Ingmar Bergman: the films to watch by the great master of cinema

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Born on July 14, 1918 in Uppsala in Sweden, Ingmar Bergman was one of the most important directors of the history of cinema. His filmography has an extreme coherence in exploring the tensions and anxieties of the human being. Among his dramas are some of the most significant cinematographic works of all time.

Ingmar Bergman is a man who lived more in the dimension of dreams than in reality. He explored more the facts that happened in his inner world rather than those of the outside world. The exploration of the dream world brought him a lot in common with Federico Fellini, with whom he was a friend and with whom he was confronted with correspondence. 

While Fellini represents the crazy, bizarre, grotesque and funny side of the dream, Bergman is the explorer of darkermore and tormented side of the human being sinking into the abyss. 

Childhood of Ingmar Bergman

Ingmar-Bergman-fanny-and-alexander

Ingmar Bergman’s father, Erik, will profoundly influence his life and his artistic work. He was a Lutheran pastor inflamed by a fundamentalist and bigoted religious sentiment. He raised Ingmar with a strict education based on sin and punishment. The religious theme on the relationship between the human being and God will be at the center of Bergman’s filmography. 

The father, who had great oratory skills when giving sermons, toured several Swedish parishes until he became chaplain of the royal court. He had an irascible, authoritarian character, probably caused by a profound insecurity that often made him nervous, also because of the constant quarrels with his wife. Often it was enough that Ingmar made noise or did not answer correctly your questions of a religious nature to be severely punished punished.

The wandering in various parishes around Sweden, recounted by Ingmar Bergman in his 1987 autobiography Magic Lantern, brings the director closer to spiritual reflections on life and death as a child. A topic on which he will focus his main interest throughout his life.

The mother was also not a balanced person: she suffered from depression and was constantly taking psychiatric drugs. Ingmar was in constant conflict with your parents and preferred to withdraw into his inner world. He found more motivation to do so when at the age of 12 he was given a projector and discovered cinema and movies. It immediately seemed to him that it was the perfect activity for him, the art he could express the invisible and the mystery of man.

Ingmar Bergman will tell the figure of his father and the emotions he felt as a child in several films including Fanny and Alexander. In fact, childhood remains one of the cornerstones of the Swedish director’s filmography and of his private life. Such an oppressive situation immediately led little Bergman to ask himself questions about the nature of God: was that his father, irascible and violent, really a behavior justified by a relationship with the divine? 

The themes of Ingmar Bergman’s films

Ingmar-Bergman

The conflict that Ingmar Bergman faces in films as a child is that between religion and spirituality, between dogma and authentic transcendence. The fanaticism of the father, which Ingmar finds himself undergoing without being able to defend himself, is one of the key themes in the history of humanity. Institutional religion, which over the millennia has wanted to act as an intermediary between man and God, has created the greatest crimes of humanity. 

The question that Ingmar Bergman asked himself during his life and in his cinematographic works is the same that most human beings have asked themselves throughout history: is not God unconditional and universal love? Didn’t God endow man with free will? Is it right for man to be overwhelmed by the sense of sin and punishment? 

These and many other questions make up the complex scenario of spiritual research in a material world, where man’s relationship with God is also managed through power and manipulation. Bergman has used cinema to investigate the universal themes of human existence with a unique talent both in the writing of the texts and in the figurative power of his films. 

The dialogues between the characters often have the intensity of a theatrical performance but at the same time the artistic level of the composition of the images, photography and rhythm is sublime. He was very fond of the actors whom he considered his main collaborators, often called upon to interpret complex roles in a position of difficult psychological vulnerability.

Escape to Stockholm

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In 1936 Ingmar Bergman “ran away” from home to study at the University of Stockholm. He enrolled in the literature course but in reality he was fascinated by theater and cinema. He starts working at university theater as a behind-the-scenes prompter. 

He began to earn and write many plays and operas. In 1942 his operawas staged The Death of Kasper at the university theater. Luck would have it that the director of Svenks Filmindustry was present in the theater who was very impressed by the drama and hired him immediately, the next day, for 500 crowns a month. 

