the destiny

“Jean-Luc Godard called SUMMER INTERLUDE Ingmar Bergman’s most beautiful film. Was he right?” , posted by the Criterion Collection.

Of course not. The ONE is Cries and Whispers. No other film by Bergman expresses the longing for a mother deeper than Cries and Whispers. It is a love letter to his mother. It is more than a love letter. It is love. At some moments, I have to believe in destiny. When I was told that my birth mother is missing, I thought of destiny. I have been searching for a mother for nearly thirty years, and she is missing. But I found Ingmar Bergman many years ago.  I watched Cries and Whispers many many times, before I realized why it touched me. It is destiny, isn’t it?

Saw this from the Criterion Collection.

When WILD STRAWBERRIES was nominated for an Oscar in 1960, Ingmar Bergman wrote this letter to the Academy:



Gunnar Fischer去世。

大概俩三年前,我读到华盛顿邮报的一篇文章,题目是伯格曼的电影,费舍尔的摄影。彼时我并不以为然。我最中意的当然是Sven Nykvist。与Sven Nykvist的冷峻不同,Gunnar Fischer的镜头里有一种欢愉和热情。不知道是从哪一天开始,我突然开始怀念这种欢愉和热情,然后开始重看他和伯格曼合作的夏日三部曲,夏日插曲,莫尼卡的夏天和夏夜的微笑。


Bergman Quiz 2

Er…I participated in a Bergman quiz again. I am afraid that I will not be so lucky as last time…

The question is very simple this time.

When Ingmar Bergman made cameos in his films, what was his character of choice?

music from Ingmar Bergman plays

Available here.

Notes on Bergman’s musical quotations

Bergman’s passion for music is manifest very early in his filmography. Music in Darkness, in 1948, tells the story of a young pianist left blind by a shooting accident; To Joy (1950) narrates the misfortunes of an ambitious violinist; and Summer Interlude (1951) recounts the life of a ballerina at the Stockholm Opera. Excerpts from Beethoven, Mozart or Mendelssohn are found in these films. Between Waiting Women and The Virgin Spring, musical quotations become rarer and are restricted to the piano repertoire: Schumann, Liszt and Chopin in Smiles of a Summer Night, Bach in Wild Strawberries, Scarlatti in The Devil’s Eye… Conversely, original film music is very common during this period.

AB Svensk Filmindustri© AB Svensk Filmindustri

The situation changes from Through a Glass Darkly. In this 1961 film, the sarabande from Bach’s Cello Suite nr 2 appears four times, whereas the film music has completely disappeared. Nothing remains, but the Bach quotation. From that point on, Bergman’s references to classical music will be increasingly important, up to his last film, Saraband, in 2003. This brief timeline enables to establish a typology of the various functions of musical quotes in Bergman’s works. These functions appear to be so many steps towards more and more musicality.

wild strawberries

Got up and turned on the TV as usual. SVT1 was showing Wild Strawberries. Victor Sjöström (Isak) was talking to Bibi Andersson (Sara).

–Isak: Jag förstår.

–Sara:  Nej, du förstår inte. Vi talar (pratar?) inte samma språk…

Unfortunately I do not understand the rest of their talk…

I did not enjoy this movie that much nine or ten years ago but now I feel I am very close to Isak. Sometimes only time is needed to appreciate life.