Writings, 1973

Comments on Series Z

Bergman’s own list of shame, written in 1973.

“I suddenly understood the film I should have made instead, and became so ashamed that my appendix became inflamed, I broke a toe and came down with an awful cold.”
On High Tension

About the text

In conjunction with a retrospective of his films at the Swedish Cinamateket (“Series A”), Bergman chose a selection of his (in his own eyes) nine worst films (“Series Z”), which were only screened in the smallest theatres. In this little pamphlet, he comments on Crisis, Summer Interlude (which he later reworked) and The Devil’s Eye, among others.

The downside with making a film is that it cannot be disowned – it will always be on record. A bad film can always be blamed on circumstance, but that’s a meagre consolation. A film will without shame or mercy reveal its creator’s weaknesses and shortcomings. What the films in this series have in common is that they have all been embarrassments to me, in one way or another. Those who happen to see these films – on account of schadenfreude, curiosity, masochism or purely academic interest – should however consider the words of Thomas Thorild, namely that nothing is done for the sake of its failures.

Fårö, June 30th, 1973

Ingmar Bergman