The Malta Independent 17 June 2024, Monday
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Celebrating the cinematic genius of Ingmar Bergman

Sunday, 17 September 2023, 08:00 Last update: about 10 months ago

A retrospective at Spazju Kreattiv Cinema

In celebration of one of the most renowned filmmakers in cinematic history, Spazju Kreattiv Cinema will in the coming weeks host a retrospective of iconic Swedish director Ingmar Bergman's masterpieces. This retrospective promises to take audiences on a captivating journey through Bergman's thought-provoking and emotionally charged films, showcasing his unparalleled ability to explore the depths of the human psyche.

Wild Strawberries (1957), known for its profound introspection, will kick off the retrospective this month. Professor Isak Borg gets to confront his past and his own mortality while travelling to receive an honorary degree. During the trip, he traverses memories, reveries and illuminating encounters with family members and strangers alike. Famous for its early dream sequence, the film is most impressive for its rich, vivid characteristics from a superb cast of Bergman regulars. The Seventh Seal (1957) follows at the end of September. This timeless classic delves into themes of faith and existentialism as a mediaeval knight challenges death to a game of chess. Packed with powerful images, it punctuates its bleakness with moments of pleasingly pawky humour.

The Virgin Spring (1960) will be the third film to captivate audiences in October. Its powerful and thought-provoking plot is set in mediaeval Sweden and is known for its stark and brutal portrayal of the human condition, as well as its exploration of themes such as faith, revenge and redemption. It is regarded as one of Bergman's most compelling and influential works, known for its stark cinematography and its exploration of profound moral and existential questions. Later on in October, Persona (1966), one of many of Bergman masterpieces, will be screened. Celebrated for its innovative storytelling and experimental filmmaking techniques, it is often cited as a prime example of arthouse cinema. Its exploration of identity and the inner workings of the human mind has made it a subject of extensive analysis and interpretation by scholars and cinephiles alike. It remains a classic of world cinema and a testament to Bergman's storytelling prowess and innovative filmmaking techniques.

As November approaches, prepare for an emotional rollercoaster with Cries and Whispers (1972), offering a visual and emotional feast for the senses. Bergman's striking use of colour - a rich colour palette dominated by reds and whites - was innovative at the time and the haunting exploration of suffering and redemption make this film a true masterpiece. It received critical acclaim upon its release and earned several Academy Award nominations, including Best Director and Best Screenplay.

Finally, the retrospective concludes with Autumn Sonata (1978). This poignant mother-daughter drama, features legendary actress Ingrid Bergman, as she returned to Swedish cinema to collaborate with Ingmar Bergman (no relation) for the first time. It's an emotionally charged drama that explores themes of family, reconciliation and the complex dynamics between a mother and daughter.

Each of these films is a testament to Bergman's genius, known for his ability to plumb the depths of human emotion and existential questioning. His films have left an indelible mark on cinema, inspiring countless filmmakers worldwide. This is why as the only arthouse cinema in Malta, Spazju Kreattiv Cinema will provide an opportunity for both devoted Bergman enthusiasts and newcomers to experience these cinematic treasures on the big screen.

The full film programme can be accessed on


Photos: British Film Institute

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