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-- Bergman speaks! (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/vine/showthread.php?t=144728)

Bergman speaks!
Posted by doradoGOLD on 05-12-2002 01:09 PM
At the ripe age of 84, Ingmar Bergman is still very active in his interest of new and old movies, as this thread proves and explains. He's still very much up to date on new releases, and tries to see as many films as possible. And he still has a lot of opinions. As an exclusive for RT's Critics Forum :D, I can now present some chosen translated excerpts from my Swedish morning paper Sydsvenska Dagbladet, which today (Sunday) has a big and exclusive interview with Bergman (done by my favourite film critic Jan Aghed, no less). In the interview, Bergman speaks freely about new and old films and filmmakers, and parts of it were very entertaining and quotable. The interview in its entirety (in Swedish!) can be found here.

About Orson Welles:
"Bergman: For me he's just a hoax. It's empty. It's not interesting. It's dead. Citizen Kane, which I have a copy of - is all the critics' darling, always at the top of every poll taken, but I think it's a total bore. Above all, the performances are worthless. The amount of respect that movie's got is absolutely unbelievable.
Aghed: How about The Magnificent Ambersons?
Bergman: Nah. Also terribly boring. And I've never liked Welles as an actor, because he's not really an actor. In Hollywood you have two categories, you talk about actors and personalities. Welles was an enormous personality, but when he plays Othello, everything goes down the drain, you see, that's when he's croaks. In my eyes he's an infinitely overrated filmmaker."

About Michelangelo Antonioni:
"Bergman: He's done two masterpieces, you don't have to bother with the rest. One is Blow-Up, which I've seen many times, and the other is La Notte, also a wonderful film, although that's mostly because of the young Jeanne Moreau. In my collection I have a copy of Il Grido, and damn what a boring movie it is. So devilishly sad, I mean. You know, Antonioni never really learned the trade. He concentrated on single images, never realising that film is a rhythmic flow of images, a movement. Sure, there are brilliant moments in his films. But I don't feel anything for L'Avventura, for example. Only indifference. I never understood why Antonioni was so incredibly applauded. And I thought his muse Monica Vitti was a terrible actress."

About Federico Fellini:
"Bergman: We were supposed to collaborate once, and along with Kurosawa make one love story each for a movie produced by Dino de Laurentiis. I flew down to Rome with my script and spent a lot of time with Fellini while we waited for Kurosawa, who finally couldn't leave Japan because of his health, so the project went belly-up. Fellini was about to finish Satyricon. I spent a lot of time in the studio and saw him work. I loved him both as a director and as a person, and I still watch his movies, like La Strada and that childhood rememberance - what's that called again?
The interviewer has also seen the movie several times, but just now the title slips his mind. Bergman laughs delightedly.
Bergman: Great that you're also a bit senile! That pleases me.
(Later the same day, several hours after the interview, the phone rings. It's Bergman. 'AMARCORD!' he shouts.)"

About Francois Truffaut:
"Bergman: I liked Truffaut a lot, I've felt a lot of admiration for his way to address the audience, and his storytelling. La nuit américaine is adorable, and another film I like to see is L'enfant sauvage, with its fine humanism."

About Jean-Luc Godard:
"Bergman: I've never gotten anything out of his movies. They have felt constructed, faux intellectual and completely dead. Cinematographically uninteresting and infinitely boring. Godard is a ****ing bore. He's made his films for the critics. One of the movies, Masculin, féminin, was shot here in Sweden. It was mindnumbingly boring."

About Andrei Tarkovsky:
"Late one evening in 1971, Bergman and his friend and director Kjell Grede by pure coincidence stumbled upon a copy of Andrej Rubljov in a screening room at Svensk Filmindustri. They saw it without any subtitles. He ranks it to be one of his most startling and unforgettable movie experiences ever."

About modern American cinema:
"Bergman: Among today's directors I'm of course impressed by Steven Spielberg and Scorsese, and Coppola, even if he seems to have ceased making films, and Steven Soderbergh - they all have something to say, they're passionate, they have an idealistic attitude to the filmmaking process. Soderbergh's Traffic is amazing. Another great couple of examples of the strength of American cinema is American Beauty and Magnolia."

This was translated off the cuff, so excuse me for any possible mishaps. Anyway, I thought it was quite amusing reading this, and I just thought I'd share... :)

dorado
Posted by Dancing Potato on 05-12-2002 01:18 PM
Bergman kicks ***.

