We've talked a lot about influential filmmakers from the past and present, but haven't really talked much about one of this writer's favorite directors: Ingmar Bergman. Few filmmakers have been able to put together such an impressive body of work, and keep doing it well into their later years. Not every film was a masterpiece (far from it), but every single one had a piece of the filmmaker deeply ingrained in it. That idea is explored in the Criterion Collection video essay embedded below:
While I am a bit biased, I think Bergman had a remarkable ability to give us a window into the human soul. It's difficult to visualize and express the subconscious, but films like Persona and Hour of the Wolf manage to do just that. While the The Seventh Seal is always the go-to Bergman film for anyone new to the director, I actually think many of his lesser known films have more to offer in terms challenging subject matter. If you haven't experienced any of them at this point, here is a fair warning: most of his films are very slow (certainly compared to today's movies). While that's the case for many older films, I think the payoff is worth it, especially for the two films I mentioned above.
Many of his films are available from the Criterion Collection, but you can also find some of them on Hulu and Amazon.
What do you think of Bergman? Do you agree with the praise, or do you think he is overrated?