Director Bergman dead at 89


Summary

Bergman, hailed as one of the greats of world cinema, passed away peacefully at his home on the small Baltic islet of Faro on Monday.

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The director of more than 50 films, including Fanny and Alexander and Wild Strawberries, he is perhaps best known for The Seventh Seal.

The much-parodied 1957 work is famed for its opening scene in which a medieval knight, played by Max von Sydow, plays chess with Death.

Bergman was “probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera,” according to fellow director Woody Allen.

Gloominess and melancholy

He never shied away from tackling difficult subjects, such as plague and madness, bringing them to the screen with inventive techniques and carefully-honed writing.

His films were known for their claustrophobic gloominess and bleak melancholy.

His adopted home, Faro, to which he moved in the 1960s, featured in a number of Bergman’s movies. In 2004, he revealed a desire never to leave the island again.

Ingmar Bergman was born on July 14, 1918, in Uppsala. His father was a Lutheran priest who became chaplain to the king of Sweden, and his upbringing was strict and deeply religious, though Bergman later said he lost his faith at the age of eight.

He began his film career as a scriptwriter, before turning to direction, and once took jobs directing soap commercials to stave off unemployment.

Bergman, who was married five times and had numerous affairs with actresses, leaves nine children, including a daughter, Eva and a son, Daniel, who both became directors.


Bergman, hailed as one of the greats of world cinema, passed away peacefully at his home on the small Baltic islet of Faro on Monday.

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The director of more than 50 films, including Fanny and Alexander and Wild Strawberries, he is perhaps best known for The Seventh Seal.

The much-parodied 1957 work is famed for its opening scene in which a medieval knight, played by Max von Sydow, plays chess with Death.

Bergman was “probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera,” according to fellow director Woody Allen.

Gloominess and melancholy

He never shied away from tackling difficult subjects, such as plague and madness, bringing them to the screen with inventive techniques and carefully-honed writing.

His films were known for their claustrophobic gloominess and bleak melancholy.

His adopted home, Faro, to which he moved in the 1960s, featured in a number of Bergman’s movies. In 2004, he revealed a desire never to leave the island again.

Ingmar Bergman was born on July 14, 1918, in Uppsala. His father was a Lutheran priest who became chaplain to the king of Sweden, and his upbringing was strict and deeply religious, though Bergman later said he lost his faith at the age of eight.

He began his film career as a scriptwriter, before turning to direction, and once took jobs directing soap commercials to stave off unemployment.

Bergman, who was married five times and had numerous affairs with actresses, leaves nine children, including a daughter, Eva and a son, Daniel, who both became directors.