Quotes by Ingmar Bergman

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To humiliate and be humiliated, I think, is a crucial element in our whole social structure. It's not only the artist I'm sorry for. It's just that I know exactly where he feels most humiliated. more...

The older I become, the more I think about my mother. more...

Either I did away with that fear through writing, or in the course of writing, I discovered it was no longer so intrusive or threating. The bottom line is, it's gone. more...

To feel. To trust the feeling. I long for that more...

I supply my own angels and demons. I exist on a stony beach, which lowers itself in waves toward a protective ocean. A dog barks; a child cries; the day sinks and becomes night. You can never scare me. No human being will be able to scare me ever again. I have a prayer that I repeat to myself in absolute stillness: May a wind come to stir up the ocean and the stifling twilight. May a bird come from water out there and explode the silence with its call. more...

I am conscious about myself and everything, and then suddenly, or slowly, my conscious fades out. Switches off. And it's not existing, and that's a marvelous feeling. That from existing, I am not existing. And at that moment, nothing can happen to me. more...

Here, in my solitude, I have the feeling that I contain too much humanity. more...

Death: Do you never stop questioning? Antonius Block: No. I never stop. more...

I want to confess as best I can, but my heart is void. The void is a mirror. I see my face and feel loathing and horror. My indifference to man has shut me out. I live now in a world of ghosts, a prisoner in my dreams. more...

The film medium is some sort of magic. I think also it's a magic that every frame comes and stands still for a fraction of a second and then it darkens. A half part of the time when you see a picture you sit in complete darkness. Isn't that fascinating? That is magic. more...

Film as dream, film as music. No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight room of the soul. A little twitch in our optic nerve, a shock effect: twenty-four illuminated frames a second, darkness in between, the optic nerve incapable of registering darkness. more...

I have thus decided to make a certain film and now begins the complicated and difficult-to-master work. To transfer rhythms, moods, atmosphere, tensions, sequences, tones and scents into words and sentences in a readable or at least understandable script. This is difficult but not impossible. more...

I know, of course, that by using film we can bring in other previously unknown worlds, realities beyond reality. more...

I know that I shall have lost to the jungle if I take a weak moral standpoint or relax my mental punctiliousness. I have therefore come to a certain belief which is based on three powerful effective commandments: THOU SHALT BE ENTERTAINING AT ALL TIMES. THOU SHALT OBEY THY ARTISTIC CONSCIENCE AT ALL TIMES. THOU SHALT MAKE EACH FILM AS IF IT WERE THY LAST. more...

I could always live in my art but never in my life more...

I feel very strongly that I'm surrounded by other realities. more...

One has to manage alone as best one can. (Karin Bergman) more...

I usually take a walk after breakfast, write for three hours, have lunch and read in the afternoon. Demons don't like fresh air - they prefer it if you stay in bed with cold feet; for a person who is as chaotic as me, who struggles to be in control, it is an absolute necessity to follow these rules and routines. If I let myself go, nothing will get done. more...

Occasionally I sense an insane wail deep down in the pit, the echo alone reaching me, striking without warning, a child weeping uninhibitedly, imprisoned forever. more...

Perhaps we are the same person. Perhaps we have no limits; perhaps we flow into each other, stream through each other, boundlessly and magnificently. You bear terrible thoughts; it is almost painful to be near you. At the same time it is enticing. Do you know why? more...

I want to stop. I want to stay on Faro, and read the books I haven't read, find out things I haven't yet found out. I want to write things I haven't written. To listen to music, and talk to my neighbors. To live together with my wife a very calm, very secure, very lazy existence, for the rest of my life. more...

Sometimes I go for days without speaking to a soul. I think, "I should make that call", but I put it off. Because there's something pleasurable about not talking. But then I love talking, so it's not that. But sometimes it can be nice. It's not like I sit here philosophizing, because I've no talent for that. It's just this thing about silence that's so wonderful. more...

When you feel perpetually unmotivated, you start questioning your existence in an unhealthy way; everything becomes a pseudo intellectual question you have no interest in responding whatsoever. This whole process becomes your very skin and it does not merely affect you; it actually defines you. So, you see yourself as a shadowy figure unworthy of developing interest, unworthy of wondering about the world - profoundly unworthy in every sense and deeply absent in your very presence. more...

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. more...

I'm planning, you see, to try to confine myself to the truth. That's hard for an old, inveterate fantasy martyr and liar who has never hesitated to give truth the form he felt the occasion demanded. more...

Say anything you want against The Seventh Seal. My fear of death - this infantile fixation of mine - was, at that moment, overwhelming. I felt myself in contact with death day and night, and my fear was tremendous. When I finished the picture, my fear went away. I have the feeling simply of having painted a canvas in an enormous hurry - with enormous pretension but without any arrogance. I said, 'Here is a painting; take it, please. more...

When we experience a film, we consciously prime ourselves for illusion. Putting aside will and intellect, we make way for it in our imagination. The sequence of pictures plays directly on our feelings. Music works in the same fashion; 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. And film is mainly rhythm; it is inhalation and exhalation in continuous sequence. more...

