March 8–December 28, 2018

Bergman 100

The Cinematheque joins film institutions around the world in celebrating the 2018 centenary of Ingmar Bergman, one of the cinema’s pantheon talents and, arguably, one of the 20th century’s most important artists.

Bergman (1918−2007) stands as a central figure in cinema both for his achievement as a filmmaker and for the impact he had on global film culture. His works played a crucial part in the explosion of interest in international and art-house cinema, in the growing appreciation of film as a serious art form, that spread around the world in the 1960s and early 1970s. As the American critic Richard Corliss observed, For a lot of us, the discovery of Ingmar Bergman in the late 50s was as exciting as the arrival of The Beatles would be a few years later. Suddenly we could see the difference between movies and film, between the Hollywood product we assimilated like hamburgers and the haute cuisine food-for-thought of European cinema.”

Bergman, born in Uppsala, Sweden, to a Lutheran clergyman and a nurse, was fascinated from an early age by both theatre and film. A key childhood memory recounted by Bergman had the future director, bitterly disappointed at receiving a teddy bear for Christmas, trading a hundred tin soldiers to his older brother for the gift he really wanted: a cinematograph, or small projector.

Bergman began a prolific professional career in theatre (as a director) and cinema (initially as a screenwriter) shortly after leaving university, and directed his first feature film, Crisis, in 1945. His international breakthrough came with his 16th feature, Smiles of a Summer of Night, a hit at Cannes in 1956. A remarkable string of successes (and masterpieces) followed in short order: The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, The Virgin Spring, Through a Glass Darkly et al. With Persona, The Shame, The Passion of Anna, Cries and Whispers, Scenes from a Marriage, and other notable works, Bergman retained his status as one of film’s defining artists through the 1960s and 1970s, before announcing his farewell” to cinema (although it proved not to be, exactly) with 1982’s Fanny & Alexander, his 40th feature.

Bergman’s cinema is of astonishing depth, breadth, and variety, and defies easy summary, but is notable for several chief reasons: its exploration of the inner life and the fundamental questions of human existence, including our search for meaning, truth, and God; the remarkable work by Bergman’s stock company of performers (he was one of cinema’s greatest directors of actors); the profound sympathy for female characters and rare insight into female psychology (some justified feminist caveats notwithstanding, Bergman ranks as one of cinema’s foremost women’s directors”); the uncompromising dissection of male-female relationships; and Bergman’s accomplishment as a visual stylist, with a flair for surreal, dream-like, often nightmarish imagery. Indeed, for all the austerity and angst and metaphysical torment typically (and not inappropriately) associated with Bergman, films such as The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, Stardust and Tinsel, The Magician, Hour of the Wolf, and Fanny and Alexander are as rich, visually and thematically, as anything in cinema.

And there is also in Bergman, as A Lesson in Love, Smiles of a Summer Night, and other films demonstrate, a considerable vein of comedy. Godard, a Bergman admirer, wrote in the 1950s: That which is unpredictable is profound, and a new Bergman film frequently confounds the warmest partisans of the preceding one. One expects a comedy, and along comes a medieval mystery.” Of course, as Bergman’s reputation as a Serious Artist grew in the 1960s, one was much more likely to expect, and Bergman to deliver, an intense chamber piece on the resounding silence of God!

Beginning March 8 and continuing through 2018, The Cinematheque pays tribute to the legacy of this singular and superlative film artist with a major retrospective of his work. Most films will screen in new restorations created by the Swedish Film Institute for the worldwide celebration of Bergman’s 100-year jubilee.

