Tomas Alfredson, Pernilla August, SVT Link for ‘Bergman Revisited’

A six-part feature omnibus inspired by Ingmar Bergman is presented at Sweden’s Goteborg Festival

Bergman Revisited
Photo: Jan Göransson

GOTEBORG — Tomas Alfredson, Pernilla August, Lisa Aschan and Jane Magnusson are among local filmmakers participating in “Bergman Revisited” – a series of new short films by Swedish directors, inspired by Bergman’s spirit and universe and backed by the Swedish Film Institute and Swedish pubcaster SVT.

Celebrating the centenary of Ingmar Bergman’s birth in 2018, “Bergman Revisted” will also feature shorts by Lisa Aschan and Jane Magnusson.

The centenary of Swedish legendary director Ingmar Bergman’s birth in 2018 looks set to spark major centenary events, one of the biggest being “Bergman Revisited, which was presented Monday at Sweden’s 40th Göteborg Film Festival by the chairman of the Ingmar Bergman Foundation, Jan Holmberg. Also presenting were Swedish directors Tomas Alfredson, Jesper Walderstam and Jane Magnusson. The local filmmakers, six in all, will tap SEK 1 million ($110,000) from the Institute and SVT to make the films.

As Swedish producer and editor of SVT Shorts Helena Ingelsten explained in Goteborg: ”Everyone has their own Bergman – or in any case had!”

She added: “‘Traces of Bergman will be felt in these  films from some of our most interesting, active directors and artists. A new generation gets a chance to discover Bergman; an older generation will have the opportunity to meet him in a new guise,” Ingelsten summed up.

Presented in Göteborg, the six short film projects will be world-premiered next year at the festival, which had a special relationship with the director: He was honorary chairman of the festival till his death in 2007.

“We worked together in many ways,” explained the festival’s artistic director, Jonas Holmberg, citing the 2007 launch of the Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award, which is given annually to a newcomer with a special talent, picked from eight nominées.

Bergman said himself of the award, Holberg reminded  journalists, that it was “an encouragement to young filmmakers to deal with important issues at a time when the film world is beginning to look more like a business for butchers and prostitutes!”

“The festival and its then artistic director Jannike Åhlund also contributed to instigating the annual Bergman Week on his island of Fårø, where she later became its artistic director. Until his death Bergman used to turn up unannounced to participate in the events. – Here he was also active in the programming: in 2000 he chose 35 films for Bergman’s 1900s, also presented in a book; and, in 2006, he showed his silent film favourites in Bergman’s Choices: At the Origin of Cinema.

Goteborg has co-produced several films about Bergman, such as former artistic director Gunnar Bergdahl’s “Bergman’s Voice,” which was launched at Venice in 1997, and “Ingmar Bergman: Intermezzo,” selected for Directors’ Fortnight in 2002’s Cannes.

Bergman also co-wrote some of Goteborg’s publications, among others the preface to the book about his once rival in Swedish cinema, Hasse Ekman, “A Little Book on Hasse,” published in 1993, Holmberg ended up saying.

The six short film projects in the omnibus, “Bergman Revisited:

”Bergman’s Reliquarium.” Dir: Tomas Alfredson. Idea, concept: Jesper Waldersten. Prod: Fatima Varhos, for Another Park Film. A visual association playing with Bergman’s most sacred secrets.

”The Bone.” Dir: Jane Magnusson. Scr: Magnusson, Liv Strömquist. Illustration: Liv Strömquist. Prod: Cecilia Nessen, for B-Reel Features.  A film about Bergman’s best side.

”Scenes from the Night.” Dir: Pernilla August. Scr: Cilla Naumann. Prod: Anna Anthony, for Avanti Film. A tale about a man and woman who meet on a boat in the archipelago for a love weekend of love. They have completely agreed on the conditions for their secret relationship, but the night on a desolate island changes everything.

“Ariel.” Dir/Scr: Linus Tunström. Prod: Anders Landström, for FilmLance International. “When Philip and Anna discovers that their newly-born daughter is not like other babies – she has wings – they react in different ways:  Anna sees it as a miracle, Phillip as a stigma,” the synopsis reads.

“God’s Silence.” Dir: Lisa Aschan. Scr: Aschan, Isabel Cruz Liljegren. Prod: Anna-Maria Kantarius, for Garagefilm International. Inspired by Bergman’s ”The Silence” (1963),  Aschan and Liljegren are inspired by silence, but replace Bergman’s gaze by their own. A shot which promises magnetic love and lesbian scenes, when its protagonists, Ester and Anna, break their silence.

“The Infection.” Dir/Scr: Patrik Eklund. Prod: Mathias Fjellström, for Salmonfox. A short in which a married couple visit a marriage counsellor. The small annoyances that have characterised their relationship have recently become more apparent, the synopsis suggests. In typical Bergman style, they leave the clinic full of doubt.