Von Sydow (Best), Brigitta Pettersson, Mother (Best), Gunnel Lindblom (Best)

Scene: Prepping for murders (Best). Finding Karin. Rape Scene (Best)

Moment: Fighting the tree (*). You Saw It (*)

Character: Töre, Ingri (Best), Mërta (Best)

There's an odd atmosphere in The Virgin Spring. The world feels almost hollow and empty and cold, but there is a bright passion burning in the character's hearts. I believe Bergman has found a way to make films that have God as a universal presence in the movie while keeping the focus on the characters and not making it "about God". This is a powerful, somber film that is simple in presentation, but massive in it's themes and character journeys; even the young wild child has a journey in this movie. A brilliant piece of work.

Upon the second viewing, I realized that The Virgin Spring is, at the moment, Bergman's most simple story that he is working with (Ella Isaksson conceived the story) but one of the films that has some of the deepest undercurrents in any of this films and the silence is always filled with intention. I love when a director or an actor or a writer or a cinematographer or an editor or anyone one a set trusts the power of silence and trusts that they are filling it with something to see. Silence can still be filled with a lot, but it can also be empty, I don't know the difference between positive emptiness and negative emptiness (not in the sense of mood but in the sense of boosting or hindering a story) and I don't know exactly why that silence is effective, but I know the positive silence is in The Virgin Spring.

Every actor is so reserved and private but offers so much. There's also a huge difference between the first half of the film and the second half, it's almost a different movie entirely because it's the flip side of the joy and hopefulness in the characters and in the story.

This is a simple story, but it's a heavy experience. It's full of vulnerability and power and it made me ask a lot about the necessity of judgment and about the importance of religious devotion and the pain and the safety that it provides.

This film was the first film that Bergman had, who would be his permanent cameraman, Sven Nykvist.

2nd time SAT WITH IT

4. Wild Strawberries (1957)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, Romance

After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand

Votes: 86,745

(F) 3 (E) (B) Performance: Ingrid Thulin (Best). Naima Wifstrand.

Scene: Marianne opens to Isak (Best)

Moment: Isak Goes to Rest (Best)

Character: Isak Borg.(Best) Marianne. (Best)

This has been the third surprise of the Bergman collection for me and it is possibly the first time the whole film resonated with me emotionally, thematically, symbolically, spiritually, and narratively. Isak Borg is the best character I've seen in Bergman's cinema yet, and Ingrid Tuilin has become the actress I'm most excited to see more of. I was worried that Wild Strawberries would be similar to my previous worries for The Seventh Seal; all theme, no character. I was wondrously surprised. This was the first film of Bergman's to be nominated for an Oscar for writing and I understand why. Even the minor characters in this film are interesting and have a purpose to the story.


5. Cries & Whispers (1972)

R | 91 min | Drama

When a woman dying of cancer in early twentieth-century Sweden is visited by her two sisters, long-repressed feelings between the siblings rise to the surface.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Harriet Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Kari Sylwan, Ingrid Thulin

Votes: 26,754

(F) 6 (B)

Performance: Liv Ullman (Best). Harriet Andersson (Best). Anna (Best). Ingrid Thulin (Best).

Character: Karin. Marie (Best). Kari Sylwan (Best).

Scene: Touch the dead (Best)

Moment: Fading Red (Best). Agnes' Suffering. Blood Smile.

I am sitting with Cries and Whispers now, and the first word that comes to my mind when I think of it is separation and the peace and turmoil that that word brings. I feel I've just looked at a piece of art for a hour and see the finest details of it and all the details together added up to the same story, yet they may not all seem to be a part of the image on their own. Every moment of this film, every scene, is to convey or stir some kind of emotional response. This is an emotional film about the hidden secrets and passions and rages and fears and insecurities and pain, especially pain, that are underneath the surface of even the closest of family ties.

This film is claustrophobic, yet it doesn't feel unexplored. While the house is the same colour palette throughout, I feel we've looked at almost every thing that this minor holds, and yet still only scratched the surface of what can be found.

Red is obviously an important element of this film. However, it's use in the backdrop doesn't pull the focus away from the characters in front of it, it frames them and reveals them in a very harsh and unflattering light, no matter how they present themselves. It's a polite version of hell.

This is a picturesque film. it's one of the first Bergman movies I feel could be told on a canvas, similar to how I felt with The Danish Girl. The upsetting and tragic histories of these woman is all the more tragic because they are continuing to face equally trying circumstances in their present. I want to know more about this movie, yet I know it is a very exposing film as well as unnerving. Beautifully haunting and elegant in it's griminess.

6. Brink of Life (1958)

Not Rated | 84 min | Drama

Three women in a maternity ward reveal their lives and intimate thoughts to each other while in a maternity ward together, where they face the choice of keeping their babies or offering them for adoption.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Eva Dahlbeck, Ingrid Thulin, Bibi Andersson, Barbro Hiort af Ornäs

Votes: 2,176

(F) 4 (B) Performance: Ingrid Thulin (Best). Eva Dahlbeck (Best), Bibi Andersson. (Best)

Scene: Andersson gives birth. Cissi Breaks down (Best)

Moment: Smack!

