Ingmar Bergman’s Portrayal of Death and Dreams in His Autobiographically Influenced Films Leading to a New Film Language


This paper argues that the films of the Swedish director, Ingmar Bergman has been inspired from his early life. This autobiographical element in his art forms lead to the creation of unique masterpieces with stylistic techniques which are unprecedented thus giving rise to a completely new language of film. By analyzing four of his films:“Fanny and Alexander”(1982),“Cries and Whispers”(1972),“The Seventh Seal”(1957)and “Wild Strawberries”(1957);I have drawn attention to the way he focused on the metaphysical world unlike his contemporary film makers who made social and economic conditions after the World War II as the central themes of their work of art.The oppressive adult society which led him to create his own world of imagination as a child and escape reality through it gets translated into visual masterpieces through films later in his life.Dreams help to shape our inner psyche just like real experiences do.The unique portrayal of dreams permeating reality and acting as a means of self-realization is focused in the thesis.The realization of the real meaning of life upon confrontation with the timelessness of death plays a central role in many of his films.The thesis argues how Bergman’s films serve not only as an inspiration to other film-makers and as entertainment for the viewers but also takes the spectators on a journey to a parallel world of imagination and dreams rooted in reality,in turn leading to the creation of a new film language.

Author Information
Mousumi Roy, St.Xavier's College, India

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2019
Stream: Film Criticism and Theory

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Posted by amp21