Cannes Classics | Update : 20.12.18 . 1:18 PM

Bergman: the man behind the creative madness

Film still of  Bergman – Ett Ar, Ett Liv (Bergman – A Year In A Life)

Film still of Bergman – Ett Ar, Ett Liv (Bergman – A Year In A Life) © RR

He would have been 100 this year. Ingmar Bergman was one of the icons who left his mark on Cannes, and in this centennial year, the Festival pays homage to this silver-screen legend. Cannes Classics presents Jane Magnusson's documentary Bergman - Ett År, Ett Liv (Bergman – A Year in a Life), in which she examines the creative whirlwind that was 1957 in the life of the mysterious Swedish director.

Ingmar Bergman was 38 when his Best Poetic Humour Award-winning feature-length film Sommarnattens Leende (Smiles of a Summer Night) was screened in Cannes and applauded by critics. The following year, in 1957, the Swedish director was struck by a period of creative genius, producing four plays, six TV films and three feature-length films in just four years, including Smultronstället (Wild Strawberries) and Det Sjunde Inseglet (The Seventh Seal) (Special Jury Prize at the Festival de Cannes).


Yet Ingmar Bergman poured just as much energy into his fast-paced private life, splitting his time between his work, his wife and his two actor mistresses, who would go on to become his fourth and fifth wives. In Bergman – A Year in a Life, Jane Magnusson describes this master film-maker's sense of intimacy and his off-screen relationship with women: "He did have a tremendous amount of women, and a lot of them were dependent on him – they were his actresses – and in Sweden no one has looked at that seriously, and I think it’s something we should look at seriously." (Source: The Guardian)

Jane Magnusson drew on over 50 interviews for her film, including accounts from Liv Ullman, Roy Andersson and Barbra Streisand. This work follows on from her earlier documentary, the ambitious Trespassing Bergman (2013), in which around 20 different directors explain in what way Bergman inspired their own approaches to film, including Wes Anderson, Claire Denis, Lars Von Trier and Martin Scorsese.

Written by Tarik Khaldi

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