Honestly. After reading this, I think he kicks ***. :D

Feel the wrath of Legolas and reelerguy whenever they catch up to this thread.

PS: I guess we have a reason now for Bergman requesting Ocean's 11, huh? :)
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Posted by doradoGOLD on 05-12-2002 01:21 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Dancing Potato
PS: I guess we have a reason now for Bergman requesting Ocean's 11, huh? :)

Hey, you're right! It looks like he's a Soderbergh fan boy! :D

BTW: The interview (unedited) is in parts just hilarious. You can just imagine old Bergman ranting on while Aghed trying to get a word in now and then... And of course, Aghed himself is a great admirer of many of the directors Bergman criticizes. :)

dorado
Posted by Son of HAL on 05-12-2002 01:25 PM
:eek: :confused: :mad: :( :fresh: :rotten: :rolleyes:
Re: Bergman speaks!
Posted by Mr Blonde on 05-12-2002 01:29 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by doradoGOLD
And I thought his muse Monica Vitti was a terrible actress.

lol :D

Someone's not going to agree.
Re: Bergman speaks!
Posted by Mr Blonde on 05-12-2002 01:31 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by doradoGOLD
About Jean-Luc Godard:
Bergman: I've never gotten anything out of his movies. They have felt constructed, faux intellectual and completely dead. Cinematographically uninteresting and infinitely boring. Godard is a ****ing bore.


Same with this :D
Posted by doradoGOLD on 05-12-2002 01:35 PM
Congrats on 1000, Mr Blonde!

dorado
Posted by Mr Blonde on 05-12-2002 01:37 PM
Wops, hadn't noticed :)

This is a great and funny thread, so it's well worthy of my 1000th post :p
Posted by Son of HAL on 05-12-2002 01:41 PM
Bergman considered Tarkovsky the greatest ever, and apparently likes Soderberg a lot. I'd be interested to know what Ingmar thinks of the Solaris remake when it comes out. Maybe he'll be as confused as we're now. :)
Posted by Flotser on 05-12-2002 01:44 PM
Congratz on your 1000, mr Blonde and it's wonderful to see Bergman is still keeping himself up to date.
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Posted by Son of HAL on 05-12-2002 01:48 PM
Congrats Mr. Blonde, sir.
Posted by Trdg2Cmdy on 05-12-2002 02:14 PM
Could anybody translate the whole article? There are apparently more cheers and jeers from Bergman. It's fun to read directors' opinions about other directors. I've been trying to install this Swedish-English translator program, but i'm not computer-literate, therefore, I have been unsuccessful. Thank you very much. :)
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Posted by doradoGOLD on 05-12-2002 02:19 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Trdg2Cmdy
Could anybody translate the whole article? There are apparently more cheers and jeers from Bergman. It's fun to read directors' opinions about other directors. I've been trying to install this Swedish-English translator program, but i'm not computer-literate, therefore, I have been unsuccessful. Thank you very much. :)

I'm sorry, but I have neither the time nor the energy to pull that off right now. The article is pretty long (as you can see by clicking on the link above), and I'm not really up for it. At least not right now. Maybe in a couple of days. I picked out some of the more quotable parts from it, Bergman also speaks about his early years as a filmmaking young man, inspirations, the theatre, contemporary Swedish filmmakers, stuff like that.

dorado
Posted by Jaime Christley on 05-12-2002 02:23 PM
Hmmm. I have a theory - the greater the director, the dumber his opinions are.
Posted by doradoGOLD on 05-12-2002 02:32 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Jaime Christley
Hmmm. I have a theory - the greater the director, the dumber his opinions are.

I know what you mean - Fellini sucks!

:D ;)

dorado
Posted by Son of HAL on 05-12-2002 02:47 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Jaime Christley
Hmmm. I have a theory - the greater the director, the dumber his opinions are.

Hehe, very sound theory given the evidence. :)
Re: Bergman speaks
Posted by yossbob on 05-12-2002 03:16 PM
Strange, I thought Bergman was dead for all these years!









