“Light can be gentle, dangerous, dreamlike, bare, living, dead, misty, clear, hot, dark, violet, springlike, falling, straight, sensual, limited, poisonous, calm and soft.”
— Sven Nykvist (pictured here with Ingmar Bergman)
“Erland going up and down the ladder like a firefighter, grumbling that he had never in his life had to work out as much as during the shooting of Tarkovsky’s film and complaining that he would soon have the biceps of King Kong. Kerstin Eriksdotter suggested that we rename the film The Ladder. ‘Why not? The Ladder sound rather good,’ Andrei agreed, adding: ‘Gogol asked for a ladder before he died.’”
“For a long time, Sven Nykvist was puzzled by Andrei’s constant peering through the lens. It even bothered him, until Andrei explained to him that only after looking through the viewfinder of the camera was he able to visualise the mise-en-scène .”
I once heard an anecdote about the great cinematographer, Sven Nykvist.
It was in-between setups on the set of Bergman’s Through a Glass, Darkly and Nykvist was relaxing under a tree with a fellow crew member. A production assistant came over to tell Nykvist that he was needed on set immediately.
The crew member with whom he was sharing a moment of relaxation, turned to him and said: “Sven, let’s hurry, they need you.” Nykvist turned back and replied “No rush, without us, it’s radio”.