Ingmar Bergman's Universe

Anyone who has seen more than one Bergman film will recognise certain plot elements, settings, faces… Few artists have created their own individual universe through the use of recurrent themes, stylistic devices, settings and actors in quite the same way as Ingmar Bergman. Here is a guide to help you navigate these galaxies.

[Beginner]

Bergman the filmmaker

One of the most noteworthy filmmakers the world over.

[Beginner]

Bergman the theatre man

One of Sweden’s – and the world’s – most productive theatre directors. 

[Beginner]

Bergman the writer

Not only is Bergman's literary work extensive but also of considerable quality.

[Beginner]

A Matter of Death and Life: the Films of Ingmar Bergman

Geoff Andrew, from BFI and Sight & Sound, gives an introduction to the work of Ingmar Bergman

[Beginner]

Bergman and Sweden

The relationship between Bergman and his country of birth was a complex affair.

[Advanced]

Bergman's Legacy

In the short history of cinema, Bergman is one of those proverbial giants, with what seems to be particularly broad shoulders to stand on.

[Beginner]

In popular culture, part 1: Parodies

Few other filmmakers have fallen victim to as many spoofs of their work as Bergman. A somewhat dubious honour, perhaps, but an honour nonetheless!

[Advanced]

Strindberg in Bergman

Exclusive essay by Professor Egil Törnqvist on August Strindberg's great influence on Bergman – and (in a manner of speaking) vice versa.

[Beginner]

Film history according to Bergman

Having an interest in film is perhaps not so unusual for a filmmaker. In Bergman's case, however, 'interest' is a definite understatement.

[Advanced]

Bergman and Visual Art

Egil Törnqvist sheds light on a neglected subject.

[Intermediate]

Egerman, Vogler & Co.

Many Bergman characters have the same name. Why? Well, who knows. But here's at least the full list!

[Advanced]

Bergman Revisited

In collaboration with Wallflower Press, Face to Face here offers an essay by renowned Bergman scholar Maaret Koskinen. The text is the first contribution of "Ingmar Bergman Revisited", an anthology based on the Ingmar Bergman Foundation arranged symposium in Stockholm in 2005. Purchase the complete anthology at Wallflower Press.

Bergman in the Museum?

This presentation is in part a report by Thomas Elsaesser on his experience as the first Ingmar Bergman Professor, given as a lecutre at a Bergman symposium in Stockholm 2009.

[Beginner]

Family Values

The family plays a central part in most Bergman films, but happy families are rare.

[Intermediate]

The myth, the man

Ingmar Bergman's life and work are hard to differentiate, and that's putting it mildly.

[Intermediate]

Behind the Mirror

As subject matter, metaphors and symbols, mirrors abound in Bergman.

[Intermediate]

An unrequited love of music

Exclusive essay by Charlotte Renaud on Bergman's relationship to music.

[Intermediate]

Angels and Demons

Bergman's own private demons are legendary.

[Beginner]

Death and its Discontents

One hardly needs to have seen a Bergman film to know what Death looks like.

[Beginner]

Art and Artists

The artist is the most ubiquitous of all Bergman's characters.

[Beginner]

Under an empty, cruel sky

Bergman was, to quote a phrase, the son of a preacher man.

People in Bergman's circuit

Throughout his 60-odd-year career, Bergman had thousands of collaborators. Below is but a few; we'll keep filling it in as we go along.

  • Karl-Heinz Pelser,
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  • Kristina Olausson,
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  • Erik Strandmark,
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  • Karin Windahl,
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Ingmar Bergman's places

The locations in Ingmar Bergman’s films play an important role, often serving as metaphors of inner emotional states. Here you will find information on the places where his films were shot, as well as where he chose to spend his days living and working.

Stockholm, Fårö, Skåne (Scania), Dalarna (Dalecarlia) and Munich.