Writer for cinema 

Ingmar Bergman then began his career in cinema as a screenwriter. His first text is translated into film by director Alf Sjöberg. This is Hets, the story of a professor who is tyrannical towards his students. Already from this first screenplay we find the autobiographical themes of the subsequent films, linked to the family experience and the figure of the father. 

In 1946 he was entrusted with the direction of the first film, based on the Swedish play The mother beast. Crisis is the romantic story of a girl who after the war manages to find her mother and marry the man she dreamed of. 

The film is a fiasco but producer Lorens Marmsted offers a new chance to the young Bergman. Thus he makes his second film It Rains on Our Love but the result is rather poor. Bergman himself will admit a few years later that it was a failed experiment done at a time when he was still not competent enough. He does not yet master the film technique. 

At the end of 1946 he moved to Gothenburg where he was appointed director of the city theater and staged Caligula Albert Camus’. Thanks to producer Marmsted he still produces various romantic films based on plays, such as Land of Desire, Music in the Dark and A Summer of Love. From this film on, Bergman’s romantic streak seems to run out. In 1948 he wrote the screenplay for Eva, a film to be directed by director Gustaf Molander.

The first arthouse films

Ingmar-Bergman

With the film The Prison, the personality of Ingmar Bergman as an author begins to emerge. Svensk Filmindustri made him make several films: Thirst, in 1949, To Joy, starring the great actor and director Victor Sjöström and This Can’t Happen Here, an anti-Communist film whose story and script Bergman refused to sign. 


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Summer Interlude

Summer-Interlude

In 1950 Bergman made his first truly successful film, Summer Interlude. His film apprenticeship had been long, it had not been easy for him to learn the film technique. A Summer of Love was already his tenth film.

And the story of the sentimental torments of the ballerina Marie, who receives an envelope containing the diary of Henrik, a young man loved years earlier and then died in an accident. In reality the diary is a deception of Marie’s uncle, who would like to have an affair with her. Marie meets another young man but is unable to abandon herself to the relationship due to her previous experiences. 

Secrets of Women

Secrets-of-Women

He later made Secrets of Women, presented at the Venice Film Festival in 1952. The film was not successful either from critics or audiences. 

4 women locked in the house waiting for their husbands, who are brothers among themselves. Secrets, betrayals and unspeakable desires are told. While waiting, the young Maj, tired of hearing the confessions of the four women, decides to run away with her boyfriend Henrik to Italy. 

Summer with Monika

Summer-with-Monika

In 1953 Bergman found his ideal actress, Harriet Anderson, who would also become his life partner, making the film Summer with Monika. It was considered a scandal for the actress’s overwhelming sensuality. 

Dramatic story of a couple relationship that blossoms and withers. Monica and Harry are two boys who live in troubled families. Harry’s parents have serious health problems while Monica’s father is a violent alcoholic. The two boys find a way to quit their respective jobs and escape to an island in the Swedish archipelago. 

They enjoy the summer and total freedom, in love and enjoyment of the senses. Then Monica gets pregnant, summer ends and they go back to town. When the baby is born, the problems begin, Monica no longer wants to go back to work.

The Malmo theater 

Meanwhile, the cinema is in crisis due to the economic problems caused by the war and Ingmar Bergman is fired from the Svenks filmindustry. Even the Stockholm theater refuses to hire him. He will find work at the Malmo theater where he will remain for 8 years. He will produce and direct many shows including Six Characters in Search of an Author Pirandello’s and Castle Franz Kafka’s. 

Sawdust and Tinsel

Sawdust-and-Tinsel

In 1953 he made the film Sawdust and Tinsel. It is the story of the relationship between Albert and Anne, the director of a circus and his mistress, poisoned by jealousy and frustrations. Alberto In fact, he would like to win back Agda, his ex-wife and Anne cheats on him with a theater actor, Frans. The film reveals a pessimistic and hopeless worldview. Bergman’s style becomes expressionist and tragic. 

