‘Life Could be Very Strange, and Very Hard, and Very Cruel’

Ingmar Bergman gets a tribute to his films at the PFA in February, 2018

Ingmar Bergman gets a tribute to his films at the PFA in February, 2018 (Photo: Brent Waselius/Sony Classics-PFA)

Ingmar Bergman’s films are often compelling and disturbing in equal measure, psychological puzzles about the tragedy of the human condition. In some ways his movies mirror his childhood, when he played with marionettes he’d made himself.

“Life around me,” Bergman recalled in an interview with Dick Cavett from 1971, “the darkness, the emptiness of the house, the sunshine, everything could have some magic inside, that could be suddenly very unsecure, and suddenly I didn’t know if I had dreamt things or if they existed. Life could be very strange, and very hard, and very cruel.”

Liv Ullman in Ingmar Bergman's Saraband
Liv Ullman in Ingmar Bergman’s ‘Saraband.’ (Photo: Courtesy of PFA)

For Bergman’s centennial year, the Pacific Film Archive is programming screenings of his films throughout 2018, starting with a tribute honoring his favorite actress, titled ‘Bergman 100: A Tribute to Liv Ullman,’ including Cries and Whispers, Persona and Hour of the Wolf. It runs Feb. 1–24; details here.

‘Life Could be Very Strange, and Very Hard, and Very Cruel’ 22 December,2017Cy Musiker

Author

Cy Musiker

Cy Musiker co-hosts The Do List and covers the arts for KQED News and The California Report.  He loves live performance, especially great theater, jazz, roots music, anything by Mahler. Cy has an MJ from UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism, and got his BA from Hampshire College. His work has been recognized by the Society for Professional Journalists with their Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service in Journalism. When he can, Cy likes to swim in Tomales Bay, run with his dog in the East Bay Hills, and hike the Sierra.

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