Chuck (charlesofcamden) wrote,

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How many Swedish directors can you name?

The iconic director Ingmar Bergman died yesterday, and I am not here to write any sort of comprehensive obituary or overview of his work, so you can all relax! I have seen various films of his over the years, but the ones I haven’t seen far outnumber the ones I have seen, so I will leave the more sweeping essays for others. And after all, trivia and other short attention span diversions are more my style.

I’ve read several articles about Bergman’s passing in the course of this day, and a couple of anecdotes really grabbed me. One involves a conversation Bergman had with British director David Lean. If that name isn’t familiar, Lean is most remembered for directing ambitious epics such as Doctor Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia, posing a sharp contrast with the more intimate dialogue-driven films of Bergman. Anyway, Lean and Bergman were comparing notes as to how they went about putting together a film crew. “I always work with 18 friends,” Bergman volunteered. “That's funny,” said Lean. “I work with 150 enemies.”

The other story is one that Liv Ullmann told to Roger Ebert. I quote here directly from Ebert’s article in today’s Sun-Times:

“When he was 60 years old, he celebrated his birthday on his island, on that beach. And my daughter was there; she was 5 years old. And he said to her, ‘When you are 60, what will you do then?’ She said, ‘I’ll have a big party, and my mother will be there. She’ll be really old and stupid and gawky, but it’s gonna be great.’ And he looked at her and said, ‘And what about me? Will I not be there?’ And the 5-year-old looked up at him and she said, ‘Well, you know, I’ll leave the party, and I’ll walk down to the beach and there on the waves, you will come dancing toward me.’ ”

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