... I must've been thinking about his film making career.
Posted by Grizzly on 05-12-2002 03:21 PM
i have newfound respect and admiration for Ingmar Bergman after reading this. i still considering him both a blessing and a curse for swedish cinema though.
Re: Re: Bergman speaks
Posted by supernothingmanX on 05-12-2002 03:37 PM
The man is a genius of course. As for his comments I disagree with some of the things he said, but agree with others. What's the big deal if he disagrees with some acclaim famous directors have gotten? What ever happend to the old saying "to each his own".
Quote:
Originally posted by yossbob
Strange, I thought Bergman was dead for all these years!









... I must've been thinking about his film making career.


Well the guy is in his 80s and retired, so not sure what you are complaining about. His retirement was planned I think, it wasn't like he lost the touch.


He has done some screenwriting though, most recently in the acclaimed 2001 feature Faithless, directed by his close friend Liv Ullman (is she also his x-wife or something also? I forgot).
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Posted by Jeremy Heilman on 05-12-2002 03:45 PM
I can't wait to see his new movie. Bergman rocks. I wish I could move to my own island and have movies imported. :)

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Posted by Hal900 on 05-12-2002 04:38 PM
nice to see somebody else likes speilberg and doesn't think he is bad director.
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Posted by Son of HAL on 05-12-2002 04:59 PM
I was watching Bergman's "Monika" today, and noticed a quote in the tape case:
Quote:
The most beautiful film of the most original of cineastes" Jean-Luc Godard

Poor Jean-Luc when he reads what Bergman has to say about him... not fair. :( :)
Posted by vornporn on 05-12-2002 11:56 PM
Isn't it interesting how we all want Bergman to like the same movies and filmmakers we like? I admit to being disappointed by some of his opinions and pleased with others. Why the hell should I care? I dunno.
Posted by Agrado on 05-13-2002 12:22 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by vornporn
Isn't it interesting how we all want Bergman to like the same movies and filmmakers we like? I admit to being disappointed by some of his opinions and pleased with others. Why the hell should I care? I dunno.

I agree with you completely. I read yours opinions about this interview and I'm a little bit astonish. Bergman is great director, but he is not a film critic. He has his own opinions and they're different from critic's thoughts. And it's o.k. He has his own taste just like everyone.
Quote:
Originally posted by Jaime Christley
Hmmm. I have a theory - the greater the director, the dumber his opinions are.

Great theory Jaime:rolleyes:
Are only your thoughts correct?
Posted by Jaime Christley on 05-13-2002 12:25 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by vornporn
Isn't it interesting how we all want Bergman to like the same movies and filmmakers we like? I admit to being disappointed by some of his opinions and pleased with others. Why the hell should I care? I dunno.

I completely agree - just goes to show you, it's probably a good idea to separate the art from the artist, or else risk being very disappointed.

This thread reminds me of that episode of Growing Pains where the younger brother wins a backstage pass to meet his hero, some rock star, at a concert. And, of course, the rock star turns out to be a dick. Cue softly-played solo piano to signify earth-shattering disillusionment.
Posted by ger-1111 on 05-13-2002 12:36 AM
Thank you dorado, that was a fun read. Bergman's a cranky bastard, just like the characters he writes.

By the way, I just watched Faithless this week (it's based upon his script) and give it a big thumbs up.
Posted by ger-1111 on 05-13-2002 12:42 AM
Oh, my theory about Bergman's likes and dislikes is that he generally favors directors (like himself) who are either hated or ignored by academia [Spielberg, Soderbergh, Truffaut] over favorite sons like Welles and Godard.
Posted by Mr. Jiggy on 05-13-2002 10:10 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by ger-1111
Oh, my theory about Bergman's likes and dislikes is that he generally favors directors (like himself) who are either hated or ignored by academia [Spielberg, Soderbergh, Truffaut] over favorite sons like Welles and Godard.

Bergman is hated or ignored by academia?:confused:

I can see Bergman's comments on Godard, as he gets a sort of love him or hate him response (Godard gets thumbs up from me) but I find his dislike of Welles strange.
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Posted by Pongo on 05-13-2002 01:13 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Jaime Christley
Hmmm. I have a theory - the greater the director, the dumber his opinions are.

Yes - disagreeing with everyone else is dumb!

Yours,
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Posted by davijune on 05-14-2002 06:10 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Son of HAL
I was watching Bergman's "Monika" today, and noticed a quote in the tape case:



Poor Jean-Luc when he reads what Bergman has to say about him... not fair. :( :)

Wonderful movie!
Great artists aren't always the most objective or insightful critics. There's nothing really unusual here.

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