Zitate von Ingmar Bergman

Ingmar Bergman Foto
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Ingmar Bergman

Geburtstag: 14. Juli 1918
Todesdatum: 30. Juli 2007

[ˌiŋːmaɾ ˈbæɾːʝman] war ein schwedischer Drehbuchautor, Film- und Theaterregisseur. 1997 wurde Bergman bei den Filmfestspielen in Cannes als „Bester Filmregisseur aller Zeiten“ geehrt. Die Mehrzahl seiner Filme sind der Gattung des Filmdramas zuzurechnen, er drehte aber auch Komödien und Dokumentationen. In seinen Filmen thematisierte er häufig existenzielle Themen wie den Tod, die Suche nach Gott, die Einsamkeit des Menschen und zwischenmenschliche Beziehungen. Seine Filmsprache zeichnete sich unter anderem durch lange Naheinstellungen und eine spezielle Lichtsetzung aus, die er zusammen mit seinem langjährigen Kameramann Sven Nykvist entwickelte. Die mitunter direkte Darstellung von Sexualität führte in den 1950er- und 1960er-Jahren wiederholt zu Problemen mit der Zensur und verhalf unter anderem dem Film Das Schweigen zu einem Skandalerfolg. Weitere namhafte Werke sind Das siebente Siegel, Wilde Erdbeeren, Szenen einer Ehe und Fanny und Alexander.

Zitate Ingmar Bergman

„To feel. To trust the feeling. I long for that“

—  Ingmar Bergman

Quelle: Face to Face: A Film

„People think there's a solution… If everything is distributed in the proper quarters, put into the right pigeonholes, everything will be fine. But I'm not so sure. … Nothing, absolutely nothing at all has emerged out of all these ideas of faith and scepticism, all these convulsions, these puffings and blowings.“

—  Ingmar Bergman

Jonas Sima interview <!-- p. 195 -->
Bergman on Bergman (1970)
Kontext: People think there's a solution... If everything is distributed in the proper quarters, put into the right pigeonholes, everything will be fine. But I'm not so sure. … Nothing, absolutely nothing at all has emerged out of all these ideas of faith and scepticism, all these convulsions, these puffings and blowings. For many of my fellow human beings on the other hand, I'm aware that these problems still exist — and exist as a terrible reality. I hope this generation will be the last to live under the scourge of religious anxiety.

„They worked until the building was completed — master builders, artists, labourers, clowns, noblemen, priests, burghers. But they all remained anonymous, and no one knows to this day who built the cathedral of Chartres.
Regardless of my own beliefs and my own doubts, which are unimportant in this connection, it is my opinion that art lost its basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an umbilical cord and now lives its own sterile life, generating and degenerating itself. In former days the artist remained unknown and his work was to the glory of God.“

—  Ingmar Bergman

Four Screenplays of Ingmar Bergman (1960).
Kontext: People ask what are my intentions with my films — my aims. It is a difficult and dangerous question, and I usually give an evasive answer: I try to tell the truth about the human condition, the truth as I see it. This answer seems to satisfy everyone, but it is not quite correct. I prefer to describe what I would like my aim to be. There is an old story of how the cathedral of Chartres was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Then thousands of people came from all points of the compass, like a giant procession of ants, and together they began to rebuild the cathedral on its old site. They worked until the building was completed — master builders, artists, labourers, clowns, noblemen, priests, burghers. But they all remained anonymous, and no one knows to this day who built the cathedral of Chartres.
Regardless of my own beliefs and my own doubts, which are unimportant in this connection, it is my opinion that art lost its basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an umbilical cord and now lives its own sterile life, generating and degenerating itself. In former days the artist remained unknown and his work was to the glory of God. He lived and died without being more or less important than other artisans; 'eternal values,' 'immortality' and 'masterpiece' were terms not applicable in his case. The ability to create was a gift. In such a world flourished invulnerable assurance and natural humility. Today the individual has become the highest form and the greatest bane of artistic creation.
The smallest wound or pain of the ego is examined under a microscope as if it were of eternal importance. The artist considers his isolation, his subjectivity, his individualism almost holy. Thus we finally gather in one large pen, where we stand and bleat about our loneliness without listening to each other and without realizing that we are smothering each other to death. The individualists stare into each other's eyes and yet deny the existence of each other.
We walk in circles, so limited by our own anxieties that we can no longer distinguish between true and false, between the gangster's whim and the purest ideal. Thus if I am asked what I would like the general purpose of my films to be, I would reply that I want to be one of the artists in the cathedral on the great plain. I want to make a dragon's head, an angel, a devil — or perhaps a saint — out of stone. It does not matter which; it is the sense of satisfaction that counts.
Regardless of whether I believe or not, whether I am a Christian or not, I would play my part in the collective building of the cathedral.

