Ingmar Bergman on theatre and cinema

Ingmar Bergman on theatre and cinema


Ingmar Bergman,
I would like to say that you are first of all
a theatre director. Who are the directors, in the world,
who you like and admire, above all, and who inspire you? When I was a young man, I saw French films, and I liked Duvivier
and Carné very much. René Clément, naturally. You’re citing film directors, but among the great
theatre directors. We have in Sweden
a great tradition of directors. Two directors are my masters,
Molander and Sjöberg. You have staged two great
French playwrights, a classic, Molière, and
a modern, Jean Anouilh. What other French playwrights
and plays would you like to direct? Camus and Ionesco. Which plays of theirs? It’s very difficult to say now, but… I’ve done “Caligula,” and… Ionesco – I don’t know the
French titles of his plays. “The Chairs,” perhaps? Oh yes, “The Chairs.” Is there a great difference for you
between directing in theatre and in cinema? Oh yes, there’s a great difference. I like very much… Directing theatre is a profession, it’s my profession,
it’s necessary for me. Directing films is my passion. Your passion,
your pleasure. I’d like to ask you a final question, Sweden is one of the most
progressive countries in Europe, socially and economically. Yet most of your films,
especially your first films, are full of bitterness,
despair, even cruelty. How could Swedish light-heartedness
have provoked these feelings? I’m only trying to speak the truth
about the human condition. We impatiently await your production of “Sagan.” See you soon,
we applaud you. Thank you, sir.

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