After Sweden, Bergman's Video is ready for international travel
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- German-Swiss sales company First Hand Films launched the TV series at MIPCOM and signed the first contracts with Australia and Israel
After Swedish pubcaster SVT has aired Bergman's Video (between August 22-September 26), the six-part television series in which "great filmmakers of today" discuss themes from Swedish director Ingmar Bergman's films, the Fatima Varhos production for Gädda Five-SVT is ready for international travel.
German-Swiss sales company First Hand Films launched the series and the upcoming feature-length documentary (for theatrical release) at the recent MIPCOM market in Cannes and signed the first contracts with SBS for Australia and Channel 8 for Israel. French rights have previously gone to Pretty Pictures.
Bergman (1918-2007) was an avid film buff, with a VHS collection of 1,711 titles, alphabetically organised, with personal notes on his favourites - US directors John McTiernan's Die Hard (1988) and Brian de Palma's Scarface (1983) stood next to Russian director Andrey Tarkovsky's Solaris (1972), Polish director Krzystof Kieslowski's The Decalogue (1990) and Australian director Peter Faiman's Crocodile Dundee (1986).
With a focus on six themes: fear, silence, comedy, death, adventure and outsiders, Swedish film critics Hynek Pallas and Jane Magnusson interview, among others, US directors Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, actor Robert de Niro, Austrian director Michael Haneke, Chinese-American director Ang Lee and Japanese director Takeshi Kitano, some in Bergman's home on Fårö.
French director Claire Denis talks about how silence became central in her filmmaking, as in Bergman's The Silence (1963), and US director Martin Scorsese explains that he often felt excluded from Bergman's films – he simply did not understand them. Meanwhile, Danish director Lars von Trier recalls despondently that Bergman never once answered his many fan letters.