Bergman’s Muses

Æsthetic Versatility in Film, Theatre, Television and Radio


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About the Book

Bergman is a most versatile director who has devoted himself to several muses in a variety of media. Apart from being a writer of plays and screenplays, he has over the past fifty years directed about a hundred stage performances, fifty films, and many works for radio and television. During this time, all the production equipment used have undergone significant changes (allowing, just for instance, a more varied and subtle use of light and sound). But by his own admission, Bergman’s texts have often lacked a clear orientation toward a specific medium.
This book focuses on Bergman’s way of tackling the problems inherent in each art form he has dealt with, giving a penetrating picture of his craftsmanship and the intimate relationship between his work on stage and in film, as well as the possibilities and limitations of the various forms. With the varied media at his disposal, Bergman is internationally the most versatile author-cum-director presently at work, well aware of what each medium can and cannot do and, most importantly, eager to test its borders. The book addresses itself not only to Bergman fans but also to all those interested in the aesthetic problems related to different presentational forms.

About the Author(s)

Egil Törnqvist, professor emeritus at the University of Amsterdam, is a leading Bergman scholar. He has also published books on Ibsen, Strindberg, and O’Neill and has lectured widely in Europe, the United States and China. He lives in Amsterdam, Holland.

Bibliographic Details

Egil Törnqvist
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 271
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1603-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8202-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Introduction      5


1. From Drama Text to Stage Performance: Ibsen’s Ghosts      21

2. From Drama Text to Radio Play: Aural Strindberg      36

3. From Screenplay to Film: Bergman’s The Communicants      46


4. Transcending Boundaries: Mozart’s The Magic Flute as Television Opera      65

5. Molière’s Don Juan on Stage and Screen      80

6. Euripides’ The Bacchae as Opera, Television Opera, and Stage Play      91

7. Mishima’s Madame de Sade on Stage and on Television      101


8. Bergman’s After the Rehearsal on Television      117

9. Film and Stage on Television: Bergman’s In the Presence of a Clown      129

10. Film on Stage and on Television: Enquist’s The Image Makers      146


11. The Subjective Point of View      161

12. The Visualized Audience      172

13. The Hidden Observers      181

14. The Silent Characters      197

15. “This Is My Hand”      204

EPILOGUE      215

Appendix: Subtitling Bergman      221

Notes      235

Bibliography      251

Index      259