films seen
average score
Sweden - 89 years old
R.I.P. (1918 - 2007)
more info


The Silence

1963 / 96m - Sweden
The Silence poster

I'm not a big Bergman fan, Persona being the only one of his films that somehow managed to stand out for me. The biggest difference with the rest of his oeuvre is that Persona is more of a visual poem, rather than a narrative with direct philosophy. Having finally seen The Silence, there's now a second Bergman that towers above his other films.

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Two sisters travel to a remote country where they don't understand the language. One of them falls ill and is bound to the hotel they're staying in. The other sister ventures around and quickly finds a man to spend time with. Slowly it becomes apparent that the two sisters don't really see eye to eye.

Most remarkable is the sound design. Though not technically accomplished, Bergman was able to create a very peculiar and unique atmosphere with it. The cinematography is also solid, it's just a shame that, like Persona, the film becomes more talkative and explanative towards the finale. Still, I wish Bergman made more films like this.


1966 / 83m - Sweden
Drama, Mystery
Persona poster

Cries & Whispers

Viskningar och Rop
1972 / 91m - Sweden
Cries & Whispers poster

So far, the films of Ingmar Bergman haven't really impressed me much. Cries & Whispers is one of his better efforts I've seen so far, though my core complaints remain. While I don't mind a good drama film, I really can't deal with the overstated drama and the extremely expressive performances of the actors in Bergman's work.

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Karin and Maria have come to take care of their sister Agnes, who is extremely ill and bedridden. While they appear very concerned about Agnes' condition, flashbacks show a history of deceit, lies and jealousy. As Agnes' condition grows worse, the cracks in the relationships between the sisters start to show.

The cinematography is pretty solid for a Bergman film, it's also the first of his films I see that isn't black and white. The performances are terrible though and the drama is completely overdone. I'm sure this film has the potential to come off very deep and emotional, but I prefer a bit more subtlety when I'm required to take characters and their issues serious.

The Virgin Spring

1960 / 89m - Sweden
The Virgin Spring poster

A somewhat darker and surprisingly more explicit film from Ingmar Bergman. Don't expect anything too different from his usual output though. Irréversible this is not, and apart from some unflinching scenes, Bergman defaults back to what he knows best: characters expressing their feelings through endless dialogue.

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Two young girls partake in an old ritual. A young, slightly haughty but innocent girl and her servant set out to deliver candles to the nearest church. The two encounter some shepherds in the woods, who see their chance to have their way with the girls. Only one of them will return home.

The performances are stoic, the dialogue is formal and the pacing is dead slow. Still, the darker themes did make it a bit more interesting compared to many of the other Bergman films I've seen, and the economic runtime was a blessing too. Not great, but I expected worse.

Smiles of a Summer Night

Sommarnattens Leende
1955 / 109m - Sweden
Comedy, Romance
Smiles of a Summer Night poster

A film that is pretty intriguing, especially for dedicated fans of Bergman. The man is best known for his serious arthouse work, you wouldn't really expect him to do a certified romcom. People not really into Bergman shouldn't get their hopes up though, his signature is still very much present.

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The film takes place in a single night. A courtesan's daughter throws a big party, hoping to ditch her current boyfriend, a respected general. She also invites her ex-husband and his son. People mingle, including the maids, and romances start blossoming between the various attendees.

Though this is a romcom on paper, the weighty dialogues and stiff characters don't really gel well with genre expectations. It's cute to see Bergman go beyond his comfort zone, but it merely shows that he's not fit to work within stricter genre conventions. There's little joy, passion and/or romance to be found, though it's also not the worst thing he made.

Hour of the Wolf

1968 / 90m - Sweden
Drama, Horror
Hour of the Wolf poster

The Seventh Seal

Det Sjunde Inseglet
1957 / 96m - Sweden
Drama, Fantasy
The Seventh Seal poster

Fanny and Alexander

Fanny och Alexander
1982 / 188m - Sweden
Fanny and Alexander poster

Winter Light

1963 / 81m - Sweden
Winter Light poster

Ah, that Ingmar Bergman. Sometimes I bump into one of his shorter films, and I mistakingly assume they might be less of a hassle to sit through. Well, at least the man still manages to surprise me, more than 10 films into his oeuvre. Winter Light was a challenge, even at just 80 minutes long.

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Tomas is a small-town priest, who preaches to a small congregation. One cold winter day, he struggles immensely with his faith. He has lost his belief in God and he fails to find a new direction. He talks with a fisherman and a local teacher about his problems, but even though they want to help Tomas, he remains cold to their caring gestures.

If I'm honest, I've had it with the "classic masters" and their struggles with faith. Especially when their characters feel like empty shells draped around this very theme. Tomas isn't so much a person as he is an abstract meant as an excuse to talk about faith. There are some decent shots, but they are wasted on tiring dialogue and uninviting drama. Pretty horrible.

Wild Strawberries

1957 / 91m - Sweden
Wild Strawberries poster