Artists' Television Access

[email protected]: Ingmar Bergman’s World (screening at Noe Valley Library)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018, 6:30 pm, free

Ingmar Bergman’s World (Stig Björkman, 1972) 53 minutes
At the end of the 1960s dramatist-turned-director Ingmar Bergman had been Sweden’s most highly-regarded cinematic export for well over a decade and had solidified his reputation as one of the world’s foremost makers of thought-provoking feature films. It was time for him to try making his first film in the English language. Depicting a love triangle between Elliot Gould, Bibi Andersson and Max Von Sydow, The Touch became a notorious flop, only finally achieving critical approval in recent years, and its first home video release in 2018 as part of the centennial celebration of Bergman’s birth.
Anyone intrigued by Bergman’s working methods will want to view the full-color documentary made by film critic Stig Björkman while visiting the set of The Touch. Interviews with the master as well as his actors, are intercut with fly-on-wall footage of Bergman meeting with his cast and crew and working with cinematographer Sven Nykvist to frame shots. Provocative excerpts from then-recent triumphs like Persona and The Passion of Anna, from which we see Liv Ullman give a particularly haunting monologue, provide illuminating context.
De Düva: The Dove (USA: George Coe & Anthony Lover, 1968) 14 minutes
From the sublime to the ridiculous, we’ll follow Björkman’s probing documentary with the height of hilarious film parody, 1960s style. With a scenario mashing up The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries, and a cast including Madeline Kahn in her screen debut, a pair of future Saturday Night Live contributors concoct a spot-on spoof of Ingmar Bergman’s existentialist themes and directorial tics. And there’s something particularly odd happening with the dialogue and those subtitles…

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