Ingmar Bergman first went to Fårö, a remote island in the Baltic Sea, on a stormy day in April 1960, to look for a location to shoot his film Through a Glass Darkly. The visit made a deep and lasting impression on him. From that date, seven of Bergman’s films were shot on Fårö. It’s also the place where he lived and worked for long periods of his life, and where Bergman was eventually buried following his sad passing earlier this year. Having once made the long pilgrimage to see his home on Fårö (despite the fact that the island is officially off limits as it’s a Swedish military area), we can vouch for the fact that it is a mysteriously beautiful place.
If you happen to be in New York next month, there’s a rare chance to see the documentary film Bergman Island at Scandinavia House as part of a tribute honoring the legendary Swedish director. Produced and directed by Marie Nyeröd, the documentary is being screened by The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) and The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) on Saturday, November 17.
As if this wasn’t enough of a treat Bergman fans, there’s also a memorial tribute and a special screening of three of his films at the BAM Rose Cinemas. Persona and Shame will be screened on November 20 and our favorite film of all time, Fanny and Alexander, will be screened the following day. If you haven’t ever seen Fanny and Alexander, you should! Considered by many to be one of his best films (Bergman intended the film to be his last ever feature, although he did go on to write several screenplays and to direct some TV specials), it is not an exaggeration to suggest that watching this film might change your life. See below for more details about the documentary and films in this special tribute:
This documentary film contains unique behind-the-scenes material from Bergman’s private archive and was probably the only time when the notoriously reclusive Bergman allowed a filmmaker access to his home on the beach at Fårö. It tells the story of his life as a director of film, television, and theater. Nyeröd follows Bergman during the filming of Saraband, his final film, in 2002, and his final visit to Filmstaden (The Film City), where he produced The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, and Torment among many others. Bergman also shows the director his office at Dramaten (The Royal Dramatic Theater), where he worked for 40 years. Bergman Island is a 2006 re-cut of a 2004 made-for-TV documentary produced in three parts: Bergman and the Cinema, Bergman and Fårö, and Bergman and the Theater (87 min)
Tickets: $8 ($6 American-Scandinavian Foundation and BAM members)
For Bergman Island reservations, the public may call (212) 847-9746.
Scandinavia House general information: (212) 879-9779 or visit www.scandinaviahouse.org
BAM Remembers Ingmar Bergman
Presented by BAM at BAM Rose Cinemas
Monday, November 19 – Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Monday, November 19, at 7 pm in the BAM Harvey Theatre (651 Fulton St.)
BAM Remembers Ingmar Bergman will feature selected readings from Ingmar Bergman’s diaries presented by actors affiliated with The Royal Dramatic Theatre of Sweden (Dramaten), including Bibi Anderson, Pernilla August, Lena Endre, Lena Olin, and Peter Stormare. Remarks will be given by Ewa Bjorling, Minister of Foreign Trade and Representative of the Swedish Government; Karen Brooks Hopkins, President of BAM; Harvey Lichtenstein; author Phillip Lopate; and Joseph V. Melillo, BAM Executive Producer. An excerpt from the documentary Bergman Island directed by Marie Nyreöd will also be screened. The tribute is free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-seated basis with ticket distribution beginning at 6 pm.
85 min. Swedish with English subtitles.
Tuesday, November 20 at 6 pm*
Considered by many to be Bergman’s masterpiece, Persona features the inimitable Liv Ullman as a neurotic actress who has stopped talking and Bibi Anderson as the sympathetic nurse looking after her. The film features hypnotic formal elements that were unlike anything international audiences had seen before. In this, one of Bergman’s defining explorations of the depths of the human soul, Ullman’s persona increasingly melds with Andersson’s as the rehabilitation of her psyche progresses.
103 min. Swedish with English subtitles.
Tuesday, November 20 at 8:45 pm*
An under seen masterpiece selected by author Jonathan Lethem for this tribute, Shame is Bergman’s take on war and its destructive force. Liv Ullman and Max Von Sydow play a married couple who find a civil war erupting brutally in their town. Contrasting the face of blood and death with the pain and torment of the couple’s disintegrating relationship, Bergman crafts a final vision of apocalypse as disturbing as anything ever put on screen.
*An introduction by Jonathan Lethem precedes the 8:45 pm screening.
Fanny and Alexander (1982)
183 min. English, German, Swedish, and Yiddish with English subtitles.
Wednesday, November 21 at 7pm*
In this 1984 Best Foreign Film Oscar winner, Bergman uses his childhood as the basis for a story of life and family in turn-of-the-century Sweden. Fanny and Alexander is the tale of a brother and sister who struggle through the ebb and flow of growing up in a tragic and magical world. Bergman’s longtime cinematographer/collaborator, Sven Nykvist, provides a lush palette to balance out the pain of the children’s lives.
*An introduction by Pernilla August precedes the 7 pm screening.
All films directed by Ingmar Bergman and in English, German, Swedish, and Yiddish with English subtitles.