Day By Day

Monday, July 30, 2007

Ingmar Bergman Passes

He's gone!

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) -- Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, an iconoclastic filmmaker widely regarded as one of the great masters of modern cinema, died Monday, the president of his foundation said. He was 89.

''It's an unbelievable loss for Sweden, but even more so internationally,'' Astrid Soderbergh Widding, president of The Ingmar Bergman Foundation, which administers the directors' archives, told The Associated Press.

Bergman died at his home in Faro, Sweden, Swedish news agency TT said, citing his daughter Eva Bergman. A cause of death was not immediately available.

Through more than 50 films, Bergman's vision encompassed all the extremes of his beloved Sweden: the claustrophobic gloom of unending winter nights, the gentle merriment of glowing summer evenings and the bleak magnificence of the island where he spent his last years.

Bergman, who approached difficult subjects such as plague and madness with inventive technique and carefully honed writing, became one of the towering figures of serious filmmaking.

He was ''probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera,'' Woody Allen said in a 70th birthday tribute in 1988.

Read it here.

There are a lot of points on which I would disagree with Woody Allen, but this is not one of them. Many years ago Bergman drew me in with "Wild Strawberries", then I attended a screening of "Seventh Seal" and I was hooked for life. Bergman made films that stayed with you long after you had left the theatre -- for years sometimes. Sometimes, forever.

I mourn his loss.

Here's the famous dream sequence from "Wild Strawberries" -- it always creeps me out.

And here is the even more famous chess game from "The Seventh Seal"