"Interviewing Ingmar Bergman" by Ch. Samuels_
The story under analysis called "Interviewing Ingmar Bergman" is an extract from the book "Encountering Directors" written by Ch. Samuels.
The extract is presented in the form of the dialogue of two persons, and in fact, is an interview. One of the characters is an author himself - Ch. Samuels, who asks questions the other character - Ingmar Bergman, a famous Swedish film director, writer and theatre producer. They speak about Ingmar's works and try to come to agreement, 'cause there are things which each of them understands in his own way.
As I see it the main idea of the extract is - one having found his way in this life will be able to use his confidence to resist all troubles and lifetime situations. This we can see in the given extract. Samuels bombards Bergman with questions, exerts every effort to prove him that some of Bergman's creations aren't clear to the audience, but Bergman is sure he has found his way and that's why is unshakable: "…for the heaven's sake a day must always come along when finally one succeeds in understanding his profession!".
Bergman tells why he didn't become a writer and explains it with the lack of words: "I never felt that writing was my cup of tea. And I always lacked words…". Personally I think that a writer is a scientist working with words, and one and the same thing he can define in many ways, giving a great number of synonyms. And when I hear that a writer lacks words to name a thing correctly - that amazes me! This is an exact reason why I think Bergman would never become a smart writer.
On the other hand we see that his psychological films are well known all over the world and many of them won awards. Bergman created his own special world. I believe such people differ from usual human beings, from the bigger grey mass, they see everything in their own foreshortening. That's why their ability to see things we usually don't notice seems to us a bit unique: "I had great difficulty with fiction and reality; as a small child I mixed them up so much…" And that's the reason Bergman speaks with eagerness, not letting Samuels ask him new question - as if he has little time to tell everything he wants:
- Bergman: … I played with my puppet theatre.
- Samuels: And -
- Bergman: Excuse me. I had very few contacts…
- Samuels: I want to interrupt you for just a moment. This description …
What concerns Ch. Samuels's comprehension of films, I guess the impact of films and music on the audience is not comparable, though they work directly on the emotions. In general, people listen to music in order to entertain themselves, just sometimes music raises deep emotions. But after watching a worthy film one gets food for thought, and that may last for a long time. However Bergman doesn't share this idea: "Your approach is wrong. I never asked you to understand, I ask only that you feel."
What matters here is the attitude of Bergman to everything: using less and less music in films, shooting in black and white, predominating dialogues - all this seems rather imprudent. I still believe that good musical accompany makes a better impression on the spectator, that color film is more realistic and that there must be scenes when everything is clear without words.
In a word, Bergman's explanations don't sound convincing and only his awards make me believe he is a genius. Besides, I am of the opinion that experience and skill are of great importance in any field, especially in film making. So, perhaps "by his lips the truth speaks".
In addition, I should mention that Bergman appreciates the critics' words and learns more from them. That seems very wise, 'cause the one learning on one's own mistakes is better taught than the rest. This fact even proves the reason why he got his awards. Here I fully support him.
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