Best Films of Ingmar Bergman

Ingmar Bergman, Swedish filmmaker

Swedish virtuoso Ernst Ingmar Bergman is widely regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers of the 20th century. Bergman shot to global fame with his 1957 existential masterpiece, The Seventh Seal, thus marking the beginning of his tryst with cinematic excellence that would continue for almost five decades to come. The Seventh Seal also introduced Swedish Cinema to the West in the same way as Rashomon had introduced Japanese Cinema to the Occident. Bergman often relied upon his art to scorch the innate indifference of the humans against the rest of their race. He used cinema as a medium to pose severe questions to his viewers, thus unmasking their innermost fears, and laying bare their hypocritical and duplicitous nature. Bergman wanted his audience to break out of their chimerical existence and come fact-to-face with the reality. 

Bergman's often employed the use of extreme, relentless facial close-ups to portray the guilt and tribulation of his hapless, nigh paranoid characters. One unique feature of Bergman’s earlier works was the undercurrent of dark, scurrilous humor, but as his works grew somber, this undercurrent of humor was replaced by a stark, seething sarcasm aimed to sear the indifference and ignorance of the ruck. Bergman once said of his movies, “I don't want to produce a work of art that the public can sit and suck aesthetically… I want to give them a blow in the small of the back, to scorch their indifference, to startle them out of their complacency.” Such was the impact of Bergman's avant-garde works that, unlike most of his contemporaries, he usually experienced unqualified creative freedom. Bergman’s multidimensional works, always being more than the sum of their parts, succeeded in fathoming the hitherto unfathomable depths of the human psyche that not only refined cinema but also redefined it.

Top 10 Movies by Ingmar Bergman (as per IMDb user ratings)

2). Wild Strawberries (1957)
3). Persona (1966)
4). The Virgin Spring (1960)
5). Autumn Sonata (1978)
6). Fanny and Alexander (1982)
7). Through a Glass Darkly (1961)
8). The Silence (1963)
9). Cries & Whispers (1972)
10). Winter Light (1963)

Top 5 Movies by Ingmar Bergman (Author’s Pick)

1). The Seventh Seal (1957)
2). Wild Strawberries (1957)
3). Cries & Whispers (1972)
4). Winter Light (1963)
5). Persona (1966)

Bibi Anderson and Liv Ullmann in Ingmar Bergman's Persona

the virgin spring, directed by ingmar bergman

cries and whispers, directed by ingmar bergman

Wild Strawberries, Directed by Ingmar Bergman

Gunnar Björnstrand and Ingrid Thulin in Ingmar Bergman's Winter Light

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  1. I've been his biggest admirer. Glad that you're taking out time to bring to light some of the best filmmakers. Great work, buddy :)

  2. Thanks for those kind words, Hari... I really feel obliged!!! :-)

  3. Wonderful Write up on Bergman's movies. Persona is the only movie, i haven't yet watched in this list.

  4. So many movies to see, where is the time :p

  5. Bergman's my favorite director, I've seen every one of his movies (except for the TV movies, and I've seen most of those, too). My personal top 5: 1. Scenes from a Marriage 2. Fanny and Alexander 3. The Seventh Seal 4. Shame 5. Winter Light

  6. Well, I am glad to hear that! Thanks a lot, Martin for sharing your list of Bergman's Best Films. Bergman truly was a master of his art... the director's director, to be more precise!!! :-)

  7. Hats off to you for choosing ur favourite bergman films which cant ever can do, people like bergman may be dead there may not have been any physical existence of bergman but he's forever through his beliefs through his writings, films thats the power of the cinema. As long as the medium of cinema exists bergman's name will forever be there.

  8. Glad you liked it... Bergman's name indeed will be remembered for a long long time to come!!!


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