There’s no denying that Ingmar Bergman made a lasting impression on so many great filmmakers. But it’s often hard to wrap our heads around the fact that Bergman changed the whole course of cinematic history and helped to shape the landscape of filmmaking today.
There’s something wonderful about seeing the likes of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Claire Denis, and Wes Craven, going out of their way to make the journey to visit Bergman’s humble residence on the remote island of Faro. And seeing their reactions as they first step inside the house. Their gleeful, awestruck expressions show us a human side to this highly acclaimed and talented directors. It feels like we are witnessing something deeply personal, and we feel worshipful to be along for the journey. This is a rare event, very few have stepped inside the house of Bergman.
Directors Jane Magnusson and Hynek Pallas’ decision to use previously unseen behind-the-scenes footage from the making of Bergman’s films, along with candid conversations with other filmmakers, help to weave the story of the great director. Detailing his early days, to his peak in the 50s and 60s, to his slump in the 70s and the return to his form in the 80s.
The feature came out of a six-part 2012 TV series titled “Bergman’s Video.” with each episode centering with a central topic from Bergman’s films (for example, “Death,” “Fear,” “Silence”) and how that theme played out in the interviewed filmmakers’ work. For Trespassing Bergman, the directors decided to focus on the effect and impression that Bergman’s work had on the likes of great directors such as Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Michael Haneke, Ang Lee and Zhang Yimou.
Exchanging their shoes for slippers at the door, the Bergman property guests explore the carefully preserved building, which, which after Bergman’s death in 2007, was turned into a museum (everything left how it was when the man died, a bedside table complete with his scribblings reveals something pedantic about the director). Most of the guest often sit down into comfy chairs in the TV room to talk. The room has an extensive, carefully alphabetized collection of VHS tapes, (we discover that Bergman had a copy of Die Hard, it seems surreal to think of him sitting down to watch the 80s action flick).