Bergman 100 • Opening Night
Thursday, March 8
Reception, Refreshments and Programmer’s Remarks

6:00 pm — Doors
7:00 pm — Wild Strawberries with Intro
9:00 pm — Smiles of a Summer Night

Bergman 100

List of Programmed Films

Date Film Title Director(s) Year Country
2018-Mar Wild Strawberries Ingmar Bergman 1957 Sweden
2018-Mar Smiles of a Summer Night Ingmar Bergman 1955 Sweden
2018-Mar Crisis Ingmar Bergman 1946 Sweden
2018-Mar The Magician Ingmar Bergman 1958 Sweden
2018-Mar The Passion of Anna Ingmar Bergman 1969 Sweden
2018-Mar Fårö Document Ingmar Bergman 1969 Sweden
2018-Mar Fårö Document 1979 Ingmar Bergman 1979 Sweden
2018-Mar Through a Glass Darkly Ingmar Bergman 1961 Sweden
2018-Mar Winter Light Ingmar Bergman 1963 Sweden
2018-Mar The Silence Ingmar Bergman 1963 Sweden
2018-Mar All These Women Ingmar Bergman 1964 Sweden
2018-Apr A Lesson in Love Ingmar Bergman 1954 Sweden
2018-May The Seventh Seal Ingmar Bergman 1957 Sweden
2018-May Summer with Monika Ingmar Bergman 1953 Sweden
2018-May Sawdust and Tinsel Ingmar Bergman 1953 Sweden
2018-May The Devil's Eye Ingmar Bergman 1960 Sweden
2018-Jun The Virgin Spring Ingmar Bergman 1960 Sweden
2018-Jun Brink of Life Ingmar Bergman 1958 Sweden
2018-Jun Secrets of Women Ingmar Bergman 1952 Sweden
2018-Jun The Touch Ingmar Bergman 1971 Sweden . . .
2018-Jun Port of Call Ingmar Bergman 1948 Sweden
2018-Jun Summer Interlude Ingmar Bergman 1951 Sweden
2018-Jul Persona Ingmar Bergman 1966 Sweden
2018-Jul Hour of the Wolf Ingmar Bergman 1968 Sweden
2018-Jul The Shame Ingmar Bergman 1968 Sweden
2018-Jul The Rite Ingmar Bergman 1969 Sweden
2018-Aug To Joy Ingmar Bergman 1950 Sweden
2018-Aug Dreams Ingmar Bergman 1955 Sweden
2018-Sep Cries and Whispers Ingmar Bergman 1972 Sweden
2018-Sep The Serpent's Egg Ingmar Bergman 1977 West Germany . . .
2018-Sep Autumn Sonata Ingmar Bergman 1978 West Germany . . .
2018-Oct Scenes from a Marriage Ingmar Bergman 1974 Sweden
2018-Oct Saraband Ingmar Bergman 2003 Sweden . . .
2018-Nov The Bris Soap Commercials Ingmar Bergman 1951 Sweden
2018-Nov Prison Ingmar Bergman 1949 Sweden
2018-Nov Music in Darkness Ingmar Bergman 1948 Sweden
2018-Nov Thirst Ingmar Bergman 1949 Sweden
2018-Nov From the Life of the Marionettes Ingmar Bergman 1980 West Germany
2018-Dec The Magic Flute Ingmar Bergman 1975 Sweden
2018-Dec Fanny and Alexander Ingmar Bergman 1983 Sweden

Bergman Triple Bills March 30 (Friday) & April 1 (Sunday)
Bergman's entire “Faith” (or “Man and God”) trilogy.

March 31 (Saturday)
Winter Light + The Silence + All These Women

May 21 (Monday)
The Seventh Seal + Summer with Monika + Sawdust and Tinsel

July 8 (Sunday)
The Rite + Hour of the Wolf + The Shame

October 21 (Sunday)
Scenes from a Marriage + Saraband
The complete, original version of Bergman’s intimate epic of matrimony followed by its three-decades-later follow-up.

Triple Bill Price: $24 Adults / $22 Students & Seniors
Regular single and double bill prices otherwise in effect.
Annual $3 membership required.

More Bergman! Bergman Noir August 16, 20 & 22

Three additional Bergman 100 films—It Rains on Our Love, A Ship Bound for India, and Torment (the latte directed by Alf Sjöberg and written by Bergman)—screen as a sidebar to August’s Film Noir series.