Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer
The Farewell To Middle-earth Issue
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe: Get 12 Issues For £25
Buy the perfect Christmas present this year
Farewell To Middle-earth
Full details of our Peter Jackson-edited issue
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
TODAY
Sony Cancels Release Of The Interview
Seth Rogen film on hold after hack attack and warnings
Chris Pratt Features In A New Jurassic World Image
Happy Holidays from him and his raptor
Jim Carrey May Go Into Deep Cover
He's considering a new comedy pitch
More Movie News

RELATED REVIEWS
The Seventh Seal (2007)
Empire Star Rating
The Best Intensions
Empire Star Rating
Fanny and Alexander
Empire Star Rating
Scenes From A Marriage
Empire Star Rating
Hour Of The Wolf
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Ingmar Bergman Dies Age 89
The legendary director passes on

30 July 2007  |  Written by   

submit to reddit

Ingmar Bergman, one of the finest directors in the history of cinema, has died at the age of 89. In a career spanning over 60 years, he made a number of powerful and provocative studies of the human condition, including The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries (both 1957), Persona (1966) and Cries and Whispers (1973), which influenced film-makers as different as Woody Allen and Andrei Tarkovsky.

Born in 1918, the son of a Lutheran pastor, Bergman endured an unhappy childhood, although he later credited his insight into the female psyche to his desperate desire to win his mother's affection. Cinema and the theatre became a means of escape and he was inspired by the works of the German Expressionists, the French surrealists, the Dane Carl Theodor Dreyer and the Swedish pioneers, Mauritz Stiller and Victor Sjöström.

However, his earliest pictures bore the traces of Italian neo-realism and it wasn't until Summer Interlude (1951) that Bergman established a personal style. He came to international attention with Summer With Monika (1953), which the young French critic Jean-Luc Godard declared `the most beautiful film of this most original of cinéastes'.

Smiles of a Summer Night (1955) revealed Bergman's underrated lighter side, but his name would always be synonymous with intense studies of morality, madness, sexuality, faith and the agonies of artistic creation, which questioned the existence of God and the extent to which our actions are dictated by predestination or conscience. Having won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film with The Virgin Spring (1960), he embarked on the sobering trilogy of Through a Glass Darkly (1961), Winter Light (1962) and The Silence (1963), which saw Bergman and his celebrated stock company and new cinematographer Sven Nykvist adopt a more audacious aesthetic that reflected the New Waves sweeping across Europe.

A second tryptych, Hour of the Wolf, Shame (both 1968) and The Passion of Anna (1969), which became known as the `Fårö trilogy', showed Bergman at his most despondent. But while he was still capable of ambitious projects like Scenes from a Marriage (1973), he struggled with personal problems and critical indifference for much of the 1970s and few expected him to return to such majestic form with Fanny and Alexander (1983), which proved to be his last major work before he retired following Saraband (2003).

Over the years, Bergman has been accused of pessimism, detachment and a tendency to resort to obscurantism and contrivance. Yet his style has continually evolved and his films have presented a consistent portrait of humanity in its valiant struggle to deal with the subconscious, spiritual and supernatural aspects of existence and their impact on people's moral, social and creative choices. Moreover, he has always had the courage to tackle contentious subjects and bare his own soul on the screen. An artist of rare vision and fortitude, his place among cinema's greats is lastingly assured.

Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

World Exclusive: The New Wall-E Trailer
This kicks shiny metal butt!
Cameron Is Her Sister's Keeper
Diaz in Picoult adaptation

Your Comments

RE: Ingmar Bergman Dies Age 89
I haven't seen any of his films unfortunately, but I know what a great influence he was on all of the modern filmmakers of today.  And only a couple of weeks ago, BBC2's Arena programme was about Bergman.   Today, there was only a small article about him in the paper, which I thought was ridiculous.  The same happened with Robert Altman.  I bet when Spielberg dies, there will be about 4 pages dedicated to him. More

Posted by paul.mccluskey at 20:21 on 31 July 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Ingmar Bergman Dies Age 89
great loss.... Oh, by the way...even if you didn't like him tallaght24 (Shit!!! There's another ]23] of them out there!!!)...then hyou'll be happy to remember that that nice bit in Bill and Ted that you liked with death getting a wedgie...hehehe....inspired by this! PS; If you don;t like anything inspired by arty farty stuff just burn every book, CD and movie you have.....well, except the Michael Bay ones... Adieu Loser More

