Gunnar Fischer dies at 100

Shot Bergman's 'The Seventh Seal'

Cinematographer Gunnar Fischer, who lensed some of the classic films of Swedish auteur Ingmar Bergman, including “Wild Strawberries” and “The Seventh Seal,” died of natural causes on Saturday in Stockholm. He was 100.

Fischer’s first film for Bergman was 1948’s “Port of Call.” He also shot “Summer Interlude,” “Summer With Monika” and “The Magician,” all during the 1950s.

In “The Seventh Seal,” Max von Sydow is a knight returning from the Crusades who famously plays chess with Death. Of the cinematography in this masterpiece of world cinema Time Out simply says, “Contains some of the most extraordinary images ever committed to celluloid.”

Bergman began using Sven Nykvist as his lenser after 1960’s “The Devil’s Eye.” The director died in 2007.

Fischer was born in Ljungby, Sweden. He studied painting with Otte Skold in Copenhagen and spent three years in the Swedish navy before applying for work at Svensk Filmindustri. He learned cinematography from director Victor Sjostrom’s lenser Julius Jaenzon. His first credit as assistant cameraman came on Smalanningar in 1935. He earned his d.p. credit in 1942.

Fischer worked with other prominent Swedish directors and also with helmers such as the U.K.’s Anthony Asquith and Danish auteur Carl Theodor Dreyer.

Fischer is survived by sons Peter and Jens, both also cinematographers; six granddaughters and five great-grandchildren.

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