Ingmar Bergman is Dead

The great Swedish film director, Ingmar Bergman, died this Monday morning at the age of 89. I struggle to find something more to say about that fact, for it is significant, but tragically I knew him little (as a filmmaker, that is . . . personally, of course, I knew him not at all). IMDb has a brief obituary which includes an informative mini-biography. I first noticed the news over at Bible Films Blog, and the entry over there is worth reading.

My experience of Bergman to date (and I have every intention of broadening it) consists of having seen the three movies that sealed his renown in the mid- to late-50s: Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal, and Wild Strawberries. Smiles of a Summer Night, a warm, tender, romantic dramedy, I just had the pleasure of seeing about a month ago.

The Seventh Seal, a stark, metaphysical masterpiece about a chess game with death, I saw about three years ago. I immediately loved it, and bought it shortly thereafter. I’ve probably watched it half a dozen times since, each viewing richer than the last. A few months later, I saw Wild Strawberries, a soft, moving reflection on life and love from the end looking back. Here’s a short reflection a friend of mine wrote when he saw it a few years ago.

I believe Bergman was my first real experience with foreign films, but at the same time, it doesn’t matter where his films were made. They transcend nationality and speak directly to the heart of the human experience. I look forward to the many movies he made that I haven’t seen yet. His legacy is secure.

~ by Jared on July 30, 2007.

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