RIP Ingmar Bergman

Rest in peace, Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007), almost the last filmmaker to have experienced the silent era and to have it influence his own work. (Ronald Neame, who worked on Hitchcock’s silent/sound Blackmail is still with us. Eric Rohmer. Michaelangelo Antonioni. Anyone else?) As well as so much of his work being imbued with the look and feel of silent cinema, he of course gave the great silent director Victor Sjöström the key role in Wild Strawberries, and his autobiography looked further back in having the title Magic Lantern. A magic lantern also features in Fanny and Alexander. Magic lantern, silent cinema, sound cinema, theatre, opera, television – all a part of his career, all ways of seeing.

3 responses

  1. Well, of course, no sooner did I name Antonioni, as a director still alive who had experienced silent films, when we lost him too. It’s the curse of The Bioscope.

  2. In fact, a silent director is still with us, Manoel de Oliveira, he filmed “Douro, Faina Fluvial” on 1931, I think he is the last film maker of silent era.

    My favorite Bergman’s film is Smultronstället, Sjöström’s influences are evident, a dream to Ingmar to film with his master.
    Every summer Begman saw Körkarlen, I don’t know if this last summer in his life he could to fulfil his tradition.


  3. Of course – and he’s still working, as I understand it. Certainly the IMDB has him down as a co-director (another director is ‘current’ silent filmmaker Guy Maddin) for a film scheduled for 2008, Invisíveis, Os.

    Silents lasted for longer in the Far East -Japan, China, and others. Maybe there’s someone who could lay claim to having made silents there, but de Oliveira must be the oldest.

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