The seventh seal 

The-seventh-seal 

In 1956 Bergman made The seventh seal, based on a text he had written 2 years earlier for the students of the Malmo Academy of Dramatic Art, Painting on Wood. The director is very keen to make this theatrical performance lasting about 45 minutes as a film, but cannot find the necessary funding. The production of Il seventh seal will only be possible thanks to the success of the previous film, Smiles of a summer night, which had had great success at the Cannes Film Festival. 

The film is shot on a very low budget and with a shooting time of only 30 days. It is a project made more for love than as a professional job. The film wins awards in various parts of the world, including the Cannes Grand Jury Prize in 1957. 

Antonius Block and his squire Jöns return from the Crusades in the Holy War and cross a northern Europe where the Black Death is raging. Arrived on the beach Block meets the death who came to get him. The knight offers her a chess challenge to have an extension. Death agrees and the knight and his squire continue their journey by meeting a series of characters: some choose to devote themselves to the pleasures of the senses and enjoyment while waiting for the end, others choose the expiation of their sins. 

Wild Strawberries

Wild-Strawberries

After the great success of The Last Seal Ingmar Bergman is consecrated as one of the greatest directors in the world with the film Wild Strawberries

Isak Borg, an old and illustrious professor must go to Lund to collect an academic award. His journey becomes a bitter existential balance sheet in which he becomes aware of being an arid man who has not been able to establish authentic relationships, dominated by his selfishness. 

Wonderful interpretation by Victor Sjöström, which gives life to the character in which Ingmar Bergman is reflected. The detonators of the painful process of becoming aware of the professor are the dream sequences, among the most beautiful scenes in the history of cinema, which have also been an inspiration for Federico Fellini. The making of The Place of Strawberries involves Bergman so emotionally that, once the film is over, he will have to go to a clinic for a nervous breakdown. 

Brink of Life

Brink-of-Life

Cecilia is about to give birth and is taken to the hospital. Next to her is her husband Anders. But Cecilia was immediately taken to the delivery room, where she had a spontaneous abortion. Cecilia asks Anders if she really wanted the child who should have been born.

Important film but not well received by either critics or the public, overshadowed by previous masterpieces. It is indeed a work in which Ingmar Bergman focuses more on the technical aspect than on reaching high existential meanings, which had now become the director’s trademark. 

The Face

The-Face

Set in 1846 in Stockholm, The Face takes place in the cold of winter, The face is the story of a group of wanderers led by the illusionist Vogler, a practitioner of occult magic and mesmerism. The wanderers are stopped by the police and taken to a building where a consul and a doctor interested in magic await them. 

A gallery of very interesting characters, shown by Bergman with an anthropologist’s eye, which clashes on the conflict between science and magic, positivism and the occult. 

The Virgin Spring

The-Virgin-Spring

A tale set in a dark medieval Northern European landscape, with The Virgin Spring Bergman returns to the cinema with this masterpiece, after a long pause in theater and other institutional roles. 

Töre wants his daughter Karin to bring two candles to Our Lady on a feast day. As per tradition, this must be done by a young virgin girl. Karin is accompanied by the servant Ingeri, a sinner and pagan. On the way she is raped by some brigands who then, ironically, seek refuge in Töre’s house. 

After so many challenging films, Bergman takes a break from shooting the funny The Devil’s Eye

Through a Glass Darkly

Through-a-Glass-Darkly

In 1961 Ingmar Bergman set about looking for an island to choose as the location for his next project. He visits the Orkney Islands but is not satisfied. He later discovers the island of Faro where he sets his three subsequent films known as the trilogy of God’s silence. 

On vacation on the island of Fårö, Martin and Karin, two young spouses, together with Minus, Karin’s brother, and his father David, writer, take a break from the difficult situations they have faced. The girl was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, and her father took a cue from her illness to write a book. Karin’s husband is a doctor with a rational spirit, and he doesn’t notice his wife’s desire for Minus, to whom she confides her hallucinations.

