From the Feuilletons


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 31.07.2007

"After Chekhov and Strindberg, no one has shown the joys and pains of the bourgeois soul with more precision, compassion or poignancy." Andreas Kilb bids farewell to Ingmar Bergman as one of the giants of 20th century cinema. "The twentieth century is over, but several of the great artists who personified the battle against acting taboos and the aesthetic transition of the post-war era are still alive. As they pass away, the last century really does come to an end. With Ingmar Bergman, who died on Monday on Farö aged 89, an entire epoch of European cinema disappears into the twilight of legend."

Der Tagesspiegel

Christiane Peitz remembers Igmar Bergman, the 'magician and enlightener, jester and melancholic." "He was a fabulous story teller, who never had to have the last word, because life always goes on longer. He filmed more than 50 cinematic masterpieces, directed well over 100 plays and operas, was extolled in Malmö and Stockholm and divided audiences in Munich in the seventies. In his final scripts and television series he continued to weave his heroes' stories, the saga of his own parents, the continuing lives of Marianne and Johan from "Scenes from a Marriage." And yet it is the individual Bergman images, outrageous shock-frozen cinematic moments, that remain. In these the art of cinema evokes our primal fears, unleashing them and exorcising them at once: the fear of death, pain, loneliness, betrayal and the violence of sex, which forges ahead through sin and self-hatred."

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung features an amusing quote by Lars von Trier on Bergman: "I have always felt strong family ties to Ingmar Bergman and I am therefore proud to say that he always treated me the way he treated all his children: with utter indifference."


In his obituary to Ingmar Bergman, Wolfram Schütte looks back wistfully to a time when Europe was influenced by Europe. Bergman's films were celebrated throughout Europe thanks in part to the huge number of functioning film industries, writes Schütte. "And the fact that their respective productions could also be exported, had to do with common interests and the culture of life, which transcended national-cultural differences. Europe was probably 'more European' back then than it is today, where the idea of European multiculturalism is little more than an ideological illusion."

Die Tageszeitung 31.07.2007

Jörg Sundermeyer quotes from Ingmar Bergman's memories of his exile in Munich: "Most of what came crashing down on me in the German theatre is not total freedom, but total neurosis. What can a poor director do to get audiences, and especially critics, just to raise an eyebrow? A young director gets the task of staging Kleist's 'Der Zerbrochene Krug' (The Broken Jug). He himself has seen the play seven times in various versions. He knows that from the time they were children his audience has seen it 21 times, while the critics have yawned through 58 different productions. Now what he's got to do is be brash, even cheeky, if he's going to attract people's attention. That's not what I call freedom."

Karl Valentin
was not just a comedian, but also a silent movie pioneer, writes Ekkehard Knörer after visiting an exhibition in the German Film Museum in Frankfurt. The best film was the "Mysterien des Friseursalons" (mysteries of the hair dresser's) from 1922, Knörer writes. "Bertolt Brecht contributed to the script, and Erich Engel, who later became famous as a theatre director, directed the film. Valentin appears as a disfigurer of hairstyles, who cuts the head of one customer clean off with a sword. Others are electrocuted and tortured, and Liesl Karlstadt has her face hacked into. None of the team had the first idea what they were doing, they just filmed whatever came into their heads in the attic of a private house, with a kind of early-punk mentality."

Frankfurter Rundschau

Peter Michalzik loves Christian Stückl's 'Jedermann' (Everyman) at the Salzburg Festival, for its celebration of Baroque. "In his sweeping, patronising self-importance 'Jedermann' is like a reincarnation of Henry VIII, or August the Great. The Devil's ubiquitous, all-too-human powers of seduction are perceived as the quintessence of Baroque. The Mammon in his all his gay, gold-dripping opulence, white fingernails, infuriating narcissism and shiny gold baboon bum, functions as a resurrection of Baroque in outlandish attire. - let's talk european