Characters: Stina Andersson, Cecilia, Hjördis (Best)

Brink of Life is the first Bergman film that I was excited, since the beginning of the collection, in seeing and it did not disappoint my expectations. Even though this film is so confined with it's lead characters, I was never once tired of watching it, unlike To Joy or Thirst. Thulin, Dahlbeck, and Andersson have presented three fully rounded, emotionally dynamic characters and even though they fit particular thematic points for the story, they never feel inorganic or misplaced. No one in this film feels misplaced, even Max von Sydow comes in and is immensely charming. This is a hard, emotionally draining film to get through (I was crying in the first ten minutes) but in this film, which relies on it's performers to tell the story, doesn't falter one bit and has gotten me very excited to see the heavy, unflinching dramatic side of Bergman that got me interested in him and his films.


7. The Silence (1963)

R | 96 min | Drama

Two estranged sisters, Ester and Anna, and Anna's 10-year-old son travel to the Central European country on the verge of war. Ester becomes seriously ill and the three of them move into a hotel in a small town called Timoka.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Ingrid Thulin, Gunnel Lindblom, Birger Malmsten, Håkan Jahnberg

Votes: 16,155

(B) (F) 8

Performance: Ingrid Thulin (Best) Gunnel Lindblom

Character: Ester

Scene: Ester faces death (Best)

Moment: Johan's reads the later.

I will need to sit with The Silence for awhile before I can make any certain statement on it, but there are a few certain things about it that I discovered.

The Silence is not a film for everyone, and what I mean by that is not in the sense of "Everyone has certain tastes" I mean that by saying most people do not have the ability to stare at the images and characters that are presented in The Silence and draw any understanding of who these characters are. Not much is said and when a lot is said, in one scene in particular, not much is gained. There is no goal set for these characters, they are simply occupying the same space and they have to deal with each other's presence in one way or another. This is a very difficult task to pull off with any story teller and, at the moment, I find myself impressed with Bergman's approach, but also questioning what his intent with the piece was.

I believed the story was about one thing, the story of the sisters, but I found the main punch at the end of the film was focused mostly on Johan. I feel that child has gone on a more significant journey than either of the lead characters and it is his journey and progression that matters in the end. Yet the major events that are shown to us in the film belong to Ester and Anna.

I don't want to jump to immediate conclusions with this film, it is one I would like to see again with the understanding of where the story will go next.

And that's another important part of this movie, the understanding that each individual has with each other and the understanding that we have about the characters after we are shown something. This is a movie where discovery is the focal point. Sure, we make discoveries with movies all the time, but this movie has really set a new standard, for me, of how important the taking in of information is when it comes to progressing a narrative. That is to say, this movie made me more conscious of that fact.

About seven hours have gone by and this movie has not left me for a second. I had to go in a black-padded room for what felt like forty minutes and allow my mind to go to the highest extremes of metal creation. I've stepped away from it, not with a full understanding, but with something still loose, but grounded.

The Silence is a movie that is a near perfect journey through the subconscious of human instinct, or perceived instinct, and focus on differing personalitied characters to journey through the extreme unknown of the in-between. Not of reality and dreams, but the in-between of compassion and harshness.

Bergman has given his two central female protagonists differing forms of female sexuality and desires to help fuel and snuff their passions. These characters are given the environment to express their desires, but one is humiliated by status and the other by inadequacy. One feels the disgust with themselves in their desires while the other feels they must over-compensate to prove they are superior as an individual.

The major in-between in this story is Johans. He is the person who decides who and what will further his development moving forward when they get home to reality. Despite the crazed lust of incest from Ester, her desire comes from a place of love, where as Anna's desire comes from proving that she is superior and can out match or meet any opponent she witnesses.

Anna proves to stay unchanged in her insecurities (the heat of the room) and Ester continues to fight and survive her hereditary disease. Neither woman is pure, but one woman is clearly stronger.

There is much more to The Silence that I will discover, and as it stands, it is a film that is the equivalent of Alice in Wonderland. The more you think about it, the more you want to visit it. The more you visit, the more you discover and the more you want to stay. And the longer you stay, the more you want to go home.

8. Shame (1968)

R | 103 min | Drama

In the midst of a civil war, former violinists Jan and Eva Rosenberg, who have a tempestuous marriage, run a farm on a rural island. In spite of their best efforts to escape their homeland, the war impinges on every aspect of their lives.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Liv Ullmann, Max von Sydow, Sigge Fürst, Gunnar Björnstrand

Votes: 10,887

(B) (F) 7 (E) Performances: Doctor (*). Max Von Sydow (Best), Liv Ullman (*). Gunnar Björnstand

Scene: Interview. Doctor check-up (Best). Driving from home and back again. Shaming that leads to nothing. (Best)

Moment: Hearing the shots. Dead Child (*). Pose around the destruction (*). Utter torment after slap. Shoot the Major (*)

Character: Eva and Jan Rosenberg

I went into shame thinking it was about the war in Vietnam, I discovered by the time we saw the opposing rebel side that it was actually focusing on a civil war, and the families that are affected by the destruction and horror around them.

I love the relationship that Eva (Liv) and Jan (Max) have in this relationship. And while I find Eva a more compelling character, Jan has a much more compelling ark. The side characters in this movie are excellent. There is a lot of attention to detail with Bergman showing how this couples lives are affected by this war and how they have to evolve in the worst of situations.