Through a Glass Darkly is an arcane and disturbing film that delves into the maze of the human psyche and into the relationship of man with invisible worlds. A very simple setting, a small group of extraordinary actors, and the light used to suggest the transcendent dimension that surrounds everything. 

Winter Lights

Winter-Lights

While everything outside is covered in snow, Protestant pastor Tomas Ericsson is celebrating worship in the Mittsunda parish church. At the end of the service, the collaborator Algot asks the pastor to be able to speak to him. Meanwhile, the Perssons arrive, who have three children and a fourth on the way, very upset. The man, who suffers from persecution mania, is obsessed with the Chinese who own the atomic bomb. 

Winter Lights is a film about the complexities of faith in the relationship with God and with others. It is a more essential and rigorous film where the characters are reduced to a minimum. Bergman achieves a rare intensity here through the use of close-ups in which the main character confesses in front of the camera. 

The Silence 

The-Silence 

Two sisters, Anna and Ester, are returning home traveling on a train in a country they don’t know, together with Johan, Anna’s son. Ester feels bad and the 3 are forced to stop in a city never heard of before, Timoka. The inhabitants of the country speak an incomprehensible and unknown language. They stay in a hotel immersed in a surreal and claustrophobic atmosphere. The boy wanders the corridors looking at paintings and discovering a group of dwarf artists. It seems impossible to communicate even with the waiter. 

A symbolic journey through mental illness, The Silence is one of the most visually powerful films of history of cinema. The criticism, which expected a work similar to Bergman’s precedents, split into two opposing factions. It is the conflict between two sisters that represents the conflict between rationality and sensuality, clarity and desire. 

Persona

persona

Actress Elisabeth Vogler, during the play of the Electra, suddenly freezes, seized by an inexplicable desire to laugh. Later it closes in an absolute silence. Admitted to a psychiatric hospital, she is recognized as healthy in body and mind, she does not suffer from aphasia, but has consciously chosen not to speak anymore.

Another chapter by Bergman that revolves around the theme of mental illness and the impossibility of communicating with the outside world. In Persona, the director abandons all scenography and artifice to point the camera directly at the characters. A tale full of subliminal messages of an unrequited homosexual love between characters from different social backgrounds, the film reaches its peak in the dialogue scenes, where a mysterious and metaphysical atmosphere dominates. 

Hour of the wolf

Hour-of-the-wolf

Johan, a famous painter, lives with his wife Alma isolated from the world: his imagination is completely taking over reality, he can no longer understand what is real and what is fantasy. The wife tries to help him, but her husband’s inner world sucks her into a vortex. 

Hour of the wolf, as the protagonist of the film explains, is that hour between night and dawn when many people die and are born, when sleep is deepest and nightmares more vivid. The images of the film are particularly violent, in a very contrasting black and white.

Johan is not a man fit to live in reality, but he can’t even live in his inner world, full of demons and ghosts. Bergman’s only film that we could almost call a horror

Other minor films

in subsequent years Ingmar Bergman sets up his production studios on the island of Faro where he lives and from which he rarely travels. He made a series of minor films that met with little success. Shame is a 1967 Vietnam War film that doesn’t take a definite stand. 

The Passion of Anna is a film where the protagonists are 4 actors who criticize and comment on the same characters they play. In 1969 he made his first film for television, The rite, a work with a theatrical layout made entirely indoors. Then he makes a documentary on the island of Faro called Fårödokument, where the protagonists are the inhabitants of the island. In 1971 he made what is considered one of his worst films The Touch, which is also a resounding commercial fiasco. 

Cries & Whispers

Cries-&-Whispers

Ingmar Bergman has economic problems due to the failures of the latest films, but manages to recover thanks to yet another masterpiece, Cries & Whispers

Agnes is dying of an incurable disease, and is assisted by her two sisters, Karin and Maria, and by the servant Anna. Agnes’s illness will act as a catalyst to bring out hidden family problems. 

