Tue, Jul 31, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Swedish film icon Ingmar Bergman dies at age 89

AGENCIES , STOCKHOLM

Legendary Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman, who influenced a generation of filmmakers with his often stark works on themes of mortality and sexual torment, died yesterday at the age of 89.

The self-taught filmmaker and scriptwriter died at his home on Faro Island in the Baltic Sea, said Cissi Elwin, chief executive of the Swedish Film Institute.

"It's a very big loss today," Elwin said. "It's very, very strange and very unreal because Ingmar Bergman is so much [a part of] Swedish film."

Earlier this month, Bergman put in a brief appearance at the annual celebration on Faro Island of his half-century career but remained in a wheelchair and seemed very tired, she said.

Bergman was famed for films such as Wild Strawberries, Scenes From a Marriage and Fanny and Alexander -- a classic that won four Oscars -- which brought Sweden a reputation for melancholy but made him an acknowledged master of modern cinema.

His work, in all, encompassed 54 films, 126 theatrical productions and 39 radio plays.

His cinematic masterpieces often dwelt on sexual confusion, loneliness and the vain search for the meaning of life.

He was "probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera," Woody Allen said in a 70th birthday tribute in 1988.

Also see story:
Cinematic icon dies at 89

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