Bergman - A Year in a Life
Bergman – Ett år, ett liv
MAD | Music/Art/Design
2018’s extended celebration of the centenary of Ingmar Bergman’s birth reaches its apex with Jane Magnusson’s essential documentary, which uses one epochal year (amazingly, 1957 marked the unveiling of both The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries) as a springboard to explore Bergman’s entire life and career, including the legend’s exacting on-set tendencies, thorny personal relationships and multifaceted personae.
This is a vivid portrait of one of cinema’s masters and the collaborators that Magnusson (Trespassing Bergman, VIFF 14) has assembled to help compose it is genuinely awe-inspiring: Liv Ullmann tries in vain to catalogue Bergman’s romantic conquests… Barbara Streisand recalls visiting the set of The Touch… Roy Andersson shares a characteristically absurd tale about an on-set squabble between the director and an equally temperamental bear…
While Bergman gave us one of cinema’s indelible images in Max von Sydow duelling Death in a game of chess, Magnusson wisely avoids any temptation to distill the man down to a single, defining depiction. Instead, her film extols the fascinating contradictions that made him such a singular artist and individual.
"A complex and conflicted work about a man who could be similarly described… Magnusson free-associates and roams throughout Bergman’s entire life to illuminate and explore his character."— Boyd van Hoeij, Hollywood Reporter