Bergman Island

Bergman Island ★★★½

Filmmaker: There’s two other elements involving film that I’m curious about: the print of Cries and Whispers that they watch in the screening room, and also the film that Tim Roth’s character has made. I’m curious about filming the Bergman print off the screen, and the visual language of Tim’s film is very different from your usual visual language.

Hansen-Løve: The screenings in 35 in Fårö happen only once a year, during the Bergman week. The prints do not stay in Fårö because it’s too humid, so they have to be preserved in Stockholm. Cries and Whispers, we used the real 35 copy—it wasn’t easy to get for some reason. You can see the dirt and everything. It’s an old copy. It was very moving, actually, maybe where I was the most close to crying when I was filming—to film the film being screened, but maybe even more than that, to film the projectionist [Magnus Almqvist]. He’s always been there since I’ve been traveling to Fårö. He’s the only one able to project these films on 35. Apart from being a projectionist, he’s a tramway driver in Stockholm, and he comes only once a year to screen [the] films because he’s the only guy who knows how to do it. He’s been doing this for 10 or 15 years. He’s so authentic. I’m not even sure he watched any of Bergman’s films, really (laughs). I guess why it moves me is because it’s the kind of job that has disappeared and incarnates all the past world somehow.

Here’s my interview with Mia Hansen-Løve.