That's not a generalizing statement either, this film IS the worst of circumstances for them. They've lived with it before, but the minute the planes shoot over, they are locked into the thick of it. Bergman makes the most of the films budget and Sven Nykvist captures the moments and characters perfectly. The characters in the story are well rounded and the world, next to The Silence, Persona and The Seventh Seal is possibly the most horrifying place that Bergman has ever crafted.

9. The Seventh Seal (1957)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy

A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot, Nils Poppe

Votes: 147,948

(F) 11 (E) (B) Scene: Theatre Performances

Moment: Death and Block (Best)

Performance: Max Von Sydow. Gunnar Björnstrand.(Best) Bengt Ekerot. (Best)

Character: Death (Best). Squire. Atonious Block. (Best)

While I was going into The Seventh Seal with highly critical eyes, I came out surprised and inspired. This was the first moment I really felt Bergman reach a level of epic-ness that was missing in Sawdust and Tinsel and was able to create symbolic imagery that felt natural to the characters and to their story. My fear was that this film would be a theme story about death and religion and nothing more. Instead, The Seventh Seal is a film that has an interest in examining every side of the conversation when it comes to who is deserving of Death's dance and who must remain to continue our survival. While the answer in the end may seem obvious, it doesn't ring any less true.

10. Summer Interlude (1951)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Romance

A lonely woman recalls her first love thirteen years prior during a brief summer vacation.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Maj-Britt Nilsson, Birger Malmsten, Alf Kjellin, Annalisa Ericson

Votes: 4,622

(F) 10 (E) (B) Performance: Maj-Britt Nilsson.(Best) Birger Malmsten

Scene: Mourning Period (Best). Conversation with a Clown. Animated fun.

Moment: Faces in the Diary (Best)

Character: Marie (Best)

In Summer Interlude, Bergman has finally shown a mastery of the melodrama formula that he has been working with for the last five years. Maj-Britt Nilsson shows the growth between young and old Marie without hesitation or resistance. The only fault in this movie is the love interest that Marie goes with in the end is forgettable and barely motivated; meaning he isn't motivated to the same level as the other characters.

11. Winter Light (1963)

Not Rated | 81 min | Drama

A small town priest struggles with his faith.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand, Gunnel Lindblom, Max von Sydow

Votes: 19,358

(B) Performance: Gunnar Bjornstrand (Best). Ingrid Thulin

Scene: Letter. School Room (Best)

Moment: God, why have you forsaken me?

Winter Light was a film that is a very slow and ponderous experience. Gunnar's Pastor has been struggling with his faith for four years after the death of his wife and the few number of followers around him have only furthered his questioning of his purpose as a man and as a man of God. I began to understand the connection that each film in Bergman's "trilogy" have with each other and I began to see what elements of the stories stand out as the truly powerful moments.

It isn't enough to simply examine religion as the central part of your story, what must be expressed or explored is how the religious community in a story is affected by the religion they follow in their personal lives. Winter Light is dry when the film solely shows the process of religious ceremony, but it really shines a harsh and uncomfortable light on us when the characters devote beliefs are tossed aside for their true feelings. Winter Light is a quiet film, but it's solid and stoic as well.


12. Scenes from a Marriage (1973)

PG | 283 min | Drama

Ten years within the marriage of Marianne and Johan.

Stars: Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson, Bibi Andersson, Gunnel Lindblom

Votes: 14,019


Moment: It's not our 1st anniversary, it's our 20th.

Performance: Liv Ullman (BEST), Erland Josephson.

Characters: Marianne and Johan (BEST)

Scene 1 (Innocence and Panic): The interview scene is a very easy way to get to know the characters, but there's a lot me to learn from them, as the this whole episode proves. This is one of the best episodes of television I've seen to introduce the lead characters. I loved the dinner exchange in the episode between Bibi Andersson and her husband. The bed scene is excellent as well and the ending leaves the characters in an emotional separation.

Scene 2 (The Art of Sweeping Things Under the Rug) This episode shows a day in the life of both Johan and Marianne in their respective professions and what it looks like when they get home. For me, the intrigue of this episode and with these characters as a whole is finding out who it is they share their marriage with. Who are the people that are involved outside of their lives and who are the people that create the most friction for them; these are the thinks I always find myself curious about. I enjoyed seeing Liv Ullman make the phone call to her mother, but the parts of this episode that I liked are the scene that Johan has with Gunnel Lindblome's character and Marianne's discussion with the woman wanting a divorce for the last twenty years of her life. One thing I'll say is that I don't know how I feel about Ingmar's reading of the credits.

Scene 3 (Paula **) This is my favourite episode so far and I believe it proves how captivating both Liv Ullman and Erland Josephson are together. They can keep a film active and be on screen with nobody but themselves for almost 50 minutes and there is no fear that what they are discussing or expressing is stale or will leave the audience bored. As I said before, how outside people affect Marianne and Johan's marriage is what I'm interested by. What I didn't mention before is that how they respond to this information is what I look forward to.

