Searching for Ingmar Bergman


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In Theaters November 2nd 2018

About

On the 100th anniversary of his birth, internationally renowned director Margarethe von Trotta examines Ingmar Bergman’s life and work with a circle of his closest collaborators as well as a new generation of filmmakers. This documentary presents key components of his legacy, as it retraces themes that recurred in his life and art and takes us to the places that were central to Bergman’s creative achievements.

Ingmar Bergman

Ernst Ingmar Bergman, born on the 14th of July, 1918, in Uppsala, died on the 30th of July, 2007, on Fårö, was a Swedish film and theatre director, writer, theatre manager, dramatist and author. Ingmar Bergman wrote or directed more than 60 films and 170 theatrical productions, and authored over a hundred books and articles. Among his best-known works are the films THE SEVENTH SEAL, WILD STRAWBERRIES, and PERSONA, as well as his autobiography THE MAGIC LANTERN.

Throughout Bergman’s many works, one finds variations on a central theme: dysfunctional families, blood-sucking failed artists and an absent Almighty all become manifestations of our collective inability to communicate with each other.

Shakespeare, Molière, Ibsen, and Strindberg were all enormously important influences on Bergman, not only in his theatrical work, but indeed the entirety of his artistic career.

Bergman’s films are set almost exclusively in Sweden, and starting with 1961’s THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY, they were filmed primarily on the small island of Fårö, northeast of Gotland. The international reception of Bergman’s films reflects a not inconsiderable fascination with a Scandinavian exoticism: inscrutable language, primeval nature and flaxen-haired women. The depiction of nudity and a “natural” sexuality in Bergman’s films contributed to their success.

Looking over Bergman’s career, another hallmark of both his work for stage and film is the recurrent company of loyal collaborators. Some notable examples from this ensemble include the cinematographer Sven Nykvist, the actors Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, and Bibi Andersson, and the costume designer Mago.

The relationship between the life and works of the artist (despite the tendency of biographical analyses to fall victim to the cult of genius) is in the case of Ingmar Bergman as inextricably tangled as it is compelling. In countless interviews and artistic representations, and especially in THE MAGIC LANTERN, Bergman repeatedly referred to his childhood and its importance for his artistic vision. A number of his relatives were also creative colleagues.

Ingmar Bergman

Ernst Ingmar Bergman, born on the 14th of July, 1918, in Uppsala, died on the 30th of July, 2007, on Fårö, was a Swedish film and theatre director, writer, theatre manager, dramatist and author. Ingmar Bergman wrote or directed more than 60 films and 170 theatrical productions, and authored over a hundred books and articles. Among his best-known works are the films THE SEVENTH SEAL, WILD STRAWBERRIES, and PERSONA, as well as his autobiography THE MAGIC LANTERN.

Throughout Bergman’s many works, one finds variations on a central theme: dysfunctional families, blood-sucking failed artists and an absent Almighty all become manifestations of our collective inability to communicate with each other.

Shakespeare, Molière, Ibsen, and Strindberg were all enormously important influences on Bergman, not only in his theatrical work, but indeed the entirety of his artistic career.

Bergman’s films are set almost exclusively in Sweden, and starting with 1961’s THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY, they were filmed primarily on the small island of Fårö, northeast of Gotland. The international reception of Bergman’s films reflects a not inconsiderable fascination with a Scandinavian exoticism: inscrutable language, primeval nature and flaxen-haired women. The depiction of nudity and a “natural” sexuality in Bergman’s films contributed to their success.

Looking over Bergman’s career, another hallmark of both his work for stage and film is the recurrent company of loyal collaborators. Some notable examples from this ensemble include the cinematographer Sven Nykvist, the actors Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, and Bibi Andersson, and the costume designer Mago.

The relationship between the life and works of the artist (despite the tendency of biographical analyses to fall victim to the cult of genius) is in the case of Ingmar Bergman as inextricably tangled as it is compelling. In countless interviews and artistic representations, and especially in THE MAGIC LANTERN, Bergman repeatedly referred to his childhood and its importance for his artistic vision. A number of his relatives were also creative colleagues.

Margarethe von Trotta - Director

The daughter of Elisabeth von Trotta and the painter Alfred Roloff, Margarethe von Trotta was born in Berlin in 1942 and spent her childhood in Düsseldorf. After fine art studies, she moved to Munich to study Germanic and Latin language. She then joined a school for dramatic arts and began an acting career, in the theatres of Düsseldorf and afterwards in the Kleines Theater of Frankfurt in 1969 and 1970. At the end of the 1960 she moved in Paris for her studies and immersed herself in the film-lover circles of the time. She took part in script redacting and directing of short films and discovered via the Nouvelle Vague directors and critics the films of Ingmar Bergman and Alfred Hitchcock.

In Germany, Margarethe von Trotta has worked with a new generation of young filmmakers: Herbert Achternbusch, Volker Schlöndorff who she married in 1971 and with whom she directed and wrote THE SUDDEN WEALTH OF THE POOR PEOPLE OF KOMBACH (1971) and THE LOST HONOR OF KATHARINA BLUM (1975), as well as Rainer Werner Fassbinder who made her act in four of his films. In 1978, she directed her first long feature, THE SECOND AWAKENING OF CHRISTA KLAGES. The next year SISTERS, OR THE BALANCE OF HAPPINESS marked the beginning of her trilogy, completed by MARIANNE AND JULIANE (Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival in 1981) and LOVE AND FEAR (1988). As in SHEER MADNESS (1983), presented at the Berlin Film Festival and one of her most popular film to this day, these films explored the destinies of politically committed women, who refuse the role society gave them.

Three years later, her film ROSA LUXEMBURG, on the personal and public life of the German activist, came out in theatres after its presentation in Competition at Cannes Film Festival, where Barbara Sukowa received the Best Actress Palme for her performance in the film. In 2012 Margarethe von Trotta completed her exploration of women’s destinies with HANNAH ARENDT.

Screenings

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Press

  • “Margarethe Von Trotta’s many personal connections to Ingmar Bergman lend a fresh, distinctive flavor to SEARCHING FOR INGMAR BERGMAN.” Allan Hunter, SCREEN INTERNATIONAL
  • “A valentine from one director to another. Evinces great appreciation for the writer-director's legacy and offers the testimonies of numerous eminent enthusiasts."Todd McCarthy, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Contact

For press inquiries, please contact:
Sydney Tanigawa
212-219-4029 ext. 41
Sydney@Oscilloscope.net
For booking inquiries, please contact:
Andrew Carlin
Oscilloscope Laboratories
630-445-1215
andrew@oscilloscope.net
For all other inquiries, please contact:
info@oscilloscope.net