July 2, 2020

19° C, Clear

Full Forecast

Help us deliver reliable news during this pandemic.

We are working tirelessly to bring you trusted information about COVID-19. Support our efforts by subscribing today.

No Thanks Subscribe

Already a subscriber?


Advertise With Us

Autumn the right time to fall into Bergman classics

Month-long program at Cinematheque marks 100th anniversary of Swedish filmmaker's birth

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/9/2018 (644 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

ThE timing is perfect.

It’s not just that 2018 is the centenary of Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. But autumn happens to be the best time of year to see Bergman’s early-to-mid-career films, when the skies grow more wintry and the desaturation of colour outside syncs with Bergman’s spare, sometimes bleak visual style in the cinema.

Bergman was born in 1918 in Uppsala, Sweden, the son of a strict Lutheran pastor who would, on occasion, sentence young Ingmar to a dark closet for hours at a time as punishment for minor infractions. That kind of upbringing not only helped induce a rebellious streak, it left a stamp on Bergman’s films, in which his heroes tend to have a fractious relationship to God and faith.

Bergman also distinguished himself with his films that delved deeply into female characters, more often than not portrayed in his middle period by Liv Ullmann, his muse, romantic partner and the mother of his child.

The month-long program of Bergman’s work at Cinematheque, newly restored in digital format, was curated by Rory Runnels and includes:

The Seventh Seal (1957), Friday, Sept. 28, to Saturday, Oct 6.

Bergman’s screen proxy of choice, Max von Sydow, plays a knight returning from the Crusades, facing the personification of death on a beach and challenging him to a game of chess. Bergman had already been directing films for 12 years (including the 1955 work Smiles of a Summer Night, which would become the basis for the Stephen Sondheim musical A Little Night Music), but this is the film that announced Bergman’s arrival to an international audience.

The Magician (1958), Saturday, Sept. 29.

Von Sydow returns as Dr. Vogler, a 19th-century travelling mesmerist obliged to face off against the eminent scientist Dr. Vergérus (Gunnar Björnstrand) to prove his caravan is not a fraud. The screening will be introduced by Winnipeg actor-director Ross McMillan.

JANUS FILMS</p><p>Ingrid Thulin (left) and Victor Sjöström star in Wild Strawberries, playing at Cinematheque from Oct. 4-7.</p>


Ingrid Thulin (left) and Victor Sjöström star in Wild Strawberries, playing at Cinematheque from Oct. 4-7.

Wild Strawberries (1957), Thursday, Oct. 4, to Sunday, Oct. 7.

On a trip to accept an honorary degree, elderly curmudgeon Dr. Isak Borg (Victor Sjöström), accompanied by his daughter-in-law (Ingrid Thulin), is provoked to remember his own troubled past when he encounters hitchhikers whose lives refract the chapters of his own life. Introduced by Winnipeg writer Karen Clavelle.

The Virgin Spring (1960) Saturday, Oct. 13, to Sunday, Oct. 14.

Winner of the Academy Award for best foreign-language film, Bergman’s tragedy tells the medieval story of the rape and murder of the virginal Karin (Birgitta Pettersson) and her father’s (Von Sydow) brutal pursuit of vengeance. A film of terrible beauty, this inspired Wes Craven’s comparatively scuzzy Last House of the Left.

Persona (1966), Saturday, Oct. 20, to Sunday, Oct. 21.

Ullman is a stage actress who becomes mute after completing a role and Bibi Andersson is the nurse whose caretaking assignment grows into a mysterious bond with her patient. The Saturday screening will be introduced by University of Manitoba film prof George Toles.

Shame (1968), Saturday, Oct. 27. Ullman and von Sydow play a couple whose attempt to remove themselves from a war proves fruitless when the war comes to their remote farm.

Hour of the Wolf (1968), Saturday, Oct. 27.

Again, von Sydow and Ullman are an exiled married couple, whose lives unravel when they are invited by a group of sinister strangers to dinner at a nearby castle.

The Passion of Anna (1969), Sunday, Oct. 28.

Bergman mixes fact and fiction with the story of a reclusive artist (von Sydow) who attempts to rebound after a failed marriage, first with a neighbour (Andersson), and then, tragically, with the mysterious Anna (Ullmann), who has recently lost her own family.

randall.king@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @FreepKing

Randall King

Randall King

In a way, Randall King was born into the entertainment beat.

Read full biography


Advertise With Us

Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.

To those who have made donations, thank you.

To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.

The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.

After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.

If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.

We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.

The Free Press would like to thank our readers for their patience while comments were not available on our site. We're continuing to work with our commenting software provider on issues with the platform. In the meantime, if you're not able to see comments after logging in to our site, please try refreshing the page.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.


Advertise With Us