This damned ranting about doom. Is that food for the minds of modern people? Do they really expect us to take them seriously? more...

I liked Truffaut a lot, I've felt a lot of admiration for his way to address the audience, and his storytelling.... La nuit americaine is adorable, and another film I like to see is L'enfant sauvage , with its fine humanism. more...

Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls. more...

I hope I never get so old I get religious. more...

Everything is worth precisely as much as a belch, the difference being that a belch is more satisfying. more...

I write scripts to serve as skeletons awaiting the flesh and sinew of images. more...

When you die, you are extinguished. From being you will be transformed to non-being. A god does not necessarily dwell among our capricious atoms. more...

We worked on 'Fanny and Alexander' for seven months and it was an amusing production. Still, it was very long and heavy and so awfully complicated, .. And when the premiere was over and everything went well, I thought, 'That's that.' . more...

I have a lot of tics and phobias. I hate to travel. I hate to go to festivals. I hate it when somebody gets close behind me. I'm scared of the darkness. I hate open doors. more...

All of us collect fortunes when we are children. A fortune of colors, of lights, and darkness, of movement, of tensions. Some of us have the fantastic chance to go back to his fortune when grown up. more...

Well, we're grasping for two things at once. Partly for communion with others - that's the deepest instinct in us. And partly, we're seeking security. By constant communion with others we hope we shall be able to accept the horrible fact of our total solitude. more...

I was a very unpleasant young man. If I met the young Ingmar today I'd say, 'You're very talented and I'll try to help you, but I don't want anything else to do with you. more...

Art lost its basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an umbilical cord and now lives its own sterile life, generating and degenerating itself. In former days the artist remained unknown and his work was to the glory of God. more...

I think I have made just one picture that I really like... more...

I am very much aware of my own double self... The well-known one is very under control; everything is planned and very secure. The unknown one can be very unpleasant. I think this side is responsible for all the creative work - he is in touch with the child. more...

Most of my conscious efforts have ended in embarrassing failure... more...

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. more...

The individualists stare into each other's eyes and yet deny the existence of each other. more...

I think I'm Swedish because I like to live here on this island. You can't imagine the loneliness and isolation in this country. In that way, I'm very Swedish - I don't dislike to be alone. more...

There are moments when I can wander through my childhood's landscape, through rooms long ago, remember how they were furnished, where the pictures hung on the walls, the way the light fell. It's like a film - little scraps of a film, which I set running and which I can reconstruct to the last detail - except their smell. more...

There is no art form that has so much in common with film as music. Both affect our emotions directly, not via the intellect. more...

I am so 100 percent Swedish... Someone has said a Swede is like a bottle of ketchup - nothing and nothing and then all at once - splat. I think I'm a little like that. more...

Today we say all art is political. But I'd say all art has to do with ethics. Which after all really comes to the same thing. It's a matter of attitudes. more...

People ask what are my intentions with my films - my aims. It is a difficult and dangerous question, and I usually give an evasive answer... more...

For me, in those days, the great question was: Does God exist? Or doesn't God exist? Can we, by an attitude of faith, attain to a sense of community and a better world? Or, if God doesn't exist, what do we do then? What does our world look like then? In none of this was there the least political colour. more...

Our social relationships are limited, most of the time, to gossip and criticizing people's behavior. This observation slowly pushed me to isolate from the so-called social life. My days pass by in solitude. more...

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 more...

No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight room of the soul. more...

Only someone who is well prepared has the opportunity to improvise. more...

The demons are innumerable, arrive at the most inappropriate times and create panic and terror... but I have learned that if I can master the negative forces and harness them to my chariot, then they can work to my advantage.... Lilies often grow out of carcasses' arseholes. more...

Self-portraiture is something one should never get involved in, since it is wrong to lie even though one endeavours to tell the truth. more...

I don't watch my own films very often. I become so jittery and ready to cry... and miserable. I think it's awful. more...

No other art-medium-neither painting nor poetry-can communicate the specific quality of the dream as well as the film can. When the lights go down in the cinema and this white shining point opens up for us, our gaze stops flitting hither and thither, settles and becomes quite steady. We just sit there, letting the images flow out over us. Our will ceases to function. We lose our ability to sort things out and fix them in their proper places. We're drawn into a course of events-we're participants in a dream. And manufacturing dreams, that's a juicy business. more...

When film is not a document, it is dream. That is why Tarkovsky is the greatest of them all. He moves with such naturalness in the room of dreams. He doesn't explain. What should he explain anyhow? He is a spectator, capable of staging his visions in the most unwieldy but, in a way, the most willing of media. All my life I have hammered on the doors of the rooms in which he moves so naturally. Only a few times have I managed to creep inside. Most of my conscious efforts have ended in embarrassing failure - THE SERPENT'S EGG, THE TOUCH, FACE TO FACE and so on more...