„I've never been much smitten by Catholicism. I've never been committed to any religious dogma of any sort. … For years the Catholics had me on their blacklist. Then along comes some sharp-witted pater and says 'Let's take this lad into the business, instead.“

—  Ingmar Bergman

And I've been plagued by Catholic interpretations ever since. … I've never felt any attraction to Catholicism. Catholicism, I think, does have its attractions. But Protestantism is a wretched kettle of fish.
Stig Bjorkman interview
Bergman on Bergman (1970)

„The moments before he died, Christ was seized by doubt. Surely that must have been his greatest hardship? God's silence.“

—  Ingmar Bergman

Algot Frövik (Allan Edwall) in Winter Light (1962).
Films
Kontext: When Jesus was nailed to the cross — and hung there in torment - he cried out — "God, my God! Why hast thou forsaken me?" He cried out as loud as he could. He thought that his heavenly father had abandoned him. He believed everything he'd ever preached was a lie. The moments before he died, Christ was seized by doubt. Surely that must have been his greatest hardship? God's silence.

„The image that later became famous of the Dance of Death beneath the dark cloud was improvised in only a few minutes. That's how things can happen on the set.“

—  Ingmar Bergman

Images : My Life in Films (1990)
Kontext: The final scene when Death dances off with the travelers was…shot at Hovs hallar. We had packed up for the day because of an approaching storm. Suddenly, I caught sight of a strange cloud. Gunnar Fischer hastily set the camera back into place. Several of the actors had already returned to where we were staying, so a few grips and a couple of tourists danced in their place, having no idea what it was all about. The image that later became famous of the Dance of Death beneath the dark cloud was improvised in only a few minutes. That's how things can happen on the set.

„Well, we're grasping for two things at once. Partly for communion with others — that's the deepest instinct in us. And partly, we're seeking security. By constant communion with others we hope we shall be able to accept the horrible fact of our total solitude.“

—  Ingmar Bergman

Torsten Manns interview <!-- pages 164-167 -->
Bergman on Bergman (1970)
Kontext: Well, we're grasping for two things at once. Partly for communion with others — that's the deepest instinct in us. And partly, we're seeking security. By constant communion with others we hope we shall be able to accept the horrible fact of our total solitude. We're always reaching out for new projects, new structure, new systems in order to abolish — partly or wholly — our insight into our loneliness. If it weren't so, religious systems would never arise.

„I know the first film I ever saw — it must have been some time in 1924, when I was six or so… was Black Beauty.“

—  Ingmar Bergman

Stig Bjorkman interview <!-- pages 6-7 -->
Bergman on Bergman (1970)
Kontext: I know the first film I ever saw — it must have been some time in 1924, when I was six or so... was Black Beauty. About a stallion. I still recall a sequence with fire. It was burning, I remember that vividly. And I remember too how it excited me, and how afterwards we bought the book of Black Beauty and how I learned the chapter on the fire by heart — at that time I still hadn't learned to read.

