Ingmar Bergman was one of the most noted filmmakers of his time and was known to create films that fixated on death, illness, and the darker fate of humanity that awaits everyone eventually but is not often considered wise to speak of. He wrote and directed around 60 films and directed about 170 plays, proving that he was one of the greatest of his time and possibly any other generation to come. So far his genius has only been rivaled, not fully matched, but he is one of the several that have set the bar in cinema so high that reaching the same heights as he achieved is a noteworthy moment in any director’s career.
Here are the five most noted motion pictures that Bergman was known for.
5. Cries and Whispers
Upon watching this movie you get the feeling that nothing is really right in the lives of the three sisters and the maid that drive the story. Maria, Karin, and Agnes are all sisters but they remain somewhat distant to each other, while Anna, the maid, is far closer to Agnes. Upon Agnes’ death Anna is released from service. Maria and Karin attempt to reconcile and do so but are still distant towards one another.
4. Fanny and Alexander
When Fanny and Alexander’s father dies their mother marries a local bishop, whose authoritarian rule becomes something that the small family finds difficulty dealing with. Their mother, at the time pregnant with the bishop’s child, flees the house and makes arrangements for Fanny and Alexander to be taken and live with relatives until she can find a suitable place far away from the bishop. Ironically as Alexander dreams of the bishop’s death the man’s home is set afire from the careless breaking of an oil lamp, killing him and setting the family free.
3. Wild Strawberries
Professor Isak Borg is a very grouchy and discontented man. His life has apparently been nothing but a long trail of disappointment and regret that has left him bitter and quite cynical towards the world in general. But as he makes a trip to accept an award of distinction he meets several individuals along the way that remind him of simpler times and memories of a youth that was spent doing more than just bemoaning what was to be lost and what might never come again. By the end of the film he’s found a sense of peace that he’d completely forgotten about.
This is a rather strange movie that revolves around Alma and Elizabet and focuses heavily on loneliness and the confession of the fears that mankind deals with so continually. There’s so much imagery in this film that one can’t help but be mesmerized and confused all at the same time until someone either explains it to them or they watch it enough times to finally get the full gist of it.
1. The Seventh Seal
A knight returning from the Crusades wishes to accomplish a good deed before he dies, and in doing so enters a chess game with the specter of Death in order to give a family of actors a chance to escape Death’s clutches. While the specter claims that no one escapes Death, the knight still manages to give the family time, only at the expense of his own life. Bergman’s films are certainly filled with intense and meaningful imagery throughout their length, and this film is something quite unique.
There’s no wonder why he was lauded as one of the greatest directors ever.