Life and work of Ullmann and Bergman during over fifty years
The brilliant duet of the Norwegian actress and the Swedish director provided Scandinavian cinema with a pride of the place in the universal film history and influenced largely the further development of independent cinema in the Nordic countries.
The couple met in 1964 and lived together for five years. Having continued their collaboration further on, they created alltogether twelve films, with Liv engaged in nine as actress. Their first collaboration, Persona (1966) was the actress’s debut, and it made her world-famous. According to Bertman, Ulmann was the ‘Stradivarius’ of their collaboration. He discovered her talent for acting out complex female characters inhabiting his films. The result of their cooperation during the 1960s and the 1970s was a number of films and theatre plays: Hour of the Wolf, The Passion of Anna, Cries and Whispers, Scenes from a Marriage (screenplay), Face to Face (screenplay), Autumn Sonata, to name a few.
In the following decades, Bergman continued his work as film director, with a lifelong filmography of over fifty films, many of which may be considered masterpieces, with no exaggeration. One of Bergman’s later films, Fanny and Alexander, received Oscars in four nominations. Beside his work in cinema, Ingmar Bergman was engaged as theatre director and staged plays by Shakespeare, Ibsen, Chekhov and Strindberg. Bergman spent his late years on Faro Island in the Baltic Sea where he had a house.
In 1976, Liv Ullmann tried herself as a writer with her autobiography, Changing, and in 1992 she first appeared as film director in Sofie. A new period for Bergman-Ullmann collaboration started in 1996 when Liv filmed Private Talks (1996) and, later, Faithless (2000), both after Bergman’s scripts.
The exhibition about life and work of Ullmann and Bergman during over fifty years is the result of collaboration between State Museum and Exhibition Centre ROSPHOTO, Consulate General of Norway and Consulate General of Sweden in St.Petersburg. The exhibition comprises images from the collections of the State Library of Norway and Norwegian Film Institute that captured moments of life and work of the couple, often together with other Norwegian and Swedish actors. Many of the images are displayed for the first time.
The exhibition is accompanied by a film screening program that includes four art films, one screenplay and two documentaries. Some of the films are to be shown with Russian translation for the first time.
Dheeraj Akolkar’s documentary that allowes a closer acquaintance with the famous couple, is of special interest. Liv’s narration about her work and personal relationship with Bergman is intertwined with episodes from their film works.
The program also inсludes round table discussion on the influence of Liv Ullmann and Ingmar Bergman on Norwegian and Swedish cinema, and the development of cinema in these countries after the Ullmann – Bergman epoche. The program is completed with lectures by Jan Erik Holst from Norwegian Film Institute and Jannike Olund from Bergman Centre of Faro Island.
Interpretation of the timeless