Ingmar Bergman Makes a Movie (1963)

Ingmar Bergman Makes a Movie (Ingmar Bergman gör en film)
Directed by Vilgot Sjöman
Sveriges Radio
First viewing/Netflix rental


To shoot a film is to organize an entire universe. — Ingmar Bergman

Anyone who has an interest in the filmmaking process or in Bergman owes it to himself to see this film.

The movie in question is Winter Light (1963).  We follow the production from an interview with Bergman on scripting, to selecting locations, to rehearsals and actual shooting.  We see the same short scene rehearsed many times and then shot over several takes.  This could be tedious but is fascinating.

The action then moves to the editing process with Bergman sharing additional insights on adding dynamics and rhythm through cutting.  After additional post-production, Bergman is interviewed on his expectations for the film’s reception and his relations with his critics.

I love Bergman and my respect for him went up a notch after watching this documentary. It’s so interesting how the little things matter.  Very highly recommended.


The House Is Black (1963)

The House Is Black (Khaneh siah ast)
Directed by Forugh Farrokhzad
Written by Forugh Farrokhzad
Studio Golestan
First viewing/Netflix rental
One of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die


Narrator: I said, if I had wings of a dove I would fly away and be at rest. I would go far away and take refuge in the desert. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest. For I have seen misery and wickedness on Earth.

This short documentary about people in an Iranian leper colony melds life’s tragedy and God’s love.

Images of people and their daily activities are accompanied by Farrokhzad’s poetry and what I assume are verses from the Koran.  There is a continual stream of gratitude and praise of God accompanying people doing their best to get along.

This could have been just another in a series of 1963 downers provided by the List. Instead, I found it inspiring and thought-provoking.  It’s not an easy film to watch but is a worthwhile experience.