A film that is a splendid analysis of the female world made by a man. Once again the conflict between two completely different women arises, one superficial and emotional, the other cold and insensitive. Photography Sven Nykvist’s and the use of color to suggest different emotional states achieve a visual result of great impact. 

Scenes from a marriage

Scenes-from-a-marriage

Serial television film later transformed into a 3-hour cinematic film. Considered by American film critics to be the best film of 1973. It is a story that addresses the relationship problems of couples, in a context where, in Sweden, divorces are increasing dramatically.

Marianne and Johan have been married for ten years, have two girls and apparently are a happy couple, but they seem to be unaware that many things in their marriage are not working. Johan is forty-two and a university professor, while Marianne is thirty-five and works in a law firm. He knows he is selfish, while she believes in love. the two spouses often quarrel and then make peace. They are deciding whether to go to their parents’ Sunday lunch, while Johan prefers to have a colleague read his poems rather than his wife. The discontent in the couple is bound to increase.

Other films for TV

In 1976 he then made a film inspired by the musical work The Magic Flute entitled The dance of the ingrates. He then shoots the psychological drama Face to Face, again in 1976, divided into four episodes of 50 minutes and then transformed into a film with a total duration of 135 minutes, presented at the Cannes Film Festival. It is a work that suffers from Bergman’s artistic fatigue.

On January 30, 1976, while the director was writing the screenplay for the film The Serpent’s Egg, which was to be produced by Dino De Laurentiis, two policemen came to pick him up. The charge was of tax fraud. The legal vicissitudes continued for almost 10 years and were resolved with the payment of 180000 crowns, But the affair negatively affected Bergman who fell into depression and was forced to go to a psychiatric hospital.

In 1977 he managed to return home to the island of Faro and wrote The Subject of Autumn Symphony. He then decided, due to bureaucratic problems, to leave Sweden, moving first to Paris and then to Copenhagen.

The Serpent’s Egg

 The-Serpents-Egg

The Serpent’s Egg was filmed in the Bavarian film studios in Munich. It is the story of Abel Rosenberg, a 35-year-old American Jew who worked in a circus as a trapeze artist in the 1920s. Abel’s brother suddenly commits suicide and he is suspected of murder. The police inspector questions him while in the meantime political intrigues are reported in the newspapers. Max, before shooting himself, left a letter with the words “A scourge is about to hit us”.

The film has one expressionist style and a very dark atmosphere. Bergman chooses dark colors, telling the story with a style that is very close to a horror film. Bergman himself declared: “Almost a horror movie and certainly the strongest movie I’ve ever made.” It is an autobiographical tale that the director realizes to get rid of his anxieties.

Autumn Sonata

Autumn-Sonata

Autumn Sonata is a film shot in 1978, based on a play by Bergman himself. It is the only collaboration with actress Ingrid Bergman. In the cast there are other actresses who have collaborated with him for some time, such as Liv Ullmann

Victor is a Protestant pastor who lives with his wife Eva in a small town in the fjords of Norway. The woman lost a child years ago and is now taking care of her disabled daughter Helena, who was previously hospitalized in a nursing home. Eva invites her mother Charlotte to spend a vacation at her home. The woman is a famous pianist who has recently been widowed and whom Eva has not seen for 7 years.

The original title of the film was Sonata. It makes us understand better the style that Ingmar Bergman wanted to give to his film. It was later changed to Symphony. But while a symphony is composed for an orchestra, a sonata is a piece for instruments. In fact, the characters in the film are lonely souls who confront each other. In this work the director completely leaves room for drama, reducing any distraction typical of the cinematographic medium, with total rigor. it is a painful analysis of the feeling of love for children.

From the Life of the Marionettes 

From-the-Life-of-the-Marionettes 

The next film is From the Life of the Marionettes, again made in Munich in the Bavaria film studios. with German actors. Peter Egerman flirts with a woman and then suddenly, in a fit, attacks and strangles her. Psychiatrist Jansen tells police that he was contacted by phone by his patient, Peter Egerman, who gave him the address of the apartment where the body was found on the bed. Egerman confesses that he is the killer and that he abused the woman’s body even after her death. the psychiatrist tells the police inspector that he never thought his patient could do something like this.

