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Ingmar Bergman

The Myth, the Man
Jan Holmberg

The legendary Swedish screenwriter and film director Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007) is one of the most influential film directors of all times.  In a career that spanned 60 years, he wrote, produced, and directed 50 films that defined how we see ourselves and how we interact with the people we love, e.g. ‘The Seventh Seal’,  ‘Wild Strawberries’, ‘Persona’  and ‘Fanny and Alexander ‘.

The large canon of Bergman research (some of which he himself has conducted) has often focused on biographical details, analyzing his films, stage productions and writings as the products of life. According to Jan Holmberg, head curator of the Ingmar Bergman Archives , one might also take the opposite view: that Ingmar Bergmans life – as we know it – might be regarded as an extension of his work.
Holmberg argues that fame is the sum total of the misunderstandings attached to a name, and in the case of Ingmar Bergman, the misunderstandings are many enough to have gained him world renown. Possibly no other filmmaker working in such a small language, can compare to Bergman as the public figure he was. Which is not to say that his films have been as widely appreciated as his name has been known as a ‘demon director’ with an insufferable temperament, a ‘compulsive womaniser’ etc. (depending on which publications you read). However, the relationship between Bergman ‘himself’ and his public figure is extremely complicated. This presentation will be an attempt to ‘understand’ Bergman, analysing a number of his works, including unknown materials from his private archive.

Jan Holmberg holds a Ph.D. in cinema studies, is CEO of the Ingmar Bergman Foundation and Head Curator of the Ingmar Bergman Archives. He is also affiliate professor at Stockholm University.

The event is organized with the Film Archive of the University of Groningen and the  Faculty of Arts' Research Centre for Arts in Society. For more information about the Research Center and the Symposium of 15 February visit the RUG website.

Website: Ingmar Bergman. The myth, the man
Wikipedia: Ingmar Bergman


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