„Today we say all art is political. But I'd say all art has to do with ethics. Which after all really comes to the same thing. It's a matter of attitudes.“

—  Ingmar Bergman

Jonas Sima interview <!-- pages 176-178 -->
Bergman on Bergman (1970)
Kontext: Today we say all art is political. But I'd say all art has to do with ethics. Which after all really comes to the same thing. It's a matter of attitudes. … All this talk about me standing aside, cutting myself off and so forth, has always amazed me... I've stated, firmly and clearly, that though as an artist I'm not politically involved, I obviously am an expression of the society I live in. Anything else would be grotesque. But I don't make propaganda for either one attitude or the other. No. As I told you, I vote for the Social Democrats. Their way of solving social problems comes closest to what I regard as decent. That I also find their actual solutions odd in many ways is another matter...

„My basic view of things is — not to have any basic view of things. From having been exceedingly dogmatic, my views on life have gradually dissolved. They don't exist any longer…“

—  Ingmar Bergman

Stig Bjorkman interview <!-- p. 17-18 -->
Bergman on Bergman (1970)
Kontext: My basic view of things is — not to have any basic view of things. From having been exceedingly dogmatic, my views on life have gradually dissolved. They don't exist any longer... I've a strong impression that our world is about to go under. Our political systems are deeply compromised and have no further uses. Our social behavior patterns — interior and exterior — have proved a fiasco. The tragic thing is, we neither can nor want to, nor have the strength to alter course. It's too late for revolutions, and deep down inside ourselves we no longer even believe in their positive effects. Just around the corner an insect world is waiting for us — and one day it's going to roll in over our ultra-individualized existence. Otherwise I'm a respectable social democrat.

„In this profession, I always admire people who are going on, who have a sort of idea and, however crazy it is, are putting it through; they are putting people and things together, and they make something. I always admire this.“

—  Ingmar Bergman

On Jean-Luc Godard in an interview with John Simon (1971).
Kontext: In this profession, I always admire people who are going on, who have a sort of idea and, however crazy it is, are putting it through; they are putting people and things together, and they make something. I always admire this. But I can't see his pictures. I sit for perhaps twenty-five or thirty or fifty minutes and then I have to leave, because his pictures make me so nervous. I have the feeling the whole time that he wants to tell me things, but I don't understand what it is, and sometimes I have the feeling that he's bluffing, double-crossing me.

„When Jesus was nailed to the cross — and hung there in torment - he cried out — "God, my God! Why hast thou forsaken me?"“

—  Ingmar Bergman

Algot Frövik (Allan Edwall) in Winter Light (1962).
Films
Kontext: When Jesus was nailed to the cross — and hung there in torment - he cried out — "God, my God! Why hast thou forsaken me?" He cried out as loud as he could. He thought that his heavenly father had abandoned him. He believed everything he'd ever preached was a lie. The moments before he died, Christ was seized by doubt. Surely that must have been his greatest hardship? God's silence.

„A French critic cleverly wrote that "with Autumn Sonata Bergman does Bergman." It is witty but unfortunate. For me, that is.“

—  Ingmar Bergman

Images : My Life in Films (1990)
Kontext: A French critic cleverly wrote that "with Autumn Sonata Bergman does Bergman." It is witty but unfortunate. For me, that is. I think it is only too true that Bergman (Ingmar, that is) did a Bergman... I love and admire the filmmaker Tarkovsky and believe him to be one of the greatest of all time. My admiration for Fellini is limitless. But I also feel that Tarkovsky began to make Tarkovsky films and that Fellini began to make Fellini films. Yet Kurosawa has never made a Kurosawa film. I have never been able to appreciate Buñuel. He discovered at an early stage that it is possible to fabricate ingenious tricks, which he elevated to a special kind of genius, particular to Buñuel, and then he repeated and varied his tricks. He always received applause. Buñuel nearly always made Buñuel films.

