Vintage Sundays Presents Ingmar Bergman - Picturehouse Spotlight

Vintage Sundays Presents Ingmar Bergman

Vintage Sundays presents a comprehensive season of the Swedish auteur’s work to celebrate his centenary.

As part of the global celebrations of the centenary of Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007), we’re bringing a selection of his films back to the big screen. Featuring classics such as Persona and The Seventh Seal, as well as rediscoveries such as The Touch.


Sunday 15 April

Wild Strawberries

Wild Strawberries
Wild Strawberries

Director: Ingmar Bergman. Starring: Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin 1957. Duration: 91 min

Victor Sjöström is magnificent as the crabby professor taking a nostalgic road trip with his daughter-in-law. One of Bergman’s warmest films, this boasts a magnificent performance by Sjöström as the ageing, grouchy academic driving to Lund to accept an award; the trip also traverses memories, reveries and illuminating encounters with family members and strangers alike. Famous for its early dream sequence, the film is nevertheless most impressive for its rich, vivid characterisations from a superb cast of Bergman regulars.

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Sunday 22 April

The Seventh Seal

Seventh Seal
Seventh Seal

Director: Ingmar Bergman. Stars: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot 1957. Duration: 96 min

Bergman’s allegorical drama stars Max von Sydow as a knight trying to elude his own death. Vividly recreating a medieval world tormented by plague and superstition, Bergman’s allegorical drama –centred on a knight (von Sydow), returned from the Crusades, who challenges Death to a game of chess in order to postpone his demise –remains fascinating (and finally rather touching) as a study of faith in crisis. Packed with powerful images, it punctuates its bleakness with moments of pleasingly pawky humour.

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Sunday 29 April

Persona

Persona
Persona

Director: Ingmar Bergman. Starring: Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Margaretha Krook, 1966. Duration: 83 min

Bergman’s modernist masterpiece explores the volatile relationship between an actress and her nurse. After a mischievous montage ‘explaining’ the film’s origins, the narrative proper gets underway, charting the increasingly tense battle of wits between the chatty Alma (Andersson) and the mute Elisabet (Ullmann), who are isolated together in a cottage on the island of Fårö. With a rich, resonant mix of related themes –the vampiric nature of art, the complex fragility of personality, the difficulty of communication – the film is arguably Bergman’s most audacious and formally innovative work, multi-levelled yet utterly lucid. Sven Nykvist’s lustrous camerawork, the subtle sound design and matchless lead performances combine to create a mesmerisingly beautiful work of unforgettable, haunting mystery.

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Sunday 6 May

The Touch

Touch
Touch

Director: Ingmar Bergman. Starring: Elliott Gould, Bibi Andersson, Max von Sydow. 1971 Duration: 115 min

Now restored in its original bilingual version, Bergman’s rarely seen chronicle of a passionate affair is a major rediscovery. A happily married mother of two, Karin (Andersson) surprises herself by responding in kind to an unforeseen profession of love from David (Gould), an archaeologist visiting Sweden whom her doctor husband Andreas (von Sydow) has befriended. But love, however toxically exhilarating, is seldom simple, and deceit and David’s volatile temperament take their toll… Due to dubbed prints and mixed reviews, The Touch all but disappeared for decades. Now, however, the psychological precision of Bergman’s script and the subtlety and intensity of the performances can be properly appreciated, along with the evocative autumnal colours of Sven Nykvist’s burnished camerawork. Utterly compelling; a revelation.

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Sunday 13 May

Cries and Whispers

Cries and Whispers
Cries and Whispers

Director: Ingmar Bergman. Starring: Harriet Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Kari Sylwan. 1972 Duration: 90 min

A dying woman (Andersson) is attended to in her rural mansion by her sisters (Ullmann, Thulin) and her maid… That’s the simple premisefor one of Bergman’s most resonant studies of familial bonds, solitude, suffering and the female psyche. The remarkable saturated colour scheme transcends mere recreation of early 20th-century furnishings, décor and costumes; performed to perfection, the film is an examination of the human soul.

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Sunday 20 May

The Magic Flute

The Magic Flute
The Magic Flute

Director: Ingmar Bergman. Starring: Ulrik Cold, Josef Köstlinger, Irma Urrila. 1975.  Duration: 135 min

A sparkling new restoration of Ingmar Bergman’s Oscar-nominated screen adaptation of Mozart’s much-loved opera, in which the Queen of the Night tasks our hero Tamino with rescuing her beautiful daughter from a wicked sorcerer. The Magic Flute synthesises Bergman’s expertise as one of the finest European film directors of his generation and as an experienced and highly acclaimed stage director. Framing his film as a theatre show, and eschewing movie stars in favour of new and established stage opera performers, he interfuses top-notch vocal performances with a stunning visual experience. Long absent from British cinema screens, our advance previews of this glorious reissue promise an unmissable festive treat.

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