Fanny and Alexander

In this work Bergman destroys the cinematic method of suspense of Alfred Hitchcock and tells the story of a sex crime in a completely different way, with frequent use of flashbacks and flash forwards. 

ingmar-bergman-fanny-and-alexander

In the 80s, the director manages to return to his beloved island of Faro and continues the documentary project he started years earlier entitled Farodokument. Later, in 1982, he made what should have been his last film: Fanny and Alexander. 

in a town in the Swedish province, a middle-class family celebrates Christmas at their grandmother’s house. The protagonists are two children, Fanny and Alexander, children of the director of the local theater. Children observe the reality around them with naivety. At the party there are also the uncles with their respective wives. Due to a serious illness Oscar dies and the mother of Fanny and Alexander seeks solace in religion and marries the Protestant pastor Vergerus. The life of Fanny and Alexander will change drastically: from the luxurious house full of games they will go to live in an austere rectory.

Set in Uppsala, his hometown, between 1907 and 1909, it is an explicitly autobiographical film with about sixty characters, including a treacherous Protestant pastor, just like the director’s father was. The film, which had an initial duration of 6 hours, was progressively reduced to a 3-hour theatrical version. It is a masterpiece that sums up 40 years of cinema. But it wasn’t his last film.

TV films and screenplays

Bergman’s business does not end after the masterpiece Fanny and Alexander. In 1983 he made the parapsychology film After the Rehearsal, shot for television and subsequently distributed at the Cannes Film Festival and in cinemas. In 1986 he directed the film The Blessed Ones and the short film Karin’s Face dedicated to the mother.

Also in 1986 he made a long interview for television in which he talks about the making of the film Fanny and Alexander. At the end of the 80’s and the beginning of the 90’s the theatrical and television activities also continued. He will make his fortieth film entitled In the Presence of a Clown, shot with digital techniques. 

Subsequently he devoted himself to writing screenplays with titles such as The best intentions, a television production entrusted to director Bille August, who had won an Oscar in 1989. in 1991 he devoted himself to the theater, bringing to Italy a Japanese opera by Yukio Mishima entitled Madame de Sade, performed at the Parma theater. Then he directed’s Peer Gynt Ibsenin Stockholm with Bibi andersson, and immediately after Le baccanti Euripides’at the Stockholm Opera, with great public success. He then writes the screenplay for the film Sunday’s Children which will be made by his son Daniel, and then devotes himself to the production of some television films without encountering great success.

The work of the director according to Ingmar Bergman 

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A director said that a film director is a person who only has time to think about his problems. It seems to me the most exact definition. Evidently, many other explanations can also be found. A series of rational definitions can be found, once things have been done. For example, it can be said that cinematographic direction consists in transforming visions, ideas and dreams, the same hopes, into images capable of transmitting these feelings to the spectators in the most effective way possible. 

A kind of vehicle is created: this long strip of film which, through a complex of machines, transmits personal dreams. Images addressed to other consciences, to other individuals. I do not know. Film direction can also be given a technical definition. With the help of a huge number of people, artists and technicians, and a colossal number of machines, a product is manufactured. 

It can be a consumer product, a commodity, a work of art, this is to be seen. But although I’ve been making films since I was twenty-seven, I can’t guarantee what it’s all about: if it’s all of these things together, or if it’s none of them. 

The future of cinema? 

We directors use a tiny part of extraordinary power, we limit ourselves to moving the little finger of a giant who can also become dangerous. But I can also be wrong. It may also be that the film has reached the peak of its evolution, that this instrument, by its very nature, cannot conquer new lands, that we find ourselves pressed against a wall, that our road is now only an alley blind. 