„For me, hell has always been a most suggestive sort of place; but I've never regarded it as being located anywhere else than on earth. Hell is created by human beings — on earth!“

—  Ingmar Bergman

Torsten Manns interview <!-- p. 40 -->
Bergman on Bergman (1970)
Kontext: Now let's get this Devil business straight, once and for all. To begin at the beginning: the notion of God, one might say, has changed aspect over the years, until it has either become so vague that it has faded away altogether or else has turned into something entirely different. For me, hell has always been a most suggestive sort of place; but I've never regarded it as being located anywhere else than on earth. Hell is created by human beings — on earth!
What I believed in those days — and believed in for a long time — was the existence of a virulent evil, in no way dependent upon environmental or hereditary factors. Call it original sin or whatever you like — anyway an active evil, of which human beings, as opposed to animals, have a monopoly. Our very nature, qua human beings, is that inside us we always carry around destructive tendencies, conscious or unconscious, aimed both at ourselves and at the outside world.
As a materialization of this virulent, indestructible, and — to us — inexplicable and incomprehensble evil, I manufactured a personage possessing the diabolical traits of a mediaeval morality figure. In various contexts I'd made it into a sort of private game to have a diabolic figure hanging around. His evil was one of the springs in my watch-works. And that's all there is to the devil-figure in my early films... Unmotivated cruelty is something which never ceases to fascinate me; and I'd very much like to know the reason for it. Its source is obscure and I'd very much like to get at it.

„We walk in circles, so limited by our own anxieties that we can no longer distinguish between true and false, between the gangster's whim and the purest ideal.“

—  Ingmar Bergman

Four Screenplays of Ingmar Bergman (1960).
Kontext: People ask what are my intentions with my films — my aims. It is a difficult and dangerous question, and I usually give an evasive answer: I try to tell the truth about the human condition, the truth as I see it. This answer seems to satisfy everyone, but it is not quite correct. I prefer to describe what I would like my aim to be. There is an old story of how the cathedral of Chartres was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Then thousands of people came from all points of the compass, like a giant procession of ants, and together they began to rebuild the cathedral on its old site. They worked until the building was completed — master builders, artists, labourers, clowns, noblemen, priests, burghers. But they all remained anonymous, and no one knows to this day who built the cathedral of Chartres.
Regardless of my own beliefs and my own doubts, which are unimportant in this connection, it is my opinion that art lost its basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an umbilical cord and now lives its own sterile life, generating and degenerating itself. In former days the artist remained unknown and his work was to the glory of God. He lived and died without being more or less important than other artisans; 'eternal values,' 'immortality' and 'masterpiece' were terms not applicable in his case. The ability to create was a gift. In such a world flourished invulnerable assurance and natural humility. Today the individual has become the highest form and the greatest bane of artistic creation.
The smallest wound or pain of the ego is examined under a microscope as if it were of eternal importance. The artist considers his isolation, his subjectivity, his individualism almost holy. Thus we finally gather in one large pen, where we stand and bleat about our loneliness without listening to each other and without realizing that we are smothering each other to death. The individualists stare into each other's eyes and yet deny the existence of each other.
We walk in circles, so limited by our own anxieties that we can no longer distinguish between true and false, between the gangster's whim and the purest ideal. Thus if I am asked what I would like the general purpose of my films to be, I would reply that I want to be one of the artists in the cathedral on the great plain. I want to make a dragon's head, an angel, a devil — or perhaps a saint — out of stone. It does not matter which; it is the sense of satisfaction that counts.
Regardless of whether I believe or not, whether I am a Christian or not, I would play my part in the collective building of the cathedral.

„To the fanatical believer physical and spiritual suffering is beside the point, compared with salvation. That is why, to him, everything happening around him is irrelevant, a mirror-image, a mere will-o'-the-wisp. … I can really never get shot of them, the fanatics. Whether they appear as religious fanatics or vegetarian fanatics makes no odds. They're catastrophic people.“

—  Ingmar Bergman

Jonas Sima interview <!-- p. 117 -->
Bergman on Bergman (1970)
Kontext: To the fanatical believer physical and spiritual suffering is beside the point, compared with salvation. That is why, to him, everything happening around him is irrelevant, a mirror-image, a mere will-o'-the-wisp. … I can really never get shot of them, the fanatics. Whether they appear as religious fanatics or vegetarian fanatics makes no odds. They're catastrophic people. These types whose whole cast of mind as it were looks beyond mere human beings toward some unknown goal. The terrible thing is the great power they often wield over their fellow human beings. Apart from the fact that I believe they suffer like the very devil, I've no sympathy for them.

