Recently I’ve been revisiting some of my favourite films from legendary filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, whom Woody Allen called the greatest filmmaker of all time. And rightly so. His movies are amazing, unforgettable, and freaking awesome. The lowest rating I’ve given to any of his movies was a 6 (bordering on 7), and so far I’ve seen a lot of his movies. These are the Bergman movies I’ve seen: Crisis, Port of Call, Summer with Monika, Sawdust and Tinsel, Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, Brink of Life, The Magician, The Virgin Spring, The Devil’s Eye, Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, The Silence, Persona, Hour of the Wolf, Shame, The Passion of Anna, Cries and Whispers, Face to Face, The Serpent’s Egg, Autumn Sonata and Fanny and Alexander. That might seem like a lot to you but to me there are still some really great ones out there I really want to see (with particular emphasis on the ever-elusive To Joy and Scenes from a Marriage).
Anyway, the last time I did a post solely about Bergman was for his birthday back in July, so I thought it about time to write something new about my favourite director of all time. So, cue my list of my 15 favourite moments in some of Bergman’s great movies.
1: The blaring operatic music at the opening of The Seventh Seal.
2: The final taking of the main characters at the end of The Seventh Seal as they are captured by Death and forced to forever leap aimlessly in the Dance of Death while only Jof can see.
3: The dream sequence at the opening of Wild Strawberries.
4: The final, miraculous act at the end of The Virgin Spring (skip to 6:30 in the video if you wish to see it).
5: Harriet Andersson being raped by an invisible spider-God in Through a Glass Darkly.
6: The slow closeup of Gunnar Björnstrand as much of the screen around him fades to white and he quotes Jesus’s words while hanging humiliated in crucifixion in Winter Light.
7: Ingrid Thulin’s mad, feverish fit of sickness at the end of The Silence.
8: The opening six-minute prologue to Persona, which works as an eerie salute to cinema, with vague imagery reminiscent of Buñuel and Godard.
9: The obligatory shot of Bergman and Sven Nykvist near the end of Persona.
10: Max von Sydow’s spiralling insanity in The Hour of the Wolf, most notably his humiliation in front of a saucily nude Ingrid Thulin.
11: The final hauntingly beautiful moments of Shame, as Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann lay floating on a boat amongst a pile of corpses.
12: The random interviews with the actors about their characters in The Passion of Anna.
13: The incredible zoom inwards at the very end of The Passion of Anna (and the misplaced word which follows it on screen).
14: Pretty much every scene in Cries and Whispers.
15: The breathtaking, amazingly beautiful prologue to Fanny and Alexander.
Those are my 15. If there are any scenes or moments you like that I haven’t listed, feel free to leave some in the comments below. If you have anything to say related to Bergman, the comments on this post is just as good a place as any, so you’re more than welcome to leave anything between just a few words or an all-out ramble.