The Bergman 39 challenge

Posted on 25 November 2010



On average I watch a film every two days (I keep a count on my Twitter profile), but to date nobody’s films have moved me as deeply as Ingmar Bergman’s. And nobody’s films have made me consider the world on the same intellectual plane. I realise that sounds pretentious, and sometimes Bergman’s films are exactly that, but I don’t care — it doesn’t take away from his genius.

It was around six or seven years ago that I worked my way through most (but not all) of Bergman’s films, and also some of the TV work he did later in his career. The man was alive and kicking at the time — he was even making a film (Saraband), as it happens. Enough time has passed since then that I remember very little of what it was that inspired or excited me about what I saw. And I find that sad — it’s a shame that I can’t spontaneously rethink the things Bergman made me think. Life would be more interesting if I could.

On the plus side, having a poor memory gives me a good excuse to rewatch all 39 of Bergman’s films and enjoy them all over again. That’s the little challenge I’ve set for myself. It’s what this blog is all about. This time around, I’m going to track down every single film. I’m going to watch them all and write about them all. Whatever it takes, I’m going to do it — even if it takes forever.

I won’t pretend I’m just writing this for myself. I don’t imagine I’ll attract any regular readers but I’d be thrilled if anyone else out there finds this blog and wants to talk movies with me.

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