Scene 4 (The Vale of Tears) Six months after Johan left with his lover Paula to Paris, Johan and Marianne reconnect at Marianne's home for an evening alone together. This scene made me really understand the depths of the struggles these two characters are going through with their relationship. While not together anymore they do share a strong bond, yet, while Marianne has certainly grown more open and expressive now, Johan has not changed from who he was. I know that these two are in love with one another, but this understanding that one is not changed is currently reminding me that they should not get back together, for their own sakes.

Scene 5 (The Illiterates) It's hard to find new ways to praise these two actors being put in a room together with these lines and these characters. It's still unpredictable in the best ways and still tremendously insightful. At this moment, all I can say is I love these two's story and I can't wait to see how it ends.

Scene 6 (In the middle of the night in a dark house somewhere in the world) This series of scenes is very well constructed and I find now that I actually understand what it was all about. Johan and Marianne are completely separated emotionally in the very beginning, but by the end they are comforting each other in each other's arms, continuing a love affair that, as brilliantly put by Marianne, is the continuation of a 20 year anniversary. These two are not meant to be separated from one another, they are meant to be fully open to each other. The hardships that they endure are all events that must transpire in order for them to grow together. It's a difficult journey that they go through, but they well continue to move forward in that journey together now more than they would before.

I really have an appreciation for Scenes From a Marriage; an appreciation that goes beyond most of Bergman's films so far. In the western, modern age, these two would grow one singular way: Marianne strong, Johan weak, and they would have to turn away from each other all together to show any growth. But Bergman knows that evolution does not mean abandoning who you where before. These characters, Marianne and Johan, are the same people that they were when this mini-series began, but their qualities and their principles have changed with their experiences. The crucial element in this story is to show that, even though these two struggle with one another, there is a love that they shared and there is a reason that they got married in the first place. They are bound to one another, similar to Death and Antonious Block in The Seventh Seal. Where the divergence is is the inevitable fate that these two will will end up together will not come if they continue to lie and trick each other, they must open up and reveal their repressed selves to each other. These repressions grow into evolutions for their characters.

13. The Magician (1958)

Not Rated | 101 min | Comedy, Drama

86 Metascore

A traveling magician and his assistants are persecuted by authorities in Sweden of the 19th century. Their captures, however, didn't bring victory to those in power.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Max von Sydow, Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand, Naima Wifstrand

Votes: 8,031

(F) 9 (B) Performance: Max Von Sydow,(Best) Ingrid Thulin (Best) Bibi Andersson (Best). Actor. Naima Wifstrand

Moment: Removing the Mask

Scene: Attic Trick (Best)

Character: Dr. Vogler,(Best) Mr. Aman

The Magician was a haunting film. Even when thinking of flaws with the movie, there are images and moments in the film that are sticking in my head and each of them bring a powerful response. This is a deeply resonating film. I am frustrated with the ending of the film (last five minutes) because, while clear in their message, it does go away from what the films tone. This film is a clear example of Bergman putting himself in his characters and facing humiliation and judgment for his failures, but it is a much stronger film than Sawdust and Tinsel and the entire film, minus the ending, create such a tortured cast of characters who are all taking advantage of each other in one way or another. I love everything that is on display in this film, I just wish it's end was true to the tone that was established before.

14. Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)

Not Rated | 109 min | Comedy, Romance

In Sweden at the turn of the century, members of the upper class and their servants find themselves in a romantic tangle that they try to work out amidst jealousy and heartbreak.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Ulla Jacobsson, Eva Dahlbeck, Harriet Andersson, Margit Carlqvist

Votes: 11,359

(B) (E) Performance: Harriet Andresson. Åke Fridell (Best)

Smiles of a Summer Night is Bergman's, supposed right now, second and final attempt at a full comedy since A Lesson in Love. Smiles of a Summer Night is reminiscent of a Shakespearian comedy: Multiple characters meet through farcical circumstances, much of the humour comes from the sexual under and over tones, the resolution, even if the main plot seems dramatic in tone, lightens up with an ending of uncertain happiness. Smiles is a meticulously crafted comedy and a strong talking point on his career. For myself, I wonder how much of the discussion about this movie will focus on how interesting and dynamic the plot, characters, and presentation feels and less about, how can I possibly bring up this movie without laughing too loud.

15. Summer with Monika (1953)

R | 96 min | Drama, Romance

A pair of teenagers meet one summer day, start a reckless affair and abandon their families to be with one another.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Harriet Andersson, Lars Ekborg, Dagmar Ebbesen, Åke Fridell

Votes: 11,266

(B) Performance: Harriet Andersson

Scene: Coming home early. Boating out and in

Moments: Close-up on Monika (Best)

Character: Monika (Best)

Summer with Monika was an indicator to me that Bergman had moved past the "spill your guts out" melodrama of his early films and trusted his ability to tell the emotion and subtext of characters through film language and images as opposed to having dialogue or monologues spell out what characters are feeling. The boy in this movie doesn't seem to have the performance from the actor to give him strong emotional tension. Harriet Andersson gives that weight to Monika though, and then some. She is the real star of this movie and she is a staple character of Bergman's cinematic creations.

