The Ingmar Bergman influence
‘Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey’
In this 1991 movie, the dudes (Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter) play a game of Twister with the Grim Reaper (William Sadler). Thats a reference to a scene in Bergmans The Seventh Seal, in which a knight (Max von Sydow) plays chess with Death (Bengt Ekerot). (Gemma La Mana / Orion Pictures)
The show also makes reference to a chess match with the reaper, in its introduction to the recurring segment Cheating Death. Stephen Colbert faces the reaper over a chessboard, then switches one of the pieces while Death is looking away. (Martin Crook / Comedy Central)
Ever seen the Stephen Sondheim musical A Little Night Music? It was inspired by Bergmans 1955 film Smiles of a Summer Night. (Carol Rosegg)
The comedy borrowed heavily from Bergmans imagery. All those wisps of smoke to indicate spooky medieval times? Pure Bergman. Directors Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones acknowledged the borrowing by putting Swedish subtitles in the introduction. (Python Pictures)
The hair band wrote a song called The Seventh Seal in tribute to the Bergman films The Seventh Seal and The Virgin Spring. (Robert Gauthier / LAT)
The actor-director-writer is a huge Bergman fan and has been heavily influenced by him. For example, Allens 1997 Deconstructing Harry has themes similar to those in Bergmans 1957 Wild Strawberries. (J. Clifford / Fine Line Features)
The director’s 1972 film, The Last House on the Left, was a remake of Bergman’s The Virgin Spring. (Matthew Simmons / Getty Images)
Kenneth Branaghs movie was a remake of Bergmans by the same name. Both were based on the Mozart opera. (Rolf Konow)
Over the next few days, you’ll hear a lot of talk about the great Swedish director Ingmar Bergman.
Film critics will praise his genius. Actors will recall what it was like to work with him. Filmmakers will describe how his vision inspired them, how he pushed film forward, how he was one of the last great living directors.
But maybe you’re not so up on your art house film scene. Of course you know Bergman’s name, but maybe you’re not really clear on his contributions.
Fear not! Even if you’ve never seen a Bergman film, chances are you’ve seen Bergman-inspired images in the unlikeliest of places -- such as the “Bill and Ted” franchise or on “The Colbert Report.”
Bergman’s ideas trickled down into the popular consciousness in all kinds of ways. are just a few.
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