When I write I must try to capture something in words which for all useful purposes, you might say, can’t be expressed in words. Later it is necessary to translate the words again so that in quite another context they’ll come alive. To be sure, so long as I have a firm grasp on my point of departure, there will always be an inner relationship between the original vision I had and the completed, materialized picture-sequence.
While that original conception must always be in the background, I must not let it become too dictatorial, since, for one thing, I must be prepared to modify it when I switch from writing to directing. For another, my actors, too, have a right – to say nothing of an obligation – to draw straws, to choose among alternatives. The whole process is essentially creative. You write down a melodic line and after that, with the orchestra, you work out the instrumentation.
-Ingmar Bergman [via]
"I am hopelessly in love with this man. Completely. Because, I don’t know why, I have met him a few times and… I love his work and I love him as a person, if he is a person, which I doubt, because he has no limits; he’s just like quicksilver—all over the place. I have never seen anybody like that before. He is enormously intuitive. He is intuitive; he is creative; he is an enormous force. He is burning inside with such heat. Collapsing. Do you understand what I mean? The heat from his creative mind, it melts him. He suffers from it; he suffers physically from it. One day when he can manage this heat and can set it free, I think he will make pictures you have never seen in your life." — Ingmar Bergman
"He had individual style. There are things you cannot take a course in. You are born with it. He was a first-class clown, with a unique, great concept. In life, when you were with Fellini, you always knew you weren’t with anyone else. He was in his own orbit. When someone like Fellini dies, there is no way to pass on a formula, because there is no formula. What he did came out of the person, out of him. People will study and analyze and copy, and maybe someone will achieve to the point it is said of him, ‘His film is like Fellini.’ But it can only be like Fellini. When you can’t pass it on, it’s the real stuff.” — Billy Wilder
"I once had a dream, or a vision, and I imagined that dream to be of importance to other people, so I wrote the manuscript and made the film. But it is not until the moment when my dream meets with your emotions and your minds that my shadows come to life. It is your recognition that brings them to life. It is your indifference that kills them. I hope that you will understand; that you when you leave the cinema will take with you an experience or a sudden thought—or maybe a question. The efforts of my friends and myself have then not been in vain…" — Ingmar Bergman
Bergman: Everyone went on saying I was an idiot until, ruthlessly, step by step, I had taught myself everything to do with my profession. No one can rap me over the knuckles in technical matters today. And this means that nowadays I can behave much more like an orchestral conductor, imagine a conductor who doesn’t know how to play the various instruments, who can’t show his musicians what they’ve got to do at various places, where the fellow who’s playing the bassoon is to breathe, whether a note should be an up-stroke or a down-stroke, whether the timpanist is to use his arms or his wrists. A conductor who says to his musicians, “Remember, this is a microcosm reflected in a macrocosm, ” or something of that sort, is finished. But if he says, “Breathe here. squeeze your lips together like this. Take an upstroke here. Stress this bit of syncopation, ” then they know what it’s all about. It’s precisely the same with actors and technicians. In the first place, always give them purely technical instructions.
Torsten Manns: Learn their language?