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Bergman always put up an act together, even in his personal life: Jannike Ahlund

Bergman always put up an act together, even in his personal life: Jannike Ahlund

By Radhika Sharma Panaji, Nov 21 (PTI) Ingmar Bergman was a master craftsman in every sense of the term and journalist-critic Jannike Ahlund Wednesday said the legendary Swedish filmmaker was always ready to organise an act if need be, even when it came to his personal life.This year the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) is celebrating the legacy Bergman through 'Wild at Heart Master in His Craft: Retrospective section of Ingmar Bergman' as 2018 marks the 100-year anniversary of the iconic filmmaker's birth.The In-Conversation session was moderated by Sunit Tandon and featured Ahlund and Ulrika Sundberg, Consul General, General Consulate of Sweden in Mumbai.At the event, Sundberg recalled Bergman's trip to India and the mutual respect he and Satyajit Ray had for each other."There is also an Indian connection that comes to mind. First, that he came to India in 1947 for his film 'A Ship Bound for India" and second is his relationship with Indian auteur Satyajit Ray."The professional respect and friendship between these two legends is widely known and spoken of. In 1964, Ray presented him with the Selznick Golden Laurel Award for his film 'Winter Light'," she added.Bergman, famous for his films on themes of existential problems of the human race, wrote two autobiographical works: "Laterna Magica" and "Images: My Life in Film", which were more interesting than his films, said Ahlund."It's extremely boring when you put the film opposite to the person's autobiography. There are many quotation marks Is this true? Is this his life? When you study Bergman, when you interpret his films, if you use his own writing, his own description and views, he is the most untrustworthy source of information you can have. He does what his forte is all the time - as an artiste, she said.Ahlund even goes on to call Bergmans three lies in one of the autobiographies, adding these books should be called novels as they make for a fascinating read.Its a great read. Fascinating but in the first sentence there are three lies, which are - His mother delivered him after she had the Spanish flu, she did not. That he was baptised acutely fearing that he would die - he was not and there was something else, she said as the audience erupted with laughter.Bergman was obsessed with his films and that was his life, Tandon said.Ahlund added to it, saying the director-writer could be called a workaholic, who regularly paid its price in his turbulent personal life.He checked himself into a private hospital in Stockholm. He had really worked himself to exhaustion, she recalled.The filmmaker married five times to - Else Fisher, Ellen Lundstrm, Gun Grut, Kbi Laretei, Ingrid von Rosen -- and had nine children from these marriages.Tandon pointed out how when Bergman once morosely said to one of his children that I was never much a father to you, the child's reply was: You were never a father at all!He managed somehow to stay friendly with the wives, the fiancees, but the children did not see much of him, Ahlund said."His youngest son Daniel - who also directed a feature from one of Bergmans scripts called Sunday's Children was drawn into the cinema world... Daniel has said that This was the only way I could ever meet my father. So, children were not a preoccupation for Bergman.Sundberg said Bergman is more of a giant in international cinema context than at back home in Sweden.In his centennial year, now it has really been brought into focus at home base in Sweden that how much of a giant he was in the international context. Most of the issues, the themes he raises in films are really timeless. So we will all always be interested in the lack of human relationships and communication, which really is his number one overall theme. - whether it appears between parents and children or married couple... or individuals and God or absent God as it were, she said.The retrospective on Bergman was opened by his film "Wild Strawberries" and other six films will also be screened eight-day IFFI.A documentary on Bergman titled "Bergman Island", which presents the master behind the camera, is one of the movies being screened at the festival, which runs till November 28. PTI RDS BKBK