Bergman’s video collection: There's Buñuel and Truffaut, but also The Blues Brothers
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
06/04/2012 - A couple of years ago, when US Oscar-winning actor Michael Douglas visited the late Swedish director Ingmar Bergman’s home on the Baltic island of Fårö, he passed through the director’s video collection, and...”Oh my god! He has seen my film!” Douglas had found a copy of Wall Street.
Bergman was an avid film buff, with a VHS collection of more than 1,500 titles, alphabetically organised, with personal notes on his favourites – "but also several thousand video films that were not catalogued, including a lot of popular culture", recalled Swedish film critic Hynek Pallas.
Pallas, his fellow critic Jane Magnusson and journalist Fatima Varhos are currently finishing Bergman’s Video, a 90-minute documentary (for theatrical) and a 6x60minute television series which will offer "a new insight into the genius of Bergman and portraits of great filmmakers of today".
With focus on six themes: fear, silence, comedy, death, adventure and outsiders – relevant to Bergman and the invited directors and actors – the films will feature interviews with, among others, Woody Allen, Robert de Niro, Michael Haneke, Ang Lee, Lars on Trier, Takeshi Kitano, Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese.
Bergman’s selection comprised predictable filmmakers such as Tarkovsky, Buñuel, Truffaut, but also tapes with The Blues Brothers, Jurassic Park and Ghostbusters. Producing with Sweden’s Gädda Five Production, Swedish pubcaster SVT will air Bergman’s Video later this year, and Swiss-based First Hand Films will handle international sales.
”It is a dream come true, a homage to cinema,” said First Hand Films Managing Director Esther van Messel, who has initially licensed the full package to French distributor Pretty Pictures. Theatrical release in France is set for the second half of 2013.