The Best of Bergman


Daily Scandinavian has compiled a playlist of the best Ingmar Bergman movies. It may contain some goodies that you have missed.

160415-Ingmar-BergmanHave you heard about the much adored Swedish director Ingmar Bergman? Have you seen any of his films? If your answer is ‘no’, then we recommend you to procure a copy of The Communicants from 1963. The Seventh Seal from  1957 may leave you an indelible mark on your psyche. In our opinion these two films are some of the greatest achievements in cinema history.

Our recommended Ingmar Bergman playlist (in order). The Best of Bergman.

1. The Communicants (1963) Nattvärdsgästerna
A small town priest struggles with his faith.
Starring: Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand, Gunnel Lindblom


2. The Shame (1968) Skammen (Swedish drama)
Ingmar Bergman’s psychological study of how humans react in a situation of war. The film takes place on Gotland, where invasion forces arrive.
Starring: Liv Ullmann, Max von Sydow


3. Wild Strawberries (1957) Smultronstället (Swedish drama)
After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence.
Starring: Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin


4. Persona (1966) (Swedish drama)
A nurse is put in charge of an actress who can’t talk and finds that the actress’s persona is melding with hers.
Starring:  Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Margaretha Krook, Gunnar Björnstrand


5. The Seventh Seal (1957) Det syvende innseglet
A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.
Starring: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot, Nils Poppe.


6. Smiles of a Summer’s Night (1955) (Sommernattens leende)
It’s late nineteenth century Sweden. Middle aged lawyer Fredrik Egerman and his nineteen year old current.
Starring: Ulla Jacobsson, Eva Dahlbeck, Harriet Andersson, Margit Carlqvist


7. Fanny & Alexander (1982)
Two young Swedish children experience the many comedies and tragedies of their family, the Ekdahls.
Starring: Bertil Guve, Pernilla Allwin, Kristina Adolphson, Börje Ahlstedt


The video Breaking Down Bergman (above) looks inside the Ingmar Bergman Archives, a massive storage space of scripts, photographs and other documents about the director. Jan Holmberg, CEO of the Ingmar Bergman Foundation, offers a glimpse at some of the scripts and other unusual items Bergman collected during his life. Friend is embarking on watching all of Bergman’s films alongside co-host Sonia Strimban for the series Breaking Down Bergman.

With an array of psychologically acute and philosophically challenging films, Ingmar Bergman almost single-handedly created the art-house picture. In the book The Ingmar Bergman Archives, we get a glimpse of the director creating his remarkable body of work.