16. Waiting Women (1952)

Not Rated | 107 min | Comedy, Drama

The four wives of four brothers share stories of their marriages as they each wait for their husbands in a small, secluded cottage.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Anita Björk, Eva Dahlbeck, Maj-Britt Nilsson, Birger Malmsten

Votes: 1,962

(F) 12 (E)

Performance: Gunnar Björnstrand.(Best) Eva Dahlbeck (Best)

Scene: Elevator (Best)

Characters: Karin, Fredrick Lobelias (Best)

Waiting Women is the kind of movie I want to see more of from Ingmar Bergman. This film would fail the Bechdel Test and thank God for that. This was the first movie where the entire cast of Bergman's film were perfectly suited for their roles. I found the first two stories to be fairy good, but the third story is when the film really proved to be great. There is a side character outside of the story that is unremarkable but doesn't hurt the film's story.

17. The Passion of Anna (1969)

R | 101 min | Drama

A recently divorced man meets an emotionally devastated widow and they begin a love affair.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson, Max von Sydow, Erland Josephson

Votes: 7,590

Moment: Final Pacing (Best) . First two interviews.

The Passion of Anna is a film that I realized early on was not solely about Anna, in fact, I think the biggest problem I have with the english title is that it sets up the expectation that it is about Anna alone and not "The Passion" (The original title I believe) of the characters in the story.

Eli's wasn't very interesting for myself, Bibi's character was intriguing but, like the other characters, I feel that it was mainly due to the performances which, while they vary at moments, are fairly strong instinctually.

What impressed me in regards to technical achievements is that Sven and Bergman have expressed a story through colour much more intentionally and with a greater amount of skill than with All These Women; even though I shouldn't be comparing this films merits to other films, it was a major stand out for myself.

While I was interested in the story and the intercuts (I'm fairly certain there is an addition from Shame in this film) there are times when I'm not understanding the narrative intent behind choices in the film. Thematic (the dying animals) I understand, but stepping back to see the literary story on display, it's a less jarring version of The Rite, which I like, but still hollow in the end.

18. Dreams (1955)

Not Rated | 87 min | Drama

Two different women - a young photo model and her boss - dreams about a happy life with beloved men. Their dreams are as different as they are.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Eva Dahlbeck, Harriet Andersson, Gunnar Björnstrand, Ulf Palme

Votes: 2,250

Performance: Gunnar Björnstrand. Eva Dahlbeck. Kerstin Hedeby. Scene: Family Interrupts intimacy. Moment: Henrik! (Best)

Dreams was the movie I understood what he essay for Thirst had discussed. It was a character piece that centered around Eva Dahlbeck and Harriet Andersson's characters as they both live out their fantasies; one through the lifestyle of a lavish princess, the other with the man she deeply desires to love and to be loved by. This film at first took a lot of time to become really interesting and clear with it's narrative goals and focus, but when the two women are confronted by the women they are in opposition against, I bared witness to the first really impressive assemblies of confrontation, next to Waiting Women's elevator scene, that Ingmar Bergman has to offer.


19. A Lesson in Love (1954)

Not Rated | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

After a 15-year marriage, the spouses are going to divorce, but suddenly find out that their feelings have not vanished yet.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Eva Dahlbeck, Gunnar Björnstrand, Yvonne Lombard, Harriet Andersson

Votes: 2,504

(F) 13 Performance: Gunnar Björnstrand. Eva Dahlbeck. Harriet Andersson.

Scene: New engagement.

Bergman's first major attempt at a comedy feature, A Lesson in Love is also a movie where I laughed out loud on more than one occasion. Unlike Smiles of a Summer Night, A Lesson in Love is much more of a laugh-out-loud, I would say, minor farce (less about the buffoonery and more through the over-the-top situations) than Smiles; which is more of a comedy entering around the subtextual humour and sexual humour. While there moments when the shadows of the boom mics or the camera moving can be clearly seen, the performances from Gunnar and Eva are excellent examples of one element surpassing another.

20. Port of Call (1948)

Not Rated | 100 min | Drama

A suicidal factory girl out of reformatory school, anxious to escape her overbearing mother, falls in love with a sailor who can't forgive her past.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Nine-Christine Jönsson, Bengt Eklund, Mimi Nelson, Berta Hall

Votes: 1,797

(F) 14 Performance: Nine-Christine Jönsson

Scene: Conscience.

Character: Berit (Best)

Port of Call is not a pure perfection piece of cinema, but it was the very first time I began to feel that Bergman was beginning to find his strength in filmmaking. While the themes are obvious and out-spoken, as they are in melodrama, the character of Berit and her entire backstory is strong enough to drive this film forward. The side characters aren't very interesting, however they serve there purpose fine and allow for the lead male to have a lot to struggle with.

21. Sawdust and Tinsel (1953)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama

The complicated relationships between a circus ringmaster, his estranged wife and his lover.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Åke Grönberg, Harriet Andersson, Hasse Ekman, Anders Ek

Votes: 5,464

Scene: The story of Frost.

This was the first movie were I really noticed the budget had grown for Ingmar, however it was also the first time I was disappointed with the overall product the Bergman had made. Sawdust and Tinsel is not a bad movie, it's actually quite well put together. However, Frost's story in the beginning illustrates the themes of the film clearly in the first ten minutes and even that scene has some inconsistencies. The rest of the movie moves forward and the events that take place have narrative tension and intrigue, the delivery and presentation from the cast doesn't hold up as strong with the rest of the films Bergman has made to this point.

