Through a Glass, Darkly: The Films of Ingmar Bergman at GoMA

Ingmar Bergman (1918 – 2007) is one of the true luminaries of post-war European cinema. In a career lasting more than half a century, he crafted films with a passion and potency matched by few other directors.

His films are known for their explication of deep religious concerns, their heartfelt understanding of the intricacies of human relationships, and for their arrestingly beautiful imagery. Bergman inspired countless filmmakers with his depth of vision and intelligence, yet the heart and power of his artistry remains inimitable.



This program includes a selection of Bergman’s key directorial works that illustrate the development and breadth of his oeuvre. They are presented alongside a special screening of Victor Sjöström’s The Phantom Carriage 1921, perhaps the single greatest influence on Bergman’s cinematic output. The program also features Bille August’s The Best Intentions 1992, a study of the relationship between Bergman’s parents, and the documentary Trespassing Bergman 2013, wherein major cinematic figures discuss the enduring legacy of Bergman and visit his home on the Swedish island of Fårö.

8.00pm Fri 3 March 2017 / Cinema A / Ticketed
Tickets $16.00 | Conc. $14.00 | Member $13.00

Join GoMA on Friday 3 March for a screening of Victor Sjöström’s The Phantom Carriage 1921, featuring live musical accompaniment from Brisbane band Blank Realm. The film will be screened from an archival 35mm film print, courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra.

‘Through a Glass, Darkly: The Films of Ingmar Bergman’ is a free program of films that explores the cinema of the eponymous director – his work, his influences, and his continuing legacy.

After an initially inauspicious start in the Swedish film industry, Bergman found critical acclaim and burgeoning attention from audiences with films such as the erotically charged Summer with Monika 1953. The grand triumph of Smiles of a Summer Night 1955 further cemented his international reputation as a director of note. He followed up this success with the release of two films, The Seventh Seal 1957 and Wild Strawberries 1957, that would establish the thematic path he would follow for much of the rest of his career.

From this point onwards, Bergman focused intently on writing and directing films that dealt honestly (sometimes painfully so) with the ideas that so preoccupied his thoughts: God and faith, aging and mortality, the relationships between men and women, filial love, and the wandering escape of childhood.

However, Bergman was not a mere pedagogue and his cinematic talents were great. He could mix the harshness of realism with the logic of dreams; he could enrich surrealism with brutal sincerity. Along with his cinematographers (in particular his long-term collaborator Sven Nykvist), he produced some of the iconic images of cinema: from the two faces blending together in Persona 1966 to the knight and Death playing chess on the beach in The Seventh Seal 1957.

His recurring repertory of actors – including Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann and Ingrid Thulin, among others – gave life to his words with consistently powerful and moving performances. They inhabited Bergman’s characters, understanding the critical subtleties needed to render complex portraits of life. Their success was rewarded with accolades from around the world, along with four Academy Awards for Bergman as director.

Körkarlen (The Phantom Carriage) 1921 (Dir. Victor Sjöström)
Sommaren med Monika (Summer with Monika) 1953
Sommarnattens leende (Smiles of a Summer Night) 1955
Det sjunde inseglet (The Seventh Seal) 1957
Smultronstället (Wild Strawberries) 1957
Ansiktet (The Magician) 1958
Jungfrukällan (The Virgin Spring) 1960
Såsom i en spegel (Through a Glass Darkly) 1961
Nattvardsgästerna (Winter Light) 1963
Tystnaden (The Silence) 1963
Persona 1966
Vargtimmen (Hour of the Wolf) 1968
Viskningar och rop (Cries and Whispers) 1972
Scener ur ett äktenskap (Scenes from a Marriage) 1973
Höstsonaten (Autumn Sonata) 1978
Fanny och Alexander (Fanny and Alexander) 1982
Den goda viljan (The Best Intentions) 1992 (Dir. Bille August)
Saraband 2003
Trespassing Bergman 2013 (Dir. Hynek Pallas and Jane Magnusson)

Through a Glass, Darkly: The Films of Ingmar Bergman
GoMA, Brisbane
1 – 19 March 2017