World-renowned photographer Lennart Nilsson passed away on 28 January 2017. Nilsson was best known for his book A Child is Born, which features ground-breaking images of the very start of life, quite revolutionary at the time the book was published in 1965. Nilsson also worked as a photojournalist, and struck up both a working relationship and friendship with Ingmar Bergman in 1960, when he photographed him during the production of The Devil’s Eye. Nilsson also captured many portraits of Bergman throughout the years, and a letter in which the two friends discuss this and many other things is kept in the Ingmar Bergman Archives. Lennart Nilsson was 94 years old at the time of his death.
‘At a time when the very notion of choice is so menaced, and human life held so cheap, it is good to have an evangelist around, who, for all his inflations, errors, and limits, keeps insisting that men are responsible for what is happening to men.’*
Oscar-nominated I Am Not Your Negro is currently playing at cinemas around the globe. Embarking on James Baldwin’s (1924-1987) writings, this film tells the tale of African-American history, with Baldwin’s sharp pen and intellect extending a long way, illustrating the current situation and presenting a feasible future. Baldwin, a personal friend of assassinated civil rights campaigners Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X and the lesser-known Medgar Evers, was a political activist himself. Baldwin was a brilliant writer with a great interest in film, and his first-ever contribution to Esquire was an interview with Ingmar Bergman, a man to whom he expressed an affinity:
‘…I felt identified, in some way, with what I felt he was trying to do. What he saw when he looked at the world did not seem very different from what I saw.’*
James Baldwin and Ingmar Bergman met at the Filmstaden in Solna, Stockholm, in 1960. The Ingmar Bergman Archives contain a letter Baldwin wrote to Bergman before their meeting, in which he suggests a date and expresses his admiration of Bergman, even if the film he mentions was not, embarrassingly enough, directed by Bergman…
After this meeting, Baldwin was struck by the cold, bleak Swedish landscape, and considered it to offer an explanation for Bergman’s disposition:
‘I realized, with a small shock, that the landscape of Bergman’s mind was simply the landscape in which he had grown up.’*
This interview can be read in its entirety at Esquire Classic (requires a user account). For those of you who have yet to see I Am Not Your Negro, a crucial, revolutionising film experience awaits.
(*Esquire Classic, www.esquire.com)
Through a Glass, Darkly: The Films of Ingmar Bergman
The Australian Cinémathèque presents a selection of Bergman's key directorial works, at the Queensland Art Gallery, the 1-19th of March.
Ingmar Bergman (1918 – 2007) is one of the true luminaries of post-war European cinema. In a career lasting more than half a century, he crafted films with a passion and potency matched by few other directors. His films are known for their explication of deep religious concerns, their heartfelt understanding of the intricacies of human relationships, and for their arrestingly beautiful imagery. Bergman inspired countless filmmakers with his depth of vision and intelligence, yet the heart and power of his artistry remains inimitable.
This program includes a selection of Bergman's key directorial works that illustrate the development and breadth of his oeuvre. They are presented alongside a special screening of Victor Sjöström's The Phantom Carriage 1921, perhaps the single greatest influence on Bergman's cinematic output. The program also features Bille August's The Best Intentions 1992, a study of the relationship between Bergman's parents, and the documentary Trespassing Bergman 2013, wherein major cinematic figures discuss the enduring legacy of Bergman and visit his home on the Swedish island of Fårö.
Pernilla August and Cilla Naumann, Linus Tunström, Jane Magnusson and Liv Strömquist, Lisa Aschan and Isabel Cruz Liljegren, Patrik Eklund, and Tomas Alfredson and Jesper Waldersten – these are the directors, screenwriters and artists who have been confirmed for SVT and the Swedish Film Institute's Bergman Revisited project. Six short films in the spirit of Ingmar Bergman are to be produced in the run-up to the 100th anniversary year of 2018.
14 July 2018 would have been Ingmar Bergman's 100th birthday. With its Bergman Revisited initiative, this summer the Swedish Film Institute and SVT invited experienced directors to apply for funding to make a short film inspired by the universe of Ingmar Bergman. Six of Sweden's most prominent directors and screenwriters have now been confirmed for the production of short films, which will premiere at the 2018 Göteborg Film Festival and be broadcast on Swedish public service channel SVT1 in summer 2018.
The Swedish Film Institute and SVT are jointly contributing SEK 1 million (just over €100,000) to each film.
– Everyone has their own experience of Bergman, or certainly has had at some point. With Bergman Revisited we are updating the director for the modern age. There will be traces of him in the films from some of today's most interesting active directors and artists. A new generation is being given the chance to discover Bergman, and an older generation can see him in a new guise, says Helena Ingelsten, Producer and Editor at SVT Short Film.
– It has been a true joy seeing all the various project proposals, and we can't wait to see how the selected ones will turn out. It's great to welcome both Liv Strömquist and Jesper Waldersten to the world of film, to see Linus Tunström returning after nine years with Uppsala City Theatre where his production included Fanny & Alexander, exciting to see Tomas Alfredson, Pernilla August, Jane Magnusson and Lisa Aschan working on short films, and Patrik Eklund is already familiar in the short film category, not least with his Academy Award nomination for Instead of Abracadabra (Istället för Abrakadabra), says the Swedish Film Institute's Short Film Commissioner Andreas Fock.
These are the projects, in no particular order:
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Idea and concept: Jesper Waldersten, produced by Another Park Film, Fatima Varhos.
Bergmans Reliquarium is a visual association play looking into Bergman's most sacred secrets.