22. The Touch (1971)

R | 115 min | Drama

A seemingly happy Swedish housewife and mother begins an adulterous affair with a foreign archaeologist who is working near her home. But he is an emotionally scarred man, a Jewish survivor... See full summary »

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Elliott Gould, Bibi Andersson, Max von Sydow, Sheila Reid

Votes: 1,181

(F) 15 Performance: Bibi Andersson (Best). Max Von Sydow

Moment: Picking clothes. Phone call cutting (Best)

Character: Karin

Sven's camera work. Very quickly I must mention that Nyvist's work in this film is about 70/30 for me. The first half of the movie Elliot Gould is not captured very well on camera, it gets better as it goes on. How he captures Karin and Andreas is perfect and the capturing of the colour in this movie is also very well done.

The Touch is remanisant of Bergman's earlier melodramas, story-wise. To some this can be an issue, but not for myself. I welcomed this story more than most of his melodramas from the past because of Bibi Andersson and Von Sydow.

Andersson gives one of her best performances in this movie. There are one or two moments where the choices feel a little detached, but I feel without her carrying the film, it would not stand up as well among some of Bergman's other works. I feel I like this more as a Bergman film than when I look at it among my entire library of movies.

Elliot Gould's performance isn't something I liked in all honesty. I feel he's presenting his choices in the movie but, unlike Bibi, he isn't really taking what she's giving him and letting it affect his performance. I feel he acts at her rather than with her. When he's quiet however, I like him fine. Von Sydow is excellent in this movie. He owns the screen when he converses with Elliot, and, unlike Elliot, I feel I will remember his part and his moments much more clearly.

Also, I really noticed the editing in this movie in a good way. And The Touch got me excited for Bergman again.

23. Hour of the Wolf (1968)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Horror

While vacationing on a remote Scandanavian island with his younger pregnant wife, an artist has an emotional breakdown while confronting his repressed desires.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Gertrud Fridh, Georg Rydeberg

Votes: 16,578

Moment: Artist on the rocks.

Scene: Opening Monologue

Despite my lower rating, I don't think Hour of the Wolf is a bad film. What bothered me with this film, personally, was a feeling I had with the main couple in regards to how they interacted with the individuals that come to their house. There was a disconnect between the world of the family and their interactions with each other and the world of the family and their interactions with the family.

It's difficult to explain. I really liked the atmosphere that the cinematography creates and the editing is really odd but it aids in creating that rather odd viewing experience. I just couldn't care for the lead artist. I liked Liv Ullman a great deal and I would rather have followed her throughout rather than Sydow. This is a personal preference rather than a major technical criticism of the film. I will say that this film has a weak focus on the artist, where Persona and The Magician created a very sympathetic, chilling, and tragic character, this one just simply exists.

24. Fårö Document (1970 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 57 min | Documentary

Bergman interviews the locals of Fårö in this fascinating documentary. An expression of personal and political solidarity with the fellow inhabitants of his adopted home, the island of Fårö... See full summary »

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Arvid Andersson, Sven Bernander, Carl Ekman, Ingrid Ekman

Votes: 200

Fårö is the subject of this documentary and when Bergman talks to the towns folk of Fårö, the film really shines. This island is where Bergman filmed a lot of his movies and I can understand why. It's not the picturesque vision of an island that I've built up in the past, it's a poor, small inhabitant rural island whose inhabitants all have stories about the island and about the history of their lively hoods and families. I'll admit it's not the most riveting documentary or emotionally stirring one like Won't You be My Neighbour, but there is value to what Bergman is presenting.

The only thing that bothered me about the documentary is Bergman's final address to the audience about the value of, I believe it was democratic socialism, and the need to implement that specific system to benefit the island. The reason it bothered me was because it came in the last four minutes and only one mention of politics was mentioned and it wasn't a very deep analysis or expression of what the effects of the current political system were doing to the island of Fårö.

I found the daily lives of the islanders fascinating though, and I would recommend this piece to anyone curious about Bergman's island.

25. To Joy (1950)

Not Rated | 98 min | Drama

Two violinists playing in the same orchestra fall in love and get married, but they can't get along.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Maj-Britt Nilsson, Stig Olin, Birger Malmsten, John Ekman

Votes: 2,132

Scene: Bedroom Discussion

Moment: Sheet Music monotage

To Joy seemed the most costly of Bergman's early films. It's the tightest of his first five films but it has one of his most unlikeable characters. The male in this film is just very unpleasant as a protagonist. Bergman was definitely telling a story about his own ego as an artist in this film and he did a very good job at creating a plausible and interesting environment for his characters to populate, but the actor playing the lead male doesn't give the character the proper level of sympathy that is required for a character this egotistical.

26. A Ship to India (1947)

Not Rated | 98 min | Drama

A sailor returns to his hometown after 7 years and remembers the dark and the light moments of his past.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Holger Löwenadler, Anna Lindahl, Birger Malmsten, Gertrud Fridh

Votes: 1,145

Performance: Holger Löwenadier. Anna Lindahl.

