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Ingmar Bergman for a beginner

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Ingmar Bergman for a beginner

Old 06-18-04, 11:24 PM
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Ingmar Bergman for a beginner

I'm pretty open to all different kinds of films. I've been dabbling into the Criterion collection as of late. Enjoying the works of Fellini, Kurosawa, Ozu, Renoir, Godard, and many others. And then there's Ingmar Bergman, who I think may be Criterion's most popular director and yet I've never watched a single one of his films. Before I dive into uncharted territory I ask you: Which Ingmar Bergman film do you recommend I watch first?
Old 06-18-04, 11:30 PM
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Wild Strawberries is pretty accessable and one of his best. It's a perfect example of his syle and what he's capable of. It's also a personal fav.
Old 06-18-04, 11:32 PM
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I own The Seventh Seal (maybe my favorite film ever), Wild Strawberries, and Persona. Also have seen Smiles of a Summer Night.

Of those to a beginner I would recommend Wild Strawberries first then The Seventh Seal. Although The Seventh Seal is spectacular, Wild Strawberries may ease you into Bergman better. He is my favorite director so I hope you enjoy whatever your decision is. You obviously know of Bergman somewhat through reading so no need to discuss his subject matter.
Old 06-18-04, 11:41 PM
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Originally posted by dick_grayson
Wild Strawberries is pretty accessable and one of his best. It's a perfect example of his syle and what he's capable of. It's also a personal fav.
If anything go with this film. I would also recommend The Seventh Seal and Cries and Whispers (but not for a "beginner").

Wild Strawberries is a great emotional film. Check it out first.
Old 06-18-04, 11:59 PM
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Seventh Seal and Fanny och Alexander ...most accessible I guess. I like everything I have seen by him, but that is me. Cries and Whisper is also excellent. Also check out Hour of the Wolf, Persona, and Virgin Spring.
I would also recommend the A Film Trilogy by Ingmar Bergman - Criterion Collection (Through a Glass Darkly/Winter Light/The Silence) There are some to start with...

Cheers

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Old 06-19-04, 12:55 AM
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Thanks, think I'll start with Wild Strawberries and then probably The Seventh Seal. Are there any directors you would compare him to? Are his movies slower paced with incredible cinematography? Or are they focused with emphasis on story and dialogue? Would you compare him to Tarkovsky?
Old 06-19-04, 01:38 AM
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Definately don't start with Cries & Whispers.
Old 06-19-04, 02:30 AM
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The first one I saw was "The Seventh Seal" and I absolutely loved it
Old 06-19-04, 12:04 PM
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1. http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hlight=Bergman

2. I recomend starting with The Seventh Seal, then The Trilogy from Criterion, after that anything you want.
Old 06-19-04, 03:10 PM
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Originally posted by grifter
Definitely don't start with Cries & Whispers.
Aha! So that's what I did wrong! Maybe I'll give him another try...
Old 06-19-04, 03:14 PM
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I'm sure I am commiting heresy but Seventh Seal didn't really do it for me. I plan on revisting it in a year or so for another look. I saw Virgin Spring in the theaters and really liked that.
Old 06-19-04, 06:18 PM
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I started with Cries and Whispers. It's the only one of his movie's that I've seen. I don't mean that in the "it was so bad I'll never watch one of his films again" kinda way though. I liked it... just haven't gotten around to any of the others yet.
Old 06-21-04, 09:04 AM
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Definitely start with Smiles of a Summer Night. It was his first international success in 1955 (outside Scandinavia). It won the Palme d'or at the Cannes Film Festival. This huge financial success changed his life and allowed him to go on making even more personal films. When it first came out, it was actually considered a "date film".

It has very high production values, being a period piece set in 1901. It has kicky music. It is one of his only comedies. It is actually funny.

It is more accessible and less "flawed" than the films that preceded it and a good introduction to his later work.

On the documentary and atmospheric side, it shows what the midnight sun actually looks (and feels) like in Sweden around the summer solstice and is evocative of countless pagan rituals inspired by this time of year (not to mention Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream). By the way, today is the summer solstice, y'all!

It is also all about sex, sex, sex. Did I mention sex? It has an inimitable Swedish frankness in the discussion of things sexual but it also harks back to the naughty film comedies of Ernst Lubitsch in its adult themes as well as to the cassical comedies of Molière, Beaumarchais, Marivaux and Giraudoux. It offers many interesting points of comparison with Jean Renoir's Rules of the Game.

It stars four of the world's most beautiful women, including Marilyn Monroe look-alike Eva Dahlbeck.

No human beings were actually harmed (or psychically warped)during the shooting of this film.

It was the inspiration for Stephen Sondheim's absolute masterpiece, his period musical-operetta A Little Night Music - which complements it perfectly. It was itself inspired by Bergman's directing The Merry Widow on the Swedish stage a few months before. So you know it's breezy...