Posted by The Judge at 20:16 on 31 July 2007 | Report This Post

RE: RE:
L: TheManWithNoShame L: amateur ghostbuster L: tallaght24 Excuse me bagrot1, but don't be so quick to label people. I don't just watch movies for explosions and the like. I know who Ingmar Bergman is, just never cared for his movies. All a bunch of arty farty wank. How the fuck is someone playing chess with death iconic? I love films, love films to the point of madness but I fuckin HATE film snobs who watch movies for the ambience they generate or some arse like that! It seems al More

Posted by amateur ghostbuster at 18:46 on 31 July 2007 | Report This Post

RE: RE:
L: amateur ghostbuster L: tallaght24 Excuse me bagrot1, but don't be so quick to label people. I don't just watch movies for explosions and the like. I know who Ingmar Bergman is, just never cared for his movies. All a bunch of arty farty wank. How the fuck is someone playing chess with death iconic? I love films, love films to the point of madness but I fuckin HATE film snobs who watch movies for the ambience they generate or some arse like that! It seems alot of them work for movie More

Posted by TheManWithNoShame at 18:43 on 31 July 2007 | Report This Post

RE:
L: tallaght24 Excuse me bagrot1, but don't be so quick to label people. I don't just watch movies for explosions and the like. I know who Ingmar Bergman is, just never cared for his movies. All a bunch of arty farty wank. How the fuck is someone playing chess with death iconic? I love films, love films to the point of madness but I fuckin HATE film snobs who watch movies for the ambience they generate or some arse like that! It seems alot of them work for movie mags. Funny that! at an in More

Posted by amateur ghostbuster at 18:40 on 31 July 2007 | Report This Post

It's a sad day for all true film fans. Pity some choose to use it as an excuse to expose their own ignorance and snobbery. Grow up and show some respect. More

Posted by hemingways_folly at 16:27 on 31 July 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Bergman
Always sad when someone you respect dies but he's left behind a body of work that stands comparison with anything in cinema, and added to that with his tv,theatre work etc he achieved an incredible amount in his artistic life.I've been slowly working my way through his films for years and they are among the most moving,intelligent and at times down right scary that I've ever seen.I'd taken a bit of a break from watching his films and had just started watching some again inspired by BBC4 strange More

Posted by Jasiri at 16:00 on 31 July 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Bergman
L: TheManWithNoShame  But my favourite is possibly his most straight and 'easiest' masterpiece, the gorgeous Fanny and Alexander, a summation of all the best of Bergman's work and the finest swansong of all cinema. It may be 5hrs long, but its one of the most rewarding 5hrs of cinema I have ever seen.sp; Wow, I didn't even know that Fanny och Alexander has been shown in cinemas tooere in Scandinavia it's shown as a tv-series every christmas. And I agree with you, it's by far Be More

Posted by Heidi80 at 13:21 on 31 July 2007 | Report This Post

RE:
L: tallaght24 Excuse me but people can have an opinion. It seems I struck a nerve with the film snobs. o youve touched a nerve because you are talking bullshit and you have nothing to back your opinion up with. More

Posted by TheManWithNoShame at 11:52 on 31 July 2007 | Report This Post

RE:
L: tallaght24 Excuse me but people can have an opinion. It seems I struck a nerve with the film snobs. sp; Snobs in your opinion of course... More

Posted by Biggus at 10:43 on 31 July 2007 | Report This Post

Excuse me but people can have an opinion. It seems I struck a nerve with the film snobs. More

Posted by tallaght24 at 10:37 on 31 July 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Bergman
They had a feature on him on Newsnight. Even the master got implicitly criticised by Paxman. The man never rests. The Independent seems to have him on the front cover with a feature i guess. I think i may buy that. More

Posted by mafyou at 23:25 on 30 July 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Bergman
May he rest in piece. A great filmaker who won't be forgotten by those who love this medium. More

Posted by Deviation at 21:12 on 30 July 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Bergman
How come this thread for Ingmar Bergman has suddenly become infested with pricks (or indeed one prick) insulting the guys memory with some of the most inane criticisms Ive ever seen? Grow up, your conduct is the exact opposite of what any so called film-lover should do. Anyway, its sad, sad news: it seems like all the titans of the cinema of yesteryear have finally been extinguished, but theyve saved possibly the greatest till last. Ive only seen 5 Bergman films myself, but all have been stun More

