Given all the talk the past couple days surrounding Ingmar Bergman’s influence on Woody Allen, I’m not surprised in the least to see him interviewed by at least one major news organization. From Time comes this wonderful read, with Allen waxing nostalgic on Bergman as a man, an influence, and, ultimately, a legend. Any fans of Allen or Bergman should go ahead and read this interview, but in case you’re not convinced yet, he’s a small gem from the article:
R.C.: OK. So you think he’s great, and I think he’s great. But to many young people — I mean bright, film-savvy kids — he’s Ingmar Who? What relevance do his films have today?
W.A.: I think his films have eternal relevance, because they deal with the difficulty of personal relationships and lack of communication between people and religious aspirations and mortality, existential themes that will be relevant a thousand years from now. When many of the things that are successful and trendy today will have been long relegated to musty-looking antiques, his stuff will still be great.
R.C.: But not many artists worry about God’s silence these days. In the media the current battle is between militant believers and devout atheists. You get very few tortured agnostics.
W.A.: You’re right. That was his obsession. He was brought up religiously [his father was a Lutheran minister] and it wasn’t simply a question of atheism or not. He longed for the possibility of religious phenomenon. That longing tortured him his whole life. But in the end he was a great entertainer. The Seventh Seal, all those films, they grip you. It’s not like doing homework.