This year, it has been a hundred years since Ingmar Bergman was born. He is one of the world's greatest movie directors in film history as well as an outstanding author and legendary theater director. Depending on how you count, Bergman made 60 films, over 170 plays and wrote around 100 books and articles.
Ingmar Bergman's earlier work, such as the Sawdust and Tinsel and the Smiles of a Summer Night, generally gained a better reception internationally than in his home country. Whether it was due to the director's artistic experimentation or due to some of the more "daring" scenes is difficult to determine. But maybe the film critic Hanserik Hjerten's question to Bergman in Expressen in 1956 provides a clue: "Do you deliberately do pornography or have you just failed to do something else?". The director replied in the same newspaper with a limerick by Rune Åquist, which reads:
There was a hetaira in the Mycenae,
skilled and fair, nota bene,
who had as a guest
the high priest of town
but everything’s pure for the pure
It was only 25 years later that Bergman united the film critics in tributes with Fanny and Alexander. With that film, it was said that he had managed to combine his artistic drive with an availability that played well with the audience. Regardless of critics' views, Ingmar Bergman, with his 4 Oscars statues, 7 wins at the Cannes Film Festival and 3 Guldbagge awards, to name a few of the countless prizes he won, has proved to be one of the world's most distinguished, acclaimed and not least beloved artists.
When Ingrid Bergman passed away, the master director said in an interview with Malou von Sivers that "to me, it is extremely indifferent to live on". Seven years later he was gone. But his work will live on forever.