Posted by TheManWithNoShame at 21:05 on 30 July 2007 | Report This Post

RE:
L: tallaght24 Excuse me bagrot1, but don't be so quick to label people. I don't just watch movies for explosions and the like. I know who Ingmar Bergman is, just never cared for his movies. All a bunch of arty farty wank. How the fuck is someone playing chess with death iconic? I love films, love films to the point of madness but I fuckin HATE film snobs who watch movies for the ambience they generate or some arse like that! It seems alot of them work for movie mags. Funny that! hate i More

Posted by doncopey1 at 21:01 on 30 July 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Ingmar Bergman Dies Age 89
It says alot about contemporary culture when Frank Butchers death gets more exposure than this great directors. R.I.P Ingmar Bergman. More

Posted by Joeluck at 21:00 on 30 July 2007 | Report This Post

Bergman
Awful. Just awful. His films will outlive him one hundred-fold, I'm certain. Geez, what a loss.   Grow up Tallaght. Even if you didn't like his films, saying "who?" if you actually have heard of him is totally disrespectful. Also, has it ever crossed your mind that people like artistic films because they are infact, artistic? Because they offer more than the average film? As far as I'm concerned he is truly one of the all time greats, and whether you agree with that or not, show some More

Posted by TrendMeUp at 19:43 on 30 July 2007 | Report This Post

Excuse me bagrot1, but don't be so quick to label people. I don't just watch movies for explosions and the like. I know who Ingmar Bergman is, just never cared for his movies. All a bunch of arty farty wank. How the fuck is someone playing chess with death iconic? I love films, love films to the point of madness but I fuckin HATE film snobs who watch movies for the ambience they generate or some arse like that! It seems alot of them work for movie mags. Funny that! More

Posted by tallaght24 at 17:27 on 30 July 2007 | Report This Post

It's sad that a director of such long standing is not known by some moviegoers today. Ok his work is often dfficult to take in (there are no explosions, pop songs or teen idols in them) but he has had a huge impact on many directors and the famous chess game with the reaper is iconic. More

Posted by bagrot1 at 17:21 on 30 July 2007 | Report This Post

Who? More

Posted by tallaght24 at 17:03 on 30 July 2007 | Report This Post

RE:
I'm from Scandinavia, so Bergman's films has played a huge part in my cinematic education. I have seen most of his films, but the tv-versions of his books (Den goda viljan, Fanny och Alexander etc) are the ones I'm most fond of. Especially Fanny och Alexander, a wonderful story about childhood (the sensitive and imaginative, but still rebellious Alexander reminds me of Ofelia in El Labyrinto del Fauno)  More

Posted by Heidi80 at 14:58 on 30 July 2007 | Report This Post

He's finally lost the chess game, but then he knew himself it was never about winning, it was how he played the game. And what a game he played. More

Posted by dunner05 at 14:14 on 30 July 2007 | Report This Post

RE: R.I.P.
One of the all time great filmmakers, a true craftsman and a wonderful director dedicated to creating an art. enth Seal career highlight, but he has created a huge array of films, my personal favourite being rawberries ing himself as one of the great filmmakers and celluloid poets. More

Posted by doncopey1 at 14:08 on 30 July 2007 | Report This Post

R.I.P.
Very, very sad news- Ingmar Bergman- a true artist. R.I.P. More

Posted by jamesbondguy at 14:01 on 30 July 2007 | Report This Post

SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

SAVE UP TO 69% GET 12 ISSUES FOR ONLY £25
Get the best seat in the house by subscribing to the world's biggest movie magazine today. Save up to 69% and every month you'll get exclusive subscriber-only covers, access to the biggest stars and the best news, reviews and behind-the-scenes reports straight from the set. Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Review Of The Year: 40 Worst Posters Of 2014
One-sheets that you'd rather not have on your wall

Hobbit Q&As: Ian McKellen On Finally Saying Goodbye And Farewell To Gandalf The Grey
Read our exclusive Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies interviews

Review Of 2014: Empire's Interviews Of The Year
Crews! Chan! Chickens?! The chats we loved in 2014...

Gallery: Peter Jackson Prop Art: The Bigiatures
An exclusive look inside the director's secret warehouse

Review Of 2014: The Best TV Moments Of The Year
We celebrate the small screen's biggest scenes

A Day In The Life Of An Orc
Three of Mordor's finest describe life in the Dark Lord’s employ

20 Great Films You (Probably) Didn't See In 2014
The underseen joys and unreleased gems of the last 12 months

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)