Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007) was one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. His films could be seen as a realization of Wagner’s ambition to create a “total work of art”: they are brilliantly written, superbly acted and directed, with stunning photography and camera work, and all deeply indebted to Bergman’s lifelong preoccupation with classical music. In telling stories of varied complexity, Bergman expresses and explores–with considerable psychological sophistication and sometimes with humor–human emotions, relationships and solitude, the meaning of life and the role of art in it. We will analyze and discuss Bergman’s evolving filmmaking technique, his aesthetics, and his philosophical preoccupations. We will read his screenplays,his memoir The Magic Lantern, and select critical responses to his work–including Bergman’s own mature self-evaluation. The focus of the course will be on a necessarily small selection of Bergman’s films. Time permitting, we will see Smiles of a Summer Night, Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, Through a Glass Darkly, Persona, Cries and Whispers, Face to Face, Scenes from a Marriage, and Sarabande. The last week will be devoted to viewing and discussing of Bergman’s masterpiece, Fanny and Alexander.
The Class: Format: wsp project
Requirements/Evaluation: requirements class attendance and participation; weekly short papers (about 1000 words each); and a final paper, about 5 pages long
Extra Info: Class meetings will be in the afternoons, 3-4 times a week; film screenings, followed by discussions, will be in the evenings, 4 times a week, typically 7-10 pm.; only students willing to devote evening time to the class should apply.
Enrollment Preferences: in case of overenrollment, preference will be given to students who demonstrate a strong interest in the course
Materials/Lab Fee: cost to student $20-40 for the reading packet and/or books