Director / Producer / Writer
Born: 1918 Uppsala, Sweden
Died: 2007 Faro, Sweden
Ingmar Bergman was a Swedish director, writer and producer for film, stage and television. He depicted bleakness and despair as well as comedy and hope in his explorations of the human condition. Described by Woody Allen as "probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera", he is recognized as one of the most brilliant and influential filmmakers of modern cinema.
He directed 62 films, most of which he also wrote, and directed as well as over 170 plays. Some of his internationally known favorite actors were Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson and Max von Sydow. Most of his films were set in the landscape of his native Sweden, and major themes were often bleak, dealing with death, illness, betrayal and insanity.
Bergman was active for more than 60 years, but his career was seriously threatened in 1976 when he suspended a number of pending productions, closed his studios, and went into self-imposed exile in Germany for eight years following a botched criminal investigation for alleged income tax evasion.
After his arrest in 1976 for tax evasion, Bergman swore he would never again make films in his native country. He shut down his film studio on the island of Faro and went into exile. He briefly considered the possibility of working in America and his next film, The Serpent's Egg (1977) was a German-American production and his second English language film (the first being 1971's "The Touch"). This was followed a year later with a British-Norwegian co-production of Autumn Sonata (Höstsonaten - 1978). The film starred Ingrid Bergman and was the one notable film of this period. The one other film he directed was From the Life of the Marionettes (Aus dem Leben der Marionetten - 1980) a British-German co-production.
In 1982, he temporarily returned to his homeland to direct Fanny and Alexander (Fanny och Alexander), a film that, unlike his previous productions, was aimed at a broader audience, but was also criticized within the profession for being shallow and commercial. Bergman stated that the film would be his last, and that afterwards he would focus on directing theatre. Since then, he wrote several film scripts and directed a number of television specials. As with previous work for TV some of these productions were later released in theatres. The last such work was Saraband (2003), a sequel to Scenes from a Marriage and directed by Bergman when he was 84 years old.