Thursday, August 11, 2011

Top Ranked Films of Ingmar Bergman

The films of Swedish master Bergman are a mixed bag, as he can often produce what I consider art, as in The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries, then he can descend into the angst and inner hell of characters in crisis - films like Cries and Whispers and Scenes From a Marriage almost sent me out of the theater. He is definitely a visual master worth studying, by anyone interested in cinema, but don't expect many pleasant hours here, outside of the lighter Fanny and Alexander - this is some serious stuff.

Hey, where's that midnight sun when you need it, eh?

These are all the films of Bergman’s that made the top 1000 in our 2011 update of the Top Ranked 1000 Films on the Net, all polls combined in a big spreadsheet. Bergman was tied with Godard for 3rd highest film count at 12 (after Hitchcock and Scorsese), and was sixth in total points among all directors, pretty lofty heights. (My own results vary, lol.. he's not my favorite; I admire him more than I like or enjoy him, and I suspect this is true of most cinephiles)

1. The Seventh Seal (1957) bw #31 Medieval knight Max von Sydow plays a chess game with Death while fleeing the Black Plague with his family - just another typical Swedish family film
2. Fanny and Alexander (1982) #46 A nostalgic family album kinda film, so un-Bergmanlike that perhaps it had a different sperm donor, I dunno.. maybe he liked Fellini's Amarcord
3. Persona (1966) #86 C'mon man, any two beautiful women I've known that were together in a house this much would have definitely experimented (and I've known many!), this film failed to deliver much of anything but a big audience tease - hey, L'avventura did the same thing now that I think about it, the dressing scene on the boat!
4. Wild Strawberries (1957) #104 Beautiful story, and realistic, just kinda slow like most Bergman films, but very rewarding, my favorite after Seventh Seal
5. Cries and Whispers (1972) #273 Not even Liv Ullman close-ups are worth all this cinematic pain
6. Winter Light (1962) #512
7. Silence, The (1963) #553
8. Smiles of a Summer Night (1955) #559
9. Scenes from a Marriage (1973) #664
10. Through a Glass Darkly (1961) #743
11. Virgin Spring, The (1960) #882
12. Sawdust and Tinsel (1953) #975

See the full list of top ranked 100 directors here: Top Ranked 100 Directors, 2011 Edition

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

your critiques and comments are painful, the way you articulate and express your opinions and "jokes" seem more like you should be watching exclusively hollywood as hell budget popcorn movies. doucheeeeeebagggg