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A hundred years after his birth, it’s time to acknowledge Bergman’s debt to his female stars

With their fearless pragmatism and magnetic screen presence, it wasn’t Ingmar Bergman who made stars of his women. It was they who made him

By Francine Stock   March 2018

Ingmar Bergman and Liv Ullmann on the set of Cries and Whispers.

“Today, as I lean over photographs of my childhood to study my mother’s face through a magnifying glass, I try to penetrate long vanished emotions.”

Ingmar Bergman never hid the clues to understanding his art. The opening pages of the Swedish filmmaker’s 1987 memoir, The Magic Lantern, remind you of his close-up portrayals of women—the detail intimate, his gaze forensic. In his “doglike” devotion to his mother you can also see the seeds of his…

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