My discovery of Tarkovsky's first film was like a miracle. Suddenly, I found myself standing at the door of a room the keys of which had, until then, never been given to me. It was a room I had always wanted to enter and where he was moving freely and fully at ease. I felt encouraged and stimulated: someone was expressing what I had always wanted to say without knowing how. Tarkovsky is for me the greatest, the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream. more...

Artistic license sneered through the thin fabric. more...

I'd prostitute my talents if it would further my cause, steal if there was no way out, killing my friends or anyone else if it would help my art. more...

To shoot a film is to organize an entire universe. more...

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. more...

We make each other alive; it doesn't make a difference if it hurts. more...

Then I felt that every inflection of my voice, every word in my mouth, was a lie, a play whose sole purpose was to cover emptiness and boredom. There was only one way I could avoid a state of despair and a breakdown. To be silent. And to reach behind the silence for clarity or at least try to collect the resources that might still be available to me. more...

I have always had the ability to attach my demons to my chariot. more...

A film causes me so many worries and such a lot of reactions that I have to love it in order to get over it and past it. more...

I make all my decisions on intuition. But then, I must know why I made that decision. I throw a spear into the darkness. That is intuition. Then I must send an army into the darkness to find the spear. That is intellect. more...

Old age is like climbing a mountain. You climb from ledge to ledge. The higher you get, the more tired and breathless you become, but your views become more extensive. more...

I am living permanently in my dream, from which I make brief forays into reality. more...

Fellini, Kurosawa, and Bunuel move in the same field as Tarkovsky. Antonioni was on his way, but expired, suffocated by his own tediousness. more...

Tarkovsky for me is the greatest [director], the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream. more...

I feel very strongly that I'm surrounded by other realities. more...

Growing older is like climbing a mountain: the higher you get, the more strength you need, but the further you see. more...

When we experience a film, we consciously prime ourselves for illusion. Putting aside will and intellect, we make way for it in our imagination. The sequence of pictures plays directly on our feelings. more...

One of ennui's most terribel components is the overwhelming feeling of ennui that comes over you whenever you try to explain it. more...

I want to be one of the artists in the cathedral on the great plain. I want to make a dragon's head, an angel, a devil - or perhaps a saint - out of stone. more...

Among today's directors I'm of course impressed by Steven Spielberg and Scorsese, and Coppola, even if he seems to have ceased making films, and Steven Soderbergh - they all have something to say, they're passionate, they have an idealistic attitude to the filmmaking process. Soderbergh's Traffic is amazing. Another great couple of examples of the strength of American cinema is American Beauty and Magnolia. more...

I want knowledge. Not belief. Not surmise. But knowledge. I want God to put out His hand, show His face, speak to me. more...

We make each other alive; it does' make a difference if it hurts. more...

The theater is like a faithful wife. The film is the great adventure - the costly, exacting mistress. more...

First, I write down all I know about the story, at length and in detail. Then I sink the iceberg and let some of it float up just a little. more...

Art lost its basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship... In former days the artist remained unknown and his work was to the glory of God. more...

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. more...

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. more...

Love her? You're devoid of all feeling. You lack common decency. You know how to express yourself. You always have just the right words. There's just one thing you haven't the slightest clue about: life itself. You're a craven coward, but a genius at evasions and excuses. more...

You find him disgusting with his thick mouth and ugly body and wet appealing eyes. You think he's disgusting and you're afraid. more...

The Seventh Seal is one of the few films really close to my heart. Actually, I don't know why. It's certainly far from perfect. I had to contend with all sorts of madness, and one can detect here and there the speed with which it was made. But I find it even, strong, and vital. more...

I usually take a walk after breakfast, write for three hours, have lunch and read in the afternoon. Demons do' like fresh air - they prefer it if you stay in bed with cold feet; for a person who is as chaotic as me, who struggles to be in control, it is an absolute necessity to follow these rules and routines. If I let myself go, nothing will get done. more...

I want to stop. I want to stay on Faro, and read the books I have' read, find out things I have' yet found out. I want to write things I have' written. To listen to music, and talk to my neighbors. To live together with my wife a very calm, very secure, very lazy existence, for the rest of my life. more...

Sometimes I go for days without speaking to a soul. I think, "I should make that call", but I put it off. Because there's something pleasurable about not talking. But then I love talking, so it's not that. But sometimes it can be nice. It's not like I sit here philosophizing, because I"ve no talent for that. It's just this thing about silence that's so wonderful. more...

I make all my decisions on intuition. I throw a spear into the darkness. That is intuition. Then I must send an army into the darkness to find the spear. That is intellect. more...

The world is a den of thieves, and night is falling. Evil breaks its chains and runs through the world like a mad dog. The poison affects us all. No one escapes. Therefore let us be happy while we are happy. Let us be kind, generous, affectionate and good. It is necessary and not at all shameful to take pleasure in the little world. more...

There's always a tension in me between my urge to destroy and my will to live... Every morning I wake up with a new wrath, a new suspiciousness, a new desire to live. more...


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