Monday, July 30, 2007

R.I.P. Bergman

"Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls."

(Bergman, 14 July 1918 – 30 July 2007)

Ingmar Bergman, the Swedish film director and one of the greatest masters of cinematography died in his home on the Baltic islet of Faro today. He was 89 years old.

Bergman’s grandmother introduced him to the cinema and went with him to several shows when he was a little boy, always in secrecy, since he wasn't allowed to go to the movies by his strict father who was a Lutheran pastor. On one occasion, Bergman said: "I hope I never get old so I get religious."

I have no wish to actually speak about his life and ghosts that tormented his soul from early childhood. You can read about his biography here. I would rather say that these ghosts have made a great impact on his cinematography, filling his movies with the questions and motives of mortality, sexual desire, loneliness and faith. Even he said that he was depressed by his own films and could not watch them anymore.

During his long career, Bergman remained devoted to the cinema and to the mysteries of the human spirit and soul. His early work was dark and brooding, his middle films intense and virtuous, and his last films intimate and self-revealing. He never lost his passion for drama and never got tired of his primary subject that was deeply human with all its faces, masks and aspects.

Bergman's family has not set a date for his funeral yet, but they have confirmed it will be attended by a close group of friends and family. I can not express my sadness due to this great loss… Bergman was one of my all time favorite directors, together with the long gone Andrei Tarkovsky and Federico Fellini. They won’t be forgotten.


Lorri said...

Oh, how sad to see his passing, and the world has lost an amazing individual...his legacy to the world will live on through his incredible work.

I am deeply saddened to hear this news. He was one of my all-time favorite directors, also.

May he be at the next realm of life...the eternal realm.

Kahl said...

A lovely eulogy, Milena. Perhaps if I can make the time, I too will speak of his work and vision impacted me as a filmmaker, storyteller and an artist.

And he speaks the words:

"I met Death today. And we are playing chess."

Neo said...

My God, Milena, lately you were speaking a lot about him and Antonioni, and now this! Haven’t you mentioned Saraband yesterday?!

I am so sorry to hear this.

Bemis said...

Beautifully written, Milena. So true about the ghosts that have motivated his work - I can only think of a handful of directors who bound their own souls so inextricably to their films.