“All things truly wicked start from an innocence.”
February 9, 1960
Dear Mr. Bergman,
You have most certainly received enough acclaim and success throughout the world to make this note quite unnecessary. But for whatever it’s worth, I should like to add my praise and gratitude as a fellow director for the unearthly and brilliant contribution you have made to the world by your films (I have never been in Sweden and have therefore never had the pleasure of seeing your theater work). Your vision of life has moved me deeply, much more deeply than I have ever been moved by any films. I believe you are the greatest film-maker at work today. Beyond that, allow me to say you are unsurpassed by anyone in the creation of mood and atmosphere, the subtlety of performance, the avoidance of the obvious, the truthfulness and completeness of characterization. To this one must also add everything else that goes into the making of a film. I believe you are blessed with wonderful actors. Max von Sydow and Ingrid Thulin live vividly in my memory, and there are many others in your acting company whose names escape me. I wish you and all of them the very best of luck, and I shall look forward with eagerness to each of your films.
I’m often asked by younger filmmakers, why do I need to look at old movies; I’ve made a number of pictures in the past twenty years. And the response I find that I have to give them is that I still consider myself a student. The more pictures I’ve made in the past twenty years the more I realize I really don’t know. And I’m always looking for something to, something or someone that I could learn from. I tell them, I tell the younger filmmakers and the young students that I do it like painters used to do, or painters do: study the old masters, enrich your palette, expand your canvas. There’s always so much more to learn.
Camera Operator Kelvin Pike prepares to shoot a shot in the Pantry set of The Shining. He’s about to film the low angle shot of Jack toying with Wendy at the door. The lightbulb fixture on his chest was used to provide a fill light under Jack Nicholson’s face.
Stanley Kubrick lines up a shot on The Shining’s walk-in pantry set.