It is the most accessible of Bergman's films and one of his best. Wild Strawberries comes in a distant second in that respect, followed by The Virgin Spring and The Seventh Seal. No beginner should be allowed anywhere near any of the other films, except maybe The Silence because of its sexual content.

If that's not reason enough, it just came out on DVD from Criterion last week in an incredibly polished transfer. It also makes you feel good... (like a movie should.)



Last edited by baracine; 07-04-04 at 11:06 AM.
Old 06-21-04, 10:54 AM
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Thanks for the tips everyone. I picked up Wild Strawberries and The Seventh Seal. Now I'm interested in seeing Smiles of a Summer Night
Old 06-21-04, 11:29 AM
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While Smiles of... is a great film it's not at all indicative of what Bergman's films typically are about. I love the Magic Flute but I'm not going to recomend that to anyone for a first Bergman experience.
Old 07-04-04, 11:10 AM
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Originally posted by Pants
While Smiles of... is a great film it's not at all indicative of what Bergman's films typically are about. I love the Magic Flute but I'm not going to recommend that to anyone for a first Bergman experience.
What Bergman's films are typically about are the obstacles to authentic human contact and the fear of humiliation in human relations. Smiles of a Summer Night has those themes in spades. This film proves a comedy can be profound as well as entertaining at the same time.
Old 07-04-04, 12:13 PM
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I can't think of a more accessible work by Bergman than "Fanny and Alexander." It's like huge Dickens novel come to life. Very involving and very beautiful.
Old 07-04-04, 12:56 PM
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Wild Strawberries is one of my favorite Bergman films. It probably Was my introduction to Bergman, as well.
Old 03-25-19, 12:51 PM
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Re: Ingmar Bergman for a beginner

BUMP

Since the Criterion release of Ingmar Bergman's Cinema last year, I'm going to assume some of you have purchased and started going through the set.

Are you rediscovering these films for the first time years? Or have never seen? Are there any in the set that you were impressed by.

I've been trying to work chronologically. I watched A Lesson in Love last night and this is probably one of my favorites from the earlier years.
Old 03-25-19, 01:36 PM
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Re: Ingmar Bergman for a beginner

I’ve only seen a few Bergman films, but loved them all, so bought this set this last flash sale. Haven’t opened it yet. Debating how best to approach it, chronological is my norm, but perhaps the set has some sort of plan or recommended order.
Old 03-25-19, 01:43 PM
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Re: Ingmar Bergman for a beginner

Originally Posted by Trevor
I’ve only seen a few Bergman films, but loved them all, so bought this set this last flash sale. Haven’t opened it yet. Debating how best to approach it, chronological is my norm, but perhaps the set has some sort of plan or recommended order.
The collection is set up in a "film festival" format.
Old 03-25-19, 02:47 PM
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Re: Ingmar Bergman for a beginner

Originally Posted by dex14
The collection is set up in a "film festival" format.
That’s interesting. Like maybe one disc per day?

However I decide, I need to dig into this soon. You enjoying the chronological approach? You doing just the films as you go, or the related special features with the films?
Old 03-25-19, 03:11 PM
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Re: Ingmar Bergman for a beginner

Before getting this set, I've only previously viewed (and owned on DVD) 15 of them (in red).
I want to watch all of them, even the ones I've seen before just because I've never seen them on Blu-Ray.
Now to find the time.

Crisis (1946)
A Ship to India (1947)
Port of Call (1948)
Thirst (1949)
To Joy (1950)
Summer Interlude (1951)
Waiting Women (1952)
Summer with Monika (1953)
Sawdust and Tinsel (1953)
A Lesson in Love (1954)
Dreams (1955)
Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)
Wild Strawberries (1957)
The Seventh Seal (1957)

Brink of Life (1958)
The Magician (1958)
The Virgin Spring (1960)
The Devil’s Eye (1960)
Through a Glass Darkly (1961)
Winter Light (1963)
The Silence (1963)

All These Women (1964)
Persona (1966)
Hour of the Wolf (1968)
Shame (1968)
The Passion of Anna (1969)

The Rite (1969)
Fårö Document (1970)
The Touch (1971)
Cries and Whispers (1972)
Scenes from a Marriage (1973) - TV & Theatrical

The Magic Flute (1975)
The Serpent’s Egg (1977)
Autumn Sonata (1978)

Fårö Document 1979 (1979)
From the Life of the Marionettes (1980)
Fanny and Alexander (1982) - TV & Theatrical
After the Rehearsal (1984)
Saraband (2003)
Old 03-25-19, 08:48 PM
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Re: Ingmar Bergman for a beginner

Does this set not have 1976's Face to Face? Because that's one of his best films, imo.
Old 03-25-19, 08:55 PM
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Re: Ingmar Bergman for a beginner

Originally Posted by Norm de Plume
Does this set not have 1976's Face to Face? Because that's one of his best films, imo.
It doesn’t. They couldn’t get the rights it seems.

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