The most breathtakingly candid series of interviews that the famously reclusive director ever took part in, Bergman Island features legendary filmmaker Ingmar Bergman sitting down just four years before his death with Swedish documentarian Marie Nyreröd in his home on Fårö Island.
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If you like Ingmar Bergman. Otherwise, you may have no interest in this extremely revealing, first-person autobiographical narrative. Very intimate and comprehensive, it includes clips from Bergman's 16mm home movies. He tells the most personal stories of his life, in his home on Faro island (THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY, PERSONA), where he lived out his last years in seclusion, listening to the sound of a ticking clock.
A sweet film showing a different side of Bergman. After everything, when one is alone reflecting on life, what is it that one thinks about? A revealing and cohesive exploration where the man reminisces about the aspects of life his films tried to investigate. His view points have changed in many regards, but isn't that part of growing older? After all his heavy, dark films, Bergman as a human becomes understandable.
Admittedly I skimmed through this to the bit about Bergman's directoral career. Still if your subject is IB, it's almost impossible to screw up completely. (And like many Swedes, Bergman lived in an immaculate, minimal modern wooden house.)
I like that Mari Nyrerod had the good sense to not do a voice-over or constantly stand in the frame looking quizzical like most interviewers. Bergman, though not the fastest speaker (think Ents), is still coherent enough to express himself intelligently and recall his past productions in detail. I could have watched an entire documentary about his various loves. Wish I could see the full-length version.
A good and thorough insight into thoughts, opinions and backgrounds of a great man. And it covers a lot - be it his professional achievements or personal problems, or ludicrous scenes from his childhood. I adore how self-critical Bergman still was after all those years of fame making me appreciate and understand the importance of his contribution even more.