Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Since today is Bastille Day, I tried my best to find a French hero (good luck with that), to assume the mantle of hero of the day, however, as usual, the French failed, and besides it would have taken a big time hero to unseat the fellow above. His name is Ingmar Bergman, and he was born this day 1918, in Uppsala, Sweden.
He was born the son of a nurse, and a Lutheran minister that later when on to be the chaplain to the King of Sweden. I am sure this religious upbringing, though he claimed to have lost his faith at the age of eight, lead to his somewhat "bleak" outlook expressed so eloquently in his films. His first foray in to film was writing the screenplay for the 1944 film "Torment" it is a lovely film, and I recommend it. However, the film that he made that puts in squarely on the hero podium is 1957's "Seventh Seal." Not an uplifting film, but it is absolutely fantastic. I also recommend "Wild Strawberries." Few of his films were run away commercial successes, and few of them were overly happy films. He even said in a 2004 interview that he could not watch his films anymore because they depressed him. His films are pretty bleak, and he was his own screenwriter, often thinking about films months or years before he began writing. Three of those films did win the Oscar for best Foreign Film, so even though they weren't blockbusters, they were damn good films. Woody Allen, a fairly good film maker himself, called him "probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera." Not a bad thing to have said about you, and even better considering the source. So, for making such bleak, yet still lovely films. Ingmar Bergman (July 14th, 1918-July 30th, 2007, at the age of 89), you are my (325th) hero of the day.

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