Intimidated by Ingmar Bergman’s ghost

From 2015, she spent a couple of summer weeks on the Swedish island of Fårö for five years, says French-Danish director Mia Hansen-Løve. On the island, where Ingmar Bergman after the shooting of As in a dark mirror continued to live in 1960 she wrote Bergman Island† In that film, the Swedish film legend is an invisible, slightly frightening presence beyond the horizon. A foghorn at night.

“When I visited Fårö in 2017, I wanted to spend a night alone in Bergman’s house,” says Hansen-Løve in Cannes, where her film will premiere. “That night I put on a documentary where the old Bergman tells about his belief in ghosts. Suddenly I realized I was looking in the same chair he was talking in. The hairs on the back of my neck rose. That night I just slept in my Bed & Breakfast. An eerie moment, but also stimulating. ” It’s a shame she did not stay overnight, says a colleague. It must have been interesting. Hansen-Løve, almost shocking: “You never know with ghosts. Maybe he would have said: how dare you?

Bergman Island is an autobiographical feature film. Just think: a couple of instructors are going on a working holiday on Fårö to work on their scripts. For Tony (Tim Roth), this seems like a fill-in exercise, Chris (Vicky Krieps) struggling and doubting. Tony is in his fifties, relaxed, absent, attentive, understanding: completely intangible all in all. Chris is in his thirties, an introvert, addicted and annoyed about it. Why does Tony never let her read his manuscripts? Why does he never ask her for advice? “It would be an accident,” he smiles. Heartbreaking, such a guy. Not even worth discussing with.

It is hard Bergman Island, the seventh feature of 41-year-old Mia Hansen-Løve, can be seen separately from her relationship with director Olivier Assayas (62), which ended in 2016. But it is different than you think, she says when asked. And let it stay that way. The relationship between artist and work of art, life and scenario, is ambivalent or even divided. That is the theme of Bergman Island, a film that came to her during a trip on Fårö by a Hampus Nordenson in 2017, the year after her divorce from Assayas. The same Hampus shows director Chris in the film Bergman places where the tourist bus – ‘Bergman Safari’ – never passes. “Hampus gave me, as it were, the keys to the island, opened all kinds of doors in my mind.”

Although that tour also went very differently than in the film, Hansen-Løve continues. Of course. Bergman Island is full of Droste effects. At one point, Chris Tony talks about his script, after which a film-in-the-movie takes place about an Amy (Mia Wasikowska) who meets her ex Joseph (Anders Danielsen Lie) at a wedding on a Swedish island. They once had a violent relationship, they were too young at the time. Now Amy clings to Joseph, knowing it’s too late. He likes her and does not, she hates her own compulsive addiction. It’s a hyperemotional segment in a movie that one experiences as a hot summer breeze. You suspect that the relationship between directors Chris and Tony will run out. Melancholy, without Amy’s tears.

Bergman Island is a new twist for Mia Hansen-Løve, who focuses on realistic films that leave a lot unspoken and implicit. As a filmmaker, she is the antithesis of Ingmar Bergman, in whom emotions crackle violently and are verbally drilled to the root. Mia Hansen-Løve is a huge fan, as anyone who has ever seen anything of him, she assumes. “I was a film critic for a while, but I could never really articulate the power of his creations. His films revolve around integrity, loneliness and independence, how Bergman seeks the truth without compromising. Bergman has a reputation for being strict and strict, “Reckless to a point of brutality. But his film is very entertaining and has a very strong rhythm.”

s script Bergman Island she wrote in his home. “But in the kitchen I did not dare work behind his desk. Maybe it’s quite feminine to make oneself so small. But that’s how it went. “

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