Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ingmar Bergman: Truth and Lies (exhibition)

Although I did not get to see any films during my days in Berlin I saw a fine exhibition:

Ingmar Bergman. Von Lüge und Wahrheit. Exhibition at the Deutsche Kinemathek - Museum für Film und Fernsehen, 27 Jan until 29 May 2011, Potsdamer Strasse 2, Berlin.

Catalogue: Nils Warnecke, Kristina Jaspers (ed.): Ingmar Bergman. Von Lüge und Wahrheit. Berlin: Deutsche Kinemathek / Bertz + Fischer Verlag 2011

The Ingmar Bergman: Truth and Lies exhibition had its premiere at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles, 16 Sep 2010, curated by Nils Warnecke and Kristina Jaspers (Deutsche Kinemathek) and Ellen Harrington (AMPAS) with the Ingmar Bergman Foundation (Stockholm).

Ingmar Bergman directed more than 130 plays at the theatre, 42 radio productions, 23 television plays und 39 theatrical films. During the Berlin Film Festival was mounted what was called the most comprehensive Ingmar Bergman retrospective film series ever, but Sånt händer inte här, Riten, and Efter repetitionen were not included, and Scener från ett äktenskap and Fanny och Alexander were not shown in their long versions, so I think that even we in Helsinki have shown more comprehensive retrospectives. Besides the obvious titles were included the Bergmanic films directed by others, Den goda viljan (The Best Intentions, Bille August, 1991), Trolösa (Faithless, Liv Ullmann, 2000), and Bergman's final tv production Saraband. Also included were the Stig Björkman documentaries Ingmar Bergman (1972), Bilder från lekstugan (2009), and ...But Film Is My Mistress (2010).

From the festival catalogue: "On show for the first time are personal papers and work documents from Ingmar Bergman's estate, plus scripts, photographs, sketches, notebooks, diaries and letters. In addition, production photos and stills, architectural and costume designs, props, set models and original costumes."

The exhibition is structured under the following headlines: PROLOGUE, SEARCH, ARTIST, FAITH, FÅRÖ, RELATIONSHIPS, GERMAN EXCURSION, and RESUMÉ.

Verdict: a wonderful Bergmanian experience manages to chart his life from childhood to the final days, his work as a man of the theatre and as a man of the cinema, and some of his great central themes. There is a good blend of the well-known and the unknown. I was amazed at his good handwriting in the many samples of his workbooks, scripts, and letters. It was moving to read the letters from Woody Allen and Stanley Kubrick. The overall atmosphere is genially Bergmanian, mixing magic with professionalism. Highly recommended.

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