In Search of Ingmar

Ingmar Bergman lived, worked and found inspiration on the windswept Swedish island of Faro. Here, for the first time, a view into his deeply personal realm.

Released on 10/23/2009

Credits

Starring: Ingmar Bergman

Transcript

00:02
(gentle guitar music)
00:26
[Diane] I'm Diane Solway, I'm a senior editor
00:28
and writer at W Magazine.
00:31
And for our November issue I wrote about
00:33
Ingmar Bergman's private world on Fårö.
00:36
In July I visited the island with our creative director,
00:39
Dennis Freedman and the American photographer Stephen Shore.
00:44
Bergman first came to Fårö in the mid 60s
00:46
to scout locations for a film, and interestingly the minute
00:50
he saw it he thought to himself this is my landscape.
00:54
It's certainly easy to see why Bergman loved the island.
00:57
The light is great, the trees are gnarled and stooped.
01:01
The forests are very dense.
01:03
The beaches are very rocky.
01:04
There's sort of a crude, raw, barren,
01:08
elemental beauty to it.
01:10
Bergman had made many of his most
01:12
famous films on the island.
01:14
He'd written all his scripts here.
01:16
And the island really became not only his haven,
01:18
but his muse, it's almost a character in his films.
01:23
He soon built a house here in the mid 60s.
01:26
Near the beach, where he shot the film Persona.
01:29
During that film he'd also fallen in love with Liv Ullmann,
01:31
with whom he lived on this island for several years.
01:35
What was interesting about the way Bergman
01:38
lived in the house was that he followed
01:39
this very regimented schedule.
01:41
That everything happened at a particular time.
01:44
He wrote every day at a very particular time.
01:47
He had lunch always at one.
01:48
He had his rest always at the same time.
01:51
He screened films twice a day in his cinema.
01:53
They always started promptly at three
01:55
and promptly at eight.
01:57
He told a friend that you know when you're as chaotic
01:59
as I am, you need a very firm structure in your life.
02:04
Bergman had nine children by six different women.
02:07
Many of whom he remained friends
02:08
and collaborators with throughout his life.
02:11
When he turned 60, Bergman began inviting
02:13
all of his kids to visit.
02:15
By then of course most of them were adults.
02:18
The way he found it easiest to get together
02:20
with his whole brew was in his cinema.
02:23
The cinema was formerly an old barn
02:26
that Bergman had actually converted briefly into
02:27
a film studio to make his famous Scenes from a Marriage.
02:33
For someone who made such stark and austere
02:35
and often harrowing films, he actually had
02:38
a wonderful sense of humor.
02:40
He watched Ghostbusters, The Godfather, Pulp Fiction,
02:43
Jurassic Park, the director who made The Seventh Seal
02:46
was also a huge fan of The Muppets and Sex and the City.
02:51
The other thing that was really interesting
02:52
for all of us was to see how much this house
02:55
was a kind of diary for Bergman.
02:59
He wrote on the walls, he wrote on the furniture,
03:02
he wrote on his bedside table.
03:04
Most striking of all was the nightstand in his bedroom.
03:09
Bergman famously wrestled with his demons on-screen and off.
03:12
And often when his demons woke him at night he would
03:16
jot down notes on his bedside table.
03:19
On one place on the table it says, Afraid, afraid, afraid.
03:23
Another says, Such terrible dreams these nights.
03:27
No reconciliation.
03:28
And here's another one, Erotic fiasco, the conflict.
03:36
I think the intimacy of this story comes from
03:39
the fact that Stephen Shore and I in very different ways
03:43
tried to capture the imprint of Bergman's life
03:46
on the island.
03:47
And one of the things that struck us
03:49
was that his presence still lingers there so vividly.
03:55
Bergman died on the island in July of 2007.
03:59
In his will he had instructed his heirs to sell the house,
04:02
his property and personal belongings at auction.
04:06
The question is, what will become of this place
04:08
that was the wellspring for one of films greatest directors.
04:12
His estate is up for sale, and it's possible
04:15
that it will be parceled off or sold in one piece.
04:18
It could become somebody's summer home.
04:23
But one hope advanced by Bergman's youngest daughter
04:25
Linn Ullmann is that Bergman's home be preserved
04:29
as an artist colony, where artists and writers
04:31
and filmmakers and scholars could come to make new work.
04:35
Just as Bergman did.
04:39
(gentle guitar music)