Bergmania!

Dec 8, 2008

Fitting as a monument to such a long, influential, multimedia career, the publisher Taschen has released the mammoth The Ingmar Bergman Archives, a 592-page, fifteen-pound chronicle of the Swedish filmmaker’s career in film, theater, and television (“Just don’t pick up The Ingmar Bergman Archives without tightening your stomach muscles; otherwise, you could throw your back out,” warns the San Francisco Chronicle’s Mick LaSalle!).

The new book, edited by Paul Duncan and Bengt Wanselius—with contributing editors Ulla Åberg, Peter Cowie, Bengt Forslund, and Birgitta Steene—is jam-packed with production stills and portraits, as well as reproductions from the filmmaker’s personal notebooks, which were among the materials Bergman donated to the Bergman Foundation upon his death in 2007. There’s a lot in here that has never been made available to a wide audience; according to Cowie, in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, “We tracked down virtually every interview Bergman had given in any major language.” Also included in the price of the book (which retails at $200) are a DVD featuring behind-the-scenes footage, home movies, and documentaries and an original film strip from a copy of Fanny and Alexander (1982)—played on Bergman’s own film projector!