UC Berkeley Department of Film and Media

Department of Film & Media UC Berkeley

Courses / Undergraduate

Fall 2018

151 | Scandinavian 115 | CCN: 25125

Auteur Theory: The Films of Ingmar Bergman

Linda Rugg

4 Units

T/Th 9:30-11:00am; W 3:00-6:00 PM, Pacific Film Archive, Barbro Osher Theater

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of premier Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman’s birth, and retrospectives and celebrations are taking place all over the world. UC Berkeley’s Pacific Film Archive is participating in this landmark occasion with a number of special events throughout 2018, culminating in this course on Bergman’s films, to be screened at the Pacific Film Archive’s Barbro Osher Theater. Members of the public will be invited to the screenings alongside the students, but lectures and discussions will be limited to students and held on campus.

Given the focus on the birth of the filmmaker and his life’s work, one has to raise the question of film authorship and its relation to a director and a director’s life. What is a “Bergman film”? Can films be authored in the same way as books? This course will examine Bergman’s work of Sweden’s premier filmmaker, Ingmar Bergman, the phenomenon of his success in the U.S. and worldwide, his contribution to the notions of auteurism and art cinema, his role within Swedish culture, and the problems he poses by linking film and autobiography.

We will read theoretical articles on such topics as the auteur movement, feminism in Bergman’s work, and self-reflexivity and narrative in films, as well as Bergman’s autobiographical and fictional writing, and essays on Bergman’s work by Bergman and others. The class will view a sampling of Bergman’s films from various periods, using close reading techniques to assess the nature of “Bergman films.”

Films to be screened and discussed include: Summer Interlude, Smiles of a Summer Night, Sawdust and Tinsel, Wild Strawberries, The Seventh Seal, The Magician, The Silence, Persona, Cries and Whispers, Fanny and Alexander, and others.

Texts: primarily essays and articles, some excerpts from Bergman’s writing, available on-line.

Prerequisites: No formal course prerequisites. Students should be prepared to engage with film theory and to write at an advanced level. 

L&S Breadth: Arts & Literature

This course will cover a variety of 16mm filmmaking techniques, including hand-painted film, cinematography, and digital transfer with an emphasis on the avant-garde. Through readings, hands-on workshops, and individual projects, students will learn about exposure, the photochemical process, various film stocks, and digital editing. This course is intended to provide an historical perspective of film technology before the invention of video, a foundational understanding of cinematography as it is still used in video today, and an introduction to motion picture film as a professional medium of choice for contemporary filmmakers. Students will shoot and edit traditional 16mm film as well as digital transfers of film to video. This is a studio-based film production course that will utilize a range of equipment including: 16mm film cameras, video cameras and software, and audio and lighting instruments. The work created in class will culminate in a final screening/performance of individual and group assignments.