Ingmar Bergman

AZL flag holder TransparentErnst Ingmar Bergman (14 July 1918 – 30 July 2007) was a Swedish director, writer and producer who worked in film, television, and theatre. He is recognized as one of the most accomplished and influential auteurs of all time and directed over sixty films and documentaries for cinematic release and for television, most of which he also wrote. Most of his films were set in his home country of Sweden using a personal “repertory company” of Swedish actors. Bergman was born in Uppsala, Sweden, the son of Erik Bergman, a Lutheran minister and later chaplain to the King of Sweden, and Karin (née Åkerblom), a nurse who also had Walloon ancestors. He grew up with his older brother Dag and his sister Margareta. In 1934, aged 16, Bergman spent his summer vacation with family friends in Germany where he saw Adolf Hitler at a National Socialist rally in Weimar. He later wrote in Laterna Magica (The Magic Lantern) about the visit to Germany, describing how the German family had put a portrait of Adolf Hitler on the wall by his bed, and that “I was on Hitler’s side, delighted by his success and saddened by his defeats”. Bergman commented that “Hitler was unbelievably charismatic. He electrified the crowd. … The National Socialism I had seen seemed fun and youthful”. In 1937Bergman entered Stockholm University College (later renamed Stockholm University) where he became involved in student theatre. His first work after graduation was as a trainee-director at a Stockholm theatre where he wrote a number of plays, as well as an opera. At twenty-six years, Bergman became the youngest theatrical manager in Europe at the Helsingborg City Theatre. He stayed at Helsingborg for three years and then became the director at Gothenburg city theatre from 1946 to 1949. In 1953 Bergmane became director of the Malmö city theatre and remained for seven years. Many of his star actors were people with whom he began working on stage, and a number of people in the “Bergman troupe” of his 1960s films came from Malmö’s city theatre. However, Bergman was universally famous for his contribution to cinema and is most famous for films such as The Seventh Seal (1957), Wild Strawberries (1957), Persona (1966), Cries and Whispers (1972), and Fanny and Alexander (1982).

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