Happy birthday, Ingmar Bergman! Here are some quotes from the film director.
“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.”
“I would say that there is no art form that has so much in common with film as music. Both affect our emotions directly, not via the intellect.”
“We walk in circles, so limited by our own anxieties that we can no longer distinguish between true and false, between the gangster’s whim and the purest ideal.”
“In this profession, I always admire people who are going on, who have a sort of idea and, however crazy it is, are putting it through; they are putting people and things together, and they make something. I always admire this.”
“I want very much to tell, to talk about, the wholeness inside every human being. It’s a strange thing that every human being has a sort of dignity or wholeness in him, and out of that develops relationships to other human beings, tensions, misunderstandings, tenderness, coming in contact, touching and being touched, the cutting off of a contact and what happens then.”
“I write scripts to serve as skeletons awaiting the flesh and sinew of images.”
“Film has dream, film has music. No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight room of the soul.”
“I hope I never get so old I get religious.”
“For me, hell has always been a most suggestive sort of place; but I’ve never regarded it as being located anywhere else than on earth. Hell is created by human beings—on earth!”
“When I was young, I was extremely scared of dying, but now I think it a very, very wise arrangement. It’s like a light that is extinguished. Not very much to make a fuss about.”
“My basic view of things is—not to have any basic view of things. From having been exceedingly dogmatic, my views on life have gradually dissolved. They don’t exist any longer…”
“I’ve a strong impression that our world is about to go under. Our political systems are deeply compromised and have no further uses. Our social behavior patterns—interior and exterior—have proved a fiasco. The tragic thing is, we neither can nor want to, nor have the strength to alter course. It’s too late for revolutions, and deep down inside ourselves we no longer even believe in their positive effects. Just around the corner an insect world is waiting for us—and one day it’s going to roll in over our ultra-individualized existence. Otherwise, I’m a respectable social democrat.”
John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.