What was it like making Monika?
I didn’t make Monika. [Source novel author and coscreenwriter Per Anders] Fogelström bred her in me and then, like an elephant, I was pregnant for three years, and last summer she was born with a big ballyhoo. Today, she is a beautiful and naughty child. I hope she will cause an emotional uproar and all sorts of reactions. I shall challenge any indifferent person to a duel!
A wild paternal love, indeed!
For most people, a film is a short-lived product, like soap, matches, or polished false teeth. But not for the film director. He lives with his opus (like the devil, he does) until opening night, when he unwillingly surrenders it to the public.
-Ingmar Bergman, in an interview with himself.
"We walk in circles, so limited by our own anxieties that we can no longer distinguish between true and false, between the gangster’s whim and the purest ideal."
"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
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?