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Ingmar Bergman (1918- )

Lifespan: 1918 -

Related: Sweden - European cinema - seriousness

Films: The Virgin Spring (1960) - Tystnaden/The Silence (1963) - Persona (1966)

Ingmar Bergman by Bengt Wanselius


Ingmar Bergman (born July 14, 1918) is a Swedish director.

Born in Uppsala, Sweden to a Lutheran minister, Bergman grew up surrounded by religious imagery and discussion. Bergman attended the Stockholm University and became interested in theater, and later in cinema. His films usually deal with existential questions about mortality, human sexuality, childhood memories, loneliness, and faith; they are also usually direct and not overtly stylized. Persona, one of Bergman's most famous films, is unusual among Bergman's work for being both existentialist and avant-garde.


From Grindhouse to arthouse

Grindhouse moves giddily through the decades, passing from '30s "road to ruin" pix to the '40s burlesque and dope films, and into the '50s, when grindhouses became "art houses." The two strains collided in 1955 when huckster Kroger Babb bought the U.S. rights to Ingmar Bergman's Summer with Monika. (Babb was notorious for his 1944 cinematic marriage manual Mom and Dad, which featured a birth in clinical detail.) Besides what the authors call "imported Euro-skin," the 1950s saw the ascendance of Russ Meyer with his classic of voyeurism, The Immoral Mr. Teas (1959).--Gary Morris, http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/18/18_grind.html [Oct 2004]

Summer With Monika (1953) - Ingmar Bergman

  • Summer With Monika (1953) - Ingmar Bergman [amazon.com]
    Released in 1953, Monika, an early Ingmar Bergman-directed melodrama, did much to establish the reputation of Swedish cinema, and perhaps Swedish women in general, as leading the vanguard in sexual liberation. The film attracted the wrath of the censors and one scene of lovemaking had to be cut. While subsequent generations will look at the film and wonder whatever the fuss was about, it retains a vivid and frolicsome sensuality, before submitting to the inevitable Bergman bleakness. The film tells the story of a young couple, Harry (Lars Ekborg) and Monika (18-year-old Harriet Andersson, with whom Bergman would fall in love), stuck in lousy jobs in Stockholm. Harry is beset by parental responsibility--his mother died young and his father is ill--while Monika is fed up with her drunken, violent father. They escape in a motorboat to spend a blissful summer on an island in the archipelago. Once Monika gets pregnant and they're forced to steal food, however, the idyll concludes and they return to Stockholm, where the relationship disintegrates. Visually ravishing, Monika would have a deep impact on French New Wave cinema. --David Stubbs for Amazon.com

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