Voice of Bergman, The

Bergman says that, as a child, he would steal money from his father’s coat pockets to go to the movies. In this illuminating documentary by Gunnar Bergdahl, Bergman’s fascination with the cinema comes across in a series of intimate conversations. Shot in one day and edited into eight ‘acts’, Bergdahl’s film is free of clips or music and consists entirely of Bergman talking about his whole relationship with film, music and his enchantment with the close-up. He’s a leading expert on Sweden’s silent film era, and waxes lyrical about the work of Victor Sjostrom and others. He is contagiously enthusiastic about the creative process, the importance of emotion, and his favourite films, which range from Andrei Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev to the ‘dazzling’ Independence Day. Bergman is less than enthusiastic about contemporary Swedish films, although he has recently given his blessing to the work of Lukas Moodysson (Show Me Love, Together). He draws analogies between film and music, hypnosis and gambling, yet insists that above anything else the cinema has given him a sense of ‘wild, irrational, constant joy’ that ultimately remains beyond definition. ‘If you really love,’ says Bergman, ‘you can’t say why you love.’
English subtitles.
87 mins.

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