Director: Jane Magnusson
Screenplay: Jane Magnusson and Liv Strömquist, illustration: Liv Strömquist, produced by B-Reel Feature Films, Cecilia Nessen.
A film about Bergman's best side.
Scener ur natten
Director: Pernilla August
Screenplay: Cilla Naumann, produced by Avanti Film, Anna Anthony.
She and he meet on an archipelago boat for a weekend of love. To date they have been in complete agreement about their secret relationship, but the night on the deserted island changes everything.
Screenwriter & director: Linus Tunström
Produced by FilmLance International, Anders Landström.
A girl is born with wings. When Filip and Anna discover that their daughter is not like others, they react in diametrically different ways. Anna sees it as a miracle, Filip as a stigma. Must one cut all ties with the magical to survive as an adult?
Director: Lisa Aschan
Screenplay: Lisa Aschan and Isabel Cruz Liljegren, produced by Garagefilm International, Anna-Maria Kantarius.
Lisa Aschan and Isabel Cruz Liljegren are inspired by The Silence (Tystnaden) but swap Bergman's vision for their own. Magnetic love and sapphic relations are promised when Ester and Anna break their silence.
Screenwriter & director: Patrik Eklund
Produced by Salmonfox, Mathias Fjellström.
We enter straight into the action where married couple Krister and Kristina Carnemo are seeing marriage counsellor Miriam. The small annoyances so characteristic of their relationship recently have become increasingly palpable, and they leave the clinic full of doubts.
Bergman Revisited is part of an event at Göteborg Film Festival on 30 January at 7.30 pm at the Auktionsverket auction rooms, when Jan Holmberg of the Ingmar Bergman Foundation will talk to Tomas Alfredson, Jesper Waldersten and others.
If you have any questions about specific short films, please contact the relevant production company.
For queries about Bergman Revisited, please contact:
Helena Ingelsten, Producer and Editor at SVT Short Film: firstname.lastname@example.org
Andreas Fock, Short Film Commissioner at the Swedish Film Institute: email@example.com
An Academic Conference to be held at the Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University, Sweden, 13-17 June, 2018, celebrating the centenary of Bergman’s birth in 1918.
This conference will contain keynote addresses and ensuing discussions only. Speeches will be delivered by world leading scholars within Bergman studies (some 20 over three days), so there will be no general call for papers. The speeches will be open to the general public, so everyone will be welcome to attend the conference! There will be no need for accreditation. There will also be some film screenings, theatrical presentations and excursions. Among confirmed speakers are:
Professor emeritus Thomas Elsaesser, Universiteit van Amsterdam
Professor Stephen Prince, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia
Dr. Laura Hubner, University of Winchester, UK
Professor Linda Haverty-Rugg, University of California-Berkeley
Dr. Jan Holmberg, Ingmar Bergman Foundation, Stockholm
Professor, Vice-Chancellor, Astrid Söderbergh-Widding, Stockholm University
Professor Paisley Livingston, Lignan University, Hongkong
Professor Daniel Humphrey, Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas
Dr. Alexis Luko, Carleton University, Ottawa
Professor Maaret Koskinen, Stockholm University
Please send enquiries to Erik.Hedling@litt.lu.se (head of organizing committee)
Titel: [Workbook No 32]
Shelf no: F:125
No of pages:  p. ; 20 x 18 cm + supplements
Author: Bergman, Ingmar, 1918-2007
Comment: Spiral notepad. On cover: 'The Emotions'. Notes on the tax affair, 31 p. Draft of Autumn Sonata, dated '19.6.76 - Sun. 1 Aug. 1976', 51 p. Notes on acceptance speech, The Goethe Prize, 37 p.
Not digitized: Letter 'Dear friends and colleagues', about the move from Sweden, 6 sheets, 18 x 22 cm. PM about the tax affair. Typewritten with handwritten notes and signed by IB, 4 sheets, 30 x 21 cm + Handwritten sheet (by Rolf Magrell?, legal counsellor), 2 sheets, 30 x 21 cm
In the summer of 2018, Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman would have been 100 years old. Plans are already in the works to celebrate the occasion and one project from the Swedish Film institute and Swedish Television hopes to offer viewers a new take on the acclaimed artist.
The project, called Bergman Revisited, will give six selected directors the chance to produce a 10-minute fiction film. The directors can receive up to SEK 1 million to help finance their work.
Andreas Fock is the short film commissioner at the Swedish Film Institute and tells Radio Sweden that a key requirement is that the films have a link, of some sort, to Bergman's art or life.
"Ingmar Bergman is such an important figure in Swedish film so it's probably even more difficult not to have a relation to his work than to actually have it," Fock says.
The deadline to submit an idea for a film is October 10th and the Film Institute will announce who has been selected later in the year. The six shorts will premiere at the 2018 Gothenburg film festival and will also be screened on Swedish Television.
Fock emphasized that Bergman Revisited isn't just for fans of the man. He says the Film Institute would welcome works with all sorts of points of view on the director.
"We're really looking for all kinds of films here," says Fock. "Let's say you have a film director who watched all the films from Ingmar Bergman and didn't like any of them. If you take that frustration and put it down to a 10-minute short film, I think that could be hilarious."
The Bergman festival at Dramaten in Stockholm has come to an end. But the work of Bergman continues on stages all over the world. Check out what is happening near you under Going on.
Looking forward to the next festival in 2018!
The next festival will take place 25th of August – 4th of September 2016. In addition to international guest performances, Dramaten will present a number of new productions as part of the festival program. The core of the festival will be Ingmar Bergman’s extensive oeuvre as a writer and as a theatre and film director, although the festival will also include performances with no direct connection to his works. Read about the program here.