Monday, July 30, 2007

Ingmar Bergman

As close as I can get to a tribute to Ingmar BermanSomething tells me I should write about the passing of Ingmar Bergman, but the only thing that comes to mind is "he was only 89?!" I know 89 is a respectable age and all, but still--I thought Bergman was well passed 90, maybe even a hundred by now.

Why? Well simply because of his subject matter and the fact that his films always seemed like the films that a 60-plus-year-old would direct. Fanny and Alexander is a prime example. I thought that he directed that when he was in his 80's, but that was 20 or more years ago.

Perhaps I was just thinking of Kurosawa?


Mood:  a pre-tribute to Igmar Bergman's deathIn any case, Bergman has some of the most beautifully slow movies I've ever had the pleasure to have wash over me (weird camera angles between talking characters and all.) He also dealt with compelling subject matter that, while seeming to be so dark, also had a sort of hope to it--a sort of human density, if that makes any sense. I mean come on! Wasn't he the same age as Fellini? Actually I guess he was older than Fellini by a couple of years. Why does that age of film directors seem so ancient? Why am I surprised that Bergman just died when (in fact) I had assumed he had died two decades ago?

Here's to ponderous and calculated!*

*Sorry Sleepy E, I couldn't resist.


  1. Oh and I did mean to say "human density" not "human destiny." Human density is a layer cake of human desires, thoughts, fears, and thoughts. Destiny is just stupid.

  2. John used the word "density" when he proposed to me.

    hey have you ever seen "Dead Like Me" - ?

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. No, I haven't. Should I?

    Yes I well understand the "density" reference to Back to the Future. That's why it make even more sense. Density is much more important than Destiny.

  5. I don't remember "Wild Strawberries" being slow and ponderous. That came later, I think. Bergman reminds of happier times, in college, when my gf and I watched most of his work over about a month. I loved ponderous and calculated back then.

    This just sucks. The next generation of directors is already dying off... Altman. Schlesinger. Next is Woody Allen, Coppola, Scorsese, DePalma, all those guys.

  6. Funny--as a 20-year old I fell asleep during Wild Strawberries. I repent to this day.

  7. I too thought he was dead. Seeing the Seventh Seal in a film class is one of my fondest college memories. The air seemed crisper, the smells of the auditorium still with me, a larger than life experience.

    On another note I'm still repenting of falling asleep during My Dinner With Andre, not Bergman but a film which deserved my attention.

  8. I remember seeing Passion of Anna, one of the 70s Liv Ullmann films, when I was a teenager--at some theater in Westwood, I think. One of the first films that made me think about images as images. I was sorry to read about his death, and I agree that it's sobering to see a generation of artist pass on, sleepy e.

  9. Anonymous11:38 PM

    I thought he was dead too, until a year or so ago, when I was reading an article that referred to him as living. I couldn't believe it, as I actually remembered (obviously i was wrong) the whole hoopla over his dying. Dead Like Me is one of my very favorite shows, I highly recommend it if you are considering watching it. It's good on many levels.

  10. Anonymous11:40 PM

    Sorry, that was me, Richelle.