Many are of this opinion and it is indubitable that we continue to mark our way in a kind of swamp, paralyzed by economic worries, by conventions, by fear, by uncertainty and by disorder. What is your relationship with the public? I have given myself three fundamental rules, which I have tried never to fail. The first: to be interesting. 

Consequently, the public who comes to see one of my films has the right to expect to find emotions, sensations, a vital joy in it; and I have a duty to give him what he asks for. However, this does not mean that I have the right to prostitute myself; my second rule, in fact, requires me to always act in harmony with my artistic conscience. 

And the third rule, making me consider every film my latest film, defends me from the risks that the second rule could cause me to fall, if I wanted to sacrifice too many things to my conception of art. 

Editing

ingmar-bergman
FILE Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman is shown in this Feb 5 1963 file photo Ingmar Bergman died Monday July 30 2007 He was 89 years old AP Photo File

Editing takes place already at the moment of shooting, the rhythm is created in the script. I know that many directors go the other way. The rhythm of my films is conceived in the screenplay at the table, and is generated in front of the camera. Any form of improvisation is foreign to me. If sometimes I am forced to make a decision without having thought about it, I begin to sweat, I stiffen with fear.


For me, cinema is an illusion designed down to the smallest detail, the mirror of a reality that the more I live, the more illusory it appears to me.


What do you think of television?


In the evening, when I watch television, I suddenly get the feeling that cinema is outdated, aged, an art that could be done without, and that deserves to be thrown away. The films and dramas we construct will never be able to tap into the dramatic level of television, its power of suggestion, its immediacy. Cinema cannot stimulate the imagination like television.


But what is the difference between cinema and television?


The differences between cinema and television, at least from the point of view of artistic creation, are completely artificial or, in any case, they are neither necessary nor fundamental. Television has always fascinated me; I often watch it, I study it and if I really had to see a difference with the cinema, I would point it out, despite the small screen, or perhaps precisely for this reason, in its greater expressive possibility, of communication, of penetration.


However, even without this difference in results, there is, outside, its formal difference, in between. And this is one of the reasons why I turn to it. I like to experiment with different forms, with new means. Having the proof, in addition to everything, that there are no big cleavages between my work on TV and that for the cinema since, regularly, what I do for the small screen manages to be accepted without difficulty even by the big screen.

And the theater?

I will still be able to do movies for a few years and then my physical energy will start to decline. But I will continue to work with the theater as long as they are forced to let me out with my feet in front and my head behind, because in the theater it is about participating in experiences with other people and giving suggestions and opening horizons.

You once said that neither cinema nor theater can change the world. So why continue?

In my opinion you have to continue anyway, because I believe that a person, as long as he lives, must continue doing what he likes. Basically, what one does is first of all for oneself, the ultimate goal is always to get in touch with others, one always tries to say: “Listen for a moment: come here and maybe you will learn something new”; or: “in my opinion this should be so”; or: “take a look here, see how beautiful it is.”

Or you can dissect the intellectual and spiritual life of an individual and say: “Observe, this phenomenon consists of this, this and that, etcetera …”. And from all this people can receive an emotional experience, or a shock, or they can suddenly discover that they are beautiful or perhaps very funny things. And I do not demand more than this, my claims do not go beyond.

Is there a European director you feel close to?

Maybe Federico Fellini. Indeed, certainly. I admire him a lot: as artists, I believe, we have the same blood. We had been in correspondence for some time, writing letters to each other every now and then. We finally met. For the first time I had the impression of meeting a brother in the trade. It was a beautiful experience. In his films the most positive characters are always the female ones …

I have the feeling that we are at the beginning of an incredible revolution. Women are finally starting to take on their responsibilities. Of course they still have so many difficulties that it is impossible to know what will happen. On the one hand the avant-garde makes his voice heard, on the other a great mass of women they remain behind the scenes.

Yet almost every woman, even in the avant-garde, has a bit of the spoiler. As if they all had a bad conscience. They understand that something is wrong, but they don’t know how to deal with it. They have given birth to a movement that must not be stopped even if we do not know how far it will go and what it will bring.

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