Saturday, August 29, 2015

Happy 100th Birthday Ingrid Bergman!

Happy Birthday Ingrid Bergman! Today would have been Ingrid's centennial birthday and the 33rd anniversary of her death. She was a woman who lived a full life and it turned out to be a full circle.

Here are some of my favorite Ingrid Bergman clips. Thank you Ms. Bergman for your constant inspiration and for all the amazing films you did. You were a true star.

Here is a wonderful interview with Michael Douglas, where Ingrid discusses acting like a dog with her father and her life as an actress. The elephant trunk part makes me laugh.

Here is my favorite scene from Autumn Sonata, Ingrid's last film on the silver screen. She knew how to play piano, and though the music was dubbed, the fingering and positioning were correct. I find this film and this scene in particular incredibly poignant and powerful. Liv Ullman and Ingmar Bergman (no relation) also being two amazing filmmakers and people who Ingrid not only worked with, but touched with her performance skills. 

Speaking of that influence, here is an interview with Liv Ullman in which she talks about Ingrid's work on Autumn Sonata and who Ingrid was as a person. She had a strong personality and was extremely honest, still marvelous to hear.

Here is a scene from Gaslight (1944). If you haven't seen this film, don't watch this clip. See the whole film. This was the first of her films I saw and I was hooked. Her performance overall is amazing, but in this scene she executes a moment by moment performance that not only won her an Oscar, but also is one of the best performances ever recorded. Working with Charles Boyer, Angela Lansbury and Joseph Cotton as well as directed by the great George Cukor. 

Here is Ingrid's first American film, a remake of the Swedish, Intermezzo. Again, we find her behind the ivories, tickling them in perfect fashion and creating a character so lovely and complicated one cannot look away. Also, it seems she never stops working with A-list talent, her love in this film being Lesley Howard. 

This is my favorite Ingrid Bergman film: Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious. Much like Casablanca, the historical timing and relevance of this film is insurmountable. They just made it in under the wire with discussions of South American Nazis and illegal activity with Uranium. Too close to the papers some might think, but it made perfect drama for this film. She works with Claude Rains and Cary Grant, two fantastic leading men and this film is so sexy and brilliant it almost hurts my brain. The key, the uranium, the drunken car ride and who can forget the kiss scene? 

Now I will leave you with a few other scenes that I love for various reasons, but I'm going to let them speak for themselves. There are so many fantastic films and clips of Ingrid Bergman and her performances can work completely on their own.

The Spellbound dream sequence.

The champagne scene from her "comeback" film, Anastasia. 

Her iconic Ilsa and Sam scene from Casablanca.

Cary Grant and Ingrid's dance in Stanley Donan's film Indiscreet.

Ingrid's general performance in Roberto Rossellini's Stromboli

I could go on, but Youtube is limiting. I hope you all enjoy some Ingrid Bergman films today and remember her for the amazing career she had. She inspired me to become a filmmaker and to make things happen and I've always enjoyed writing this blog. Cheers to you Ingrid.

Ingrid's daughter Pia Lindstrom gives an Emmy acceptance speech for A Woman Called Golda, Ingrid had passed away just before this award was issued.

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About Me

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An avid Ingrid Bergman fan, I am a student of her life and work as well as film, filmmaking and Classic Film in general. I have my M.F.A. in TV/Film Production from USC School of Cinematic Arts and have been making a living in the business they call show. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @alexis_morrell