Moment: Deciding to Kill His Son

Character: Captain Alexander Bloom

A Ship to India shows itself at first to be a very cheap-looking picture, however Bergman adapts the stage play that he sourced for this movie rather effectively. The scenes in this movie are captured with a gentle hand, they don't try to get too close but they serve their purpose well enough. Despite the low-budget, the moment in this film where the father decides to kill his son is a powerful attempt at creating tension.

27. The Rite (1969 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 72 min | Drama

A judge in an unnamed country interviews three actors, together and singly, provoking them while investigating a pornographic performance for which they may face a fine. Their relationships... See full summary »

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Ingrid Thulin, Anders Ek, Gunnar Björnstrand, Erik Hell

Votes: 1,979

At the moment of seeing this film, I'm once again loving the performances in the film and the minimalist set creates a very odd and claustrophobic feeling in myself. I'm not really understanding the relevance of the scenes that are shown and the characters explaining themselves at the moment does nothing to benefit the story that is going on, in fact their isn't much of a story at all.

I have now finished the film, and I can say for certain that it is a very upsetting movie. Not just upsetting with the uncomfortable camera work and the very obscene moments of sexual freedom, but it is also narratively upsetting. The film is about a company of actors that is being interviewed about their recent act, however the stakes in this films are so minúte that there is no real desire from myself to see the events unfold. The relationship between the actors could be interesting, the relationships between the actors and the interviewer could also offer some fascinating narrative points and deepen the characters involvement in the story, but it never comes to that.

I liked learning about the actors and the performances are very solid, but then there are cut-ins and lines that aren't necessary or divulge information that isn't important to the story at hand. I don't care about the interviewers past life, I don't care what he does at all. It bothered me immensely that this film felt longer to get through than The Magician which is a longer film but has much stronger and more meaningful interactions with it's characters.

The performances aren't cutting it anymore for me, since Persona, I want to know what the purpose of the dialogue, the cuts, the characters have to the overall story.

28. Thirst (1949)

Not Rated | 83 min | Drama

A needy couple in a bad marriage travel back to Stockholm after a trip to Italy. Meanwhile, a widow resists seductions from two different persons - her psychiatrist and a lesbian friend.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Eva Henning, Birger Malmsten, Birgit Tengroth, Hasse Ekman

Votes: 1,849

While reading the essays for Bergman's early work, I remember reading that this was the first movie to show that Ingmar was beginning to step into his form of filmmaking. I don't necessarily believe that's the case with Thirst. I observed a movie that was seeming like just another movie from his early years. No performances stood out, no characters, moments, or scenes were beyond present and serviceable. It was a cleaner film than Crisis, however it was just as flawed in its as assembly.

I began re-watching Thirst, and halfway from the film I stopped it, not because I had anything better to do or because I had any pressing matters, I just didn't feel a desire to continue through the film. And I don't know why. I don't know if it was because I was disinterested with the story again like last time or if it's because I know there are better Bergman films out there. I want to say that the film has interesting characters, but that's not true, the situations that each of the characters is involved in because of their pasts is interesting, but they, themselves, are not. I don't care about what they'll do next or go through next, because the stakes in their current lives hold no interest for myself.

I just thought of something, maybe the issue I have is not that the characters aren't interesting because I have found characters like this interesting in otters films. I'm starting to feel that I'm mostly uninterested to find out if these characters will collide with one another and uninterested in finding out if or how these characters will evolve as the story goes on and I feel, no matter what they go through, I will personally come out of the film unaffected for a second time. My walls were up for this film and I felt an obligation to see it rather than a real desire to learn more from the story.

The problem with the movie was in myself and how I was approaching it. I don't think it's a great film, and I still stand by my feelings that the events that transpire are not revealing of anything new for the story or for character development.

29. The Devil's Eye (1960)

Not Rated | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

Don Juan is sent from Hell to Earth with a highly important mission - to seduce a 20-years virgin for spoiling her pure wedding. The mission becomes crazy when Don Juan falls in love for the first time in his centuries-old lover's career.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Jarl Kulle, Bibi Andersson, Stig Järrel, Nils Poppe

Votes: 3,180

The Devil's Eye is a comedy by Bergman that is similar to Smiles of a Summer night in that the comedy centres on the situation the characters are involved with but, unlike Smiles, Devil's Eye doesn't have the same charmful or expressive characters. In fact, the film is way too polite with it's material. Bibi Andersson has a moment or two but her performance isn't as grabbing or notable as her other performances, and the side character of Pablo (who could be a Puck to this story) is just a facially expressive character, not an emotional one. The interruptions with Gunnar slow the pace of the film and the voice over does no favours for the film. The frustrating part of all of this is this little to no concern for the Devil. He's more irritated than anything else, but that could be played so much funnier. Overall, it's an eh movie that covers material and themes that Bergman has better developed.

30. Crisis (1946)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Romance

A small-town piano teacher is shocked by the arrival of her foster daughter's real mother, whose young lover soon follows and causes further disruption.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Inga Landgré, Stig Olin, Marianne Löfgren, Dagny Lind

Votes: 2,155

Ingmar Bergman's first film is certainly not a film that has reach the full extent of possibility when it comes to what elements are used to tell it's story, and there are themes that are brought up in this movie that he would approach in different and more insightful was (Youth and the old generation, rebellion, sexual freedom, betrayal, manipulation) but he does establish in this film that he has insightful instincts with how he wants to tell stories. He does require more refinement and practice in his craft.

