A true disciple of The Master

August 1, 2007 at 12:14 pm (Jim D, Uncategorized)

“I was brought up on Ingmar Bergman during my days in Cambridge. He was the god of original cinema, of thoughtful cinema, of creative cinema, and he was an enormous influence on my life. He was not only a film genius but he was unique. No one made films like him, before or since. The brooding intensity, couple with fantastic visual style – it was mesmerising.

“I remember when Smiles of a Summer Night was on at a small cinema on the outskirts of Cambridge. The owner said ‘No one going to come to see it’. But there was a queue around the cinema because there was a scene with a naked woman running along a beach for 15 seconds. In those days (1955) it was revolutionary. A lot of people who would never otherwise see an Ingmar Bergman film were standing in line.

“My favourite of his films is The Seventh Seal – it has this wonderful Gothic symbolism. It was not one of my main influences, but it definitely went into my memory bank.

“You would never get anyone like him today. We have moved into a more mechanistic, flash-bang-wallop type of cinema and art cinema is very difficult to get made”. – Michael Winner, quoted in the Guardian G2, July 31 2007.

Letter to the Guardian, August 1 2007:

“Michael Winner’s perspicacious comments (G2, July 31) cut right to the core meaning of Bergman’s films and the value of the whole oeuvre, in his perceptive identification of the revolutionary 15-second scene of a naked woman running across a beach!” – Case Roos, London


  1. Louisefeminista said,

    Yeah, I too like Seventh Seal, Jim, but I have to chuckle whenever I see Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey and the spoof of the Bergman classic. My favourites include Virgin Spring, Cries and Whispers and Wild Strawberries.

    And less than 24hours later, Michelangelo Antonioni died. The film Blowup I am still kinda ambivalent about it as I find it a tad too -clever- by -half.

    …..And lets not forget geezer Mike “alright treacle” Reid died at the weekend. Just makes me think of that other classic line from ‘Enders, “Oh Paaat, don’t leave me”!

  2. Jim Denham said,

    I can only agree with you, Louise, about Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. An hilarious spoof, with the added piquancy of knowing that while we watched this gross film, we appreciated the Bergman reference, whereas the rest of the audience didn’t: In principle, I hate elitism, but I’m not immune to its charms.
    I also hate to admit that I agreed with that arch-Tory Stephen Pollard in today’s Times, bemoaning Bergman’s balefulful influence upon Woody Allen.
    P.S: I’m amazed to discover you’re a Mike Reid fan, Louise, me old treacle!

  3. voltaires_priest said,

    Never knowingly watched a single Bergman film in my life. Nay bother though.

  4. Now it can be revealed: my ‘Galaxy Quest’ shame « Shiraz Socialist said,

    […] out loud. I’d kept quiet about this for some years, prefering to adopt an image of being a Bergman kinda guy (that always used to impress the chicks), until the novelist Lionel Shriver admitted, in the Graun, […]

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