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Bergmanathon: Celebrating One Year of Ingmar Bergman Love

Posted on the 23 March 2012 by Tjatkinson @T_J_atkinson

Bergmanathon: Celebrating One Year of Ingmar Bergman Love

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the day I saw my first Ingmar Bergman films. It was after reading about his movies at The Droid You’re Looking For, and several recommendations from friends, that I launched headfirst into as much Bergman as I could find. I saw two films on March 24, 2011: Through a Glass Darkly and The Seventh Seal. Then, on March 25, I watched Winter Light. On the 26th, I saw The Silence. On the 27th, Wild Strawberries. On the 28th, Cries and Whispers. On the 30th, Persona. On the 3rd of April, I watched Fanny and Alexander, the three-hour cut. On the 11th of April I saw The Hour of the Wolf. On the 16th: Smiles of a Summer Night. The 22nd: Shame. On the 5th of May, The Virgin Spring. Then, in one spectacular film viewing day, the ninth of May 2011, I took a day off work to stay home on the computer and watch as many Bergman films on YouTube as I could find. That day I saw: Autumn Sonata, Crisis, Port of Call, The Magician, Face to Face, Summer Interlude and Summer with Monika. In the coming months I also saw A Passion, Sawdust and Tinsel, The Serpent’s Egg and, on the 11th of November 2011, finally saw the full five-hour version of Fanny and Alexander. To this date, those are the Bergman films I’ve seen. All in one year.

Tonight, I will have the house to myself, and will go ahead with a marathon I’ve carefully organised the last few days. The phone will be turned off, and so will the computer. Don’t expect to see me online or on Twitter. At 6pm, I’ll be eating pizza and starting my Ingmar Bergman career retrospective. Here’s the plan:

6pm: The Seventh Seal

7:40: Wild Strawberries

9:10: Through a Glass Darkly

10:40: Winter Light

12:05: Persona

1:40: Fanny and Alexander – Full TV version

This marathon will last me almost exactly twelve hours. I think I’ve conserved enough sleep to last. The one film that unfortunately didn’t make it into the marathon was Cries and Whispers, but I rewatched that one last night to make up for it. Also, over the next week or so, I’ll be rewatching other Bergman favourites, including Summer Interlude, The Silence, The Hour of the Wolf and Autumn Sonata. I also look forward to the day when I finally get enough guts to buy the Criterion DVD of Scenes from a Marriage, the one big gaping hole in my Bergman viewing.

So… what do you think? How many Bergman films have you seen? Am I missing out big time on Scenes from a Marriage? What other Bergman films do I need to see/rewatch? You guys know best, so let me know in the comments below.

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