31. All These Women (1964)

Not Rated | 80 min | Comedy

A critic blackmails a famous musician with his biography filled with the revelations of many of his women.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Bibi Andersson, Harriet Andersson, Eva Dahlbeck, Karin Kavli

Votes: 1,692

This is the first time I've been genuinely annoyed by a Bergman film. Every thing about this movie was just handled in the worst way. The shot compositions are terrible, the camera gets in the way of most of the comedy rather than act as a participant and witness. The story and editing is so scattered and incomprehensible that any further understanding of what is being done is just met with the response, "I don't care and why should I?"

The major issue I had with this movie, out of a lot of issues I had, was that every element of this film and the approach to creating it is trying way too hard to create comedy. One thing I've learned about comedy is that the harder you try, the less funny it is. Everyone is too in control of what they choose to do and how to present the comedy. The falling bust moment was when I first knew I was in for a long and unenjoyable ride.

This also just feels like a waste of talent. Eva Dahlbeck and Harriet Andersson are playing roles that are similar to Smiles of a Summer Night, but there is no motivation for their characters other than, we love the artist. The women should have different levels of love towards him and express those levels in unique ways. THAT would be funny. That would be entertaining and insightful both of the story and of Bergman. This could have been his ultimate joke on himself as the artist who loves all these passionate and unique individuals, but can't handle them all so he just leaves one for another until he has too many.

I am also not a fan of the actor playing the critic. This is the second time I have not cared for his performance and it proves to me that him playing too extreme in The Devil's Eye would have just been annoying.

This film really makes me shudder. I want to show it to people just so they understand that Bergman was not a perfect creator and that anyone can make mistakes, even one of the greats.

32. Scenes from a Marriage (1974)

PG | 169 min | Drama

Scenes from a Marriage chronicles the many years of love and turmoil that bind Marianne (Liv Ullmann) and Johan (Erland Josephson) through matrimony, infidelity, divorce, and subsequent partners.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson, Bibi Andersson, Gunnel Lindblom

Votes: 2,226

33. The Magic Flute (1975 TV Movie)

G | 135 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Music

The Queen of the Night offers her daughter Pamina to Tamino, but he has to bring her back from her father and priest Sarastro. She gives a magic flute to Tamino and magic bells to the bird ... See full summary »

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Ulrik Cold, Josef Köstlinger, Irma Urrila, Håkan Hagegård

Votes: 3,922

34. The Serpent's Egg (1977)

R | 119 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Berlin, 1923. Following the suicide of his brother, American circus acrobat Abel Rosenberg attempts to survive while facing unemployment, depression, alcoholism and the social decay of Germany during the Weimar Republic.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Liv Ullmann, David Carradine, Gert Fröbe, Heinz Bennent

Votes: 4,780

35. Autumn Sonata (1978)

PG | 99 min | Drama, Music

A married daughter who longs for her mother's love is visited by the latter, a successful concert pianist.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Ingrid Bergman, Liv Ullmann, Lena Nyman, Halvar Björk

Votes: 21,943

36. Fårö Document 1979 (1979 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 103 min | Documentary

Fårö Document 1979 is the ten-year followup to the first documentary Bergman made about his adopted home, Fårö, where he filmed many of his best works and lived until the end of his life.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Ingmar Bergman, Irene Broman, Per Broman, Valter Broman

Votes: 272

37. From the Life of the Marionettes (1980 TV Movie)

R | 104 min | Drama

An account of the events before and after a murder committed by Peter Egermann (Robert Atzorn), a disturbed businessman in a strained marriage, and what led Peter to perform such a shocking act.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Robert Atzorn, Christine Buchegger, Martin Benrath, Rita Russek

Votes: 3,295

38. Fanny and Alexander (1982)

R | 188 min | Drama

100 Metascore

Two young Swedish children experience the many comedies and tragedies of their family, the Ekdahls.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Bertil Guve, Pernilla Allwin, Kristina Adolphson, Börje Ahlstedt

Votes: 53,189 | Gross: $4.97M

39. Fanny and Alexander (1983)

312 min | Drama

Two young Swedish children experience the many comedies and tragedies of their family, the Ekdahls.

Stars: Börje Ahlstedt, Ewa Fröling, Bertil Guve, Jarl Kulle

Votes: 1,967

40. After the Rehearsal (1984 TV Movie)

R | 70 min | Drama

Rational, exacting, and self-controlled theater director, Henrik Vogler, often stays after rehearsal to think and plan. On this day, Anna comes back, ostensibly looking for a bracelet. She ... See full summary »

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Erland Josephson, Ingrid Thulin, Lena Olin, Nadja Palmstjerna-Weiss

Votes: 1,942

41. Saraband (2003 TV Movie)

R | 107 min | Drama, Music

80 Metascore

Marianne, some thirty years after divorcing Johan, decides to visit her ex-husband at his summer home. She arrives in the middle of a family drama between Johan's son from another marriage and his granddaughter.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson, Börje Ahlstedt, Julia Dufvenius

Votes: 6,604 | Gross: $0.65M

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