Bergman died at his home in Faro, Sweden, Swedish news agency TT said, citing his daughter Eva Bergman. A cause of death wasn’t immediately available.
Through more than 50 films, Bergman’s vision encompassed all the extremes of his beloved Sweden: the claustrophobic gloom of unending winter nights, the gentle merriment of glowing summer evenings and the bleak magnificence of the island where he spent his last years.
Bergman, who approached difficult subjects such as plague and madness with inventive technique and carefully honed writing, became one of the towering figures of serious filmmaking.
He was „probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera,“ Woody Allen said in a 70th birthday tribute in 1988.
Bergman first gained international attention with 1955’s „Smiles of a Summer Night,“ a romantic comedy that inspired the Stephen Sondheim musical „A Little Night Music.“
„The Seventh Seal,“ released in 1957, riveted critics and audiences. An allegorical tale of the medieval Black Plague years, it contains one of cinema’s most famous scenes — a knight playing chess with the shrouded figure of Death.
„I was terribly scared of death,“ Bergman said of his state of mind when making the film, which was nominated for an Academy Award in the best picture category.
The film distilled the essence of Bergman’s work — high seriousness, flashes of unexpected humor and striking images.
In an interview in 2004 with Swedish broadcaster SVT, the reclusive filmmaker admitted that he was reluctant to view his work.
„I don’t watch my own films very often. I become so jittery and ready to cry … and miserable. I think it’s awful,“ Bergman said.
Though best known internationally for his films, Bergman was also a prominent stage director. He worked at several playhouses in Sweden from the mid-1940s, including the Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm which he headed from 1963 to 1966. He staged many plays by the Swedish author August Strindberg, whom he cited as an inspiration.
The influence of Strindberg’s grueling and precise psychological dissections could be seen in the production that brought Bergman an even-wider audience: 1973’s „Scenes From a Marriage.“ First produced as a six-part series for television, then released in a theater version, it is an intense detailing of the disintegration of a marriage.
Bergman showed his lighter side in the following year’s „The Magic Flute,“ again first produced for 부산 안마 TV. It is a fairly straight production of the Mozart opera, enlivened by touches such as repeatedly showing the face of a young girl watching the opera and comically clumsy props and costumes.
Bergman remained active later in life with stage productions and occasional TV shows. He said he still felt a need to direct, although he had no plans to make another feature film.
In the fall of 2002, Bergman, at age 84, started production on „Saraband,“ a 120-minute television movie based on the two main characters in „Scenes From a Marriage.“
In a rare press conference, the reclusive director said he wrote the story after realizing he was „pregnant with a play.“
„At first I felt sick, very sick. It was strange. Like Abraham and Sarah, who suddenly realized she was pregnant,“ he said, referring to biblical characters. „It was lots of fun, suddenly to feel this urge returning.“
The son of a Lutheran clergyman and a housewife, Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born in Uppsala on July 14, 1918, and grew up with a brother and sister in a household of severe discipline that he described in painful detail in the autobiography „The Magic Lantern.“
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