„Regardless of whether I believe or not, whether I am a Christian or not, I would play my part in the collective building of the cathedral.“

—  Ingmar Bergman

Four Screenplays of Ingmar Bergman (1960).
Kontext: People ask what are my intentions with my films — my aims. It is a difficult and dangerous question, and I usually give an evasive answer: I try to tell the truth about the human condition, the truth as I see it. This answer seems to satisfy everyone, but it is not quite correct. I prefer to describe what I would like my aim to be. There is an old story of how the cathedral of Chartres was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Then thousands of people came from all points of the compass, like a giant procession of ants, and together they began to rebuild the cathedral on its old site. They worked until the building was completed — master builders, artists, labourers, clowns, noblemen, priests, burghers. But they all remained anonymous, and no one knows to this day who built the cathedral of Chartres.
Regardless of my own beliefs and my own doubts, which are unimportant in this connection, it is my opinion that art lost its basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an umbilical cord and now lives its own sterile life, generating and degenerating itself. In former days the artist remained unknown and his work was to the glory of God. He lived and died without being more or less important than other artisans; 'eternal values,' 'immortality' and 'masterpiece' were terms not applicable in his case. The ability to create was a gift. In such a world flourished invulnerable assurance and natural humility. Today the individual has become the highest form and the greatest bane of artistic creation.
The smallest wound or pain of the ego is examined under a microscope as if it were of eternal importance. The artist considers his isolation, his subjectivity, his individualism almost holy. Thus we finally gather in one large pen, where we stand and bleat about our loneliness without listening to each other and without realizing that we are smothering each other to death. The individualists stare into each other's eyes and yet deny the existence of each other.
We walk in circles, so limited by our own anxieties that we can no longer distinguish between true and false, between the gangster's whim and the purest ideal. Thus if I am asked what I would like the general purpose of my films to be, I would reply that I want to be one of the artists in the cathedral on the great plain. I want to make a dragon's head, an angel, a devil — or perhaps a saint — out of stone. It does not matter which; it is the sense of satisfaction that counts.
Regardless of whether I believe or not, whether I am a Christian or not, I would play my part in the collective building of the cathedral.

„We went to morning services in variouis places and were deeply impressed by the spiritual poverty of these churches, by the lack of any congregation and the miserable spiritual status of the clergy, the poverty of their sermons, and the nonchalance and indifference of the ritual.“

—  Ingmar Bergman

On Winter Light, Jonas Sima interview <!-- pages 173-174 -->
Bergman on Bergman (1970)
Kontext: We drove about, looking for churches, my father and I. My father, as you probably know, was a clergyman — he knew all the Uppland churches like the back of his hand. We went to morning services in variouis places and were deeply impressed by the spiritual poverty of these churches, by the lack of any congregation and the miserable spiritual status of the clergy, the poverty of their sermons, and the nonchalance and indifference of the ritual.
In one church, I remember — and I think it has a great deal to do with the end of the film — Father and I were sitting together. My father had already been retired for many years, and was old and frail.... Just before the bell begins to toll, we hear a car outside, a shining Volvo: the clergyman climbs out hurriedly, and there is a faint buzz from the vestry, and then the clergyman appears before he ought to — when the bell stops, that is — and says he feels very poorly and that he's talked to the rector and the rector has said he can use an abbrviated form of the service and drop the part at the altar. So there would be just one psalm and a sermon and another psalm. And goes out. Whereon my father, furious, began hammering on the pew, got to his feet and marched out into the vestry, where a long mumbled conversation ensued; after which the churchwarden also went in, then someone ran up the organ gallery to fetch the organist, after which the churchwarden came out and announced that there would be a complete service after all. My father took the service at the altar, but at the beginning and the end.
In some way I feel the end of the play was influenced by my father's intervention — that at all costs one must do what it is one's duty to do, particularly in spiritual contexts. Even if it can seem meaningless.

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