The Ingrid Bergman Tribute at BAM

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of attending the kick off event for BAMcinematek’s Ingrid Bergman Film Retrospective. Created and written by Ludovica Damiani and Guido Torlonia (also the director), the evening featured live performances by Bergman’s daughter, Isabella Rossellini and Academy-Award winner Jeremy Irons.

ingrid bergman

What a creative way to mark the centennial of Bergman’s birth – combining personalized, “autobiographical” narratives of her life and work with featured clips of those seminal works, including Casablanca (of course), Anastasia, and The Bells of St Mary’s, to name a few. The audience was also treated to home movies from Ingrid Bergman’s personal collection, including (amazingly) several stills and moving images from her early childhood.

Most striking and resonant for me? The irreverence and honestly her personal accounts were given – the triumphs were given equal weight with the tragedies and controversies … it was a refreshingly honest insight into the world of a performer, an artist, a human being. Equally poignant was that fact that her own daughter, who bears a striking resemblance to her, is uttering these words.

It is a wonder that all of this took place over the course of a breezy, uninterrupted 90 minutes. Unfortunately we were restricted from photographing any of the event; hopefully there will be a recording somewhere for those who wish to see it.

If you missed this extraordinary event, have no fear – from now until the 29th, BAM will be showing 14 of the cinematic icon’s greatest performances.

ILC’s recommendations: Notorious (1946), Journey to Italy (1954), Gaslight (1944).


Ingrid Bergman in a still from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Notorious” (1946)

Coming up at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music)

A Place In The Sun

Last month, I saw the film Fish Tank (which I have discussed already in a previous post) at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. It is a fantastic venue to catch films and I recommend it to anyone who is in the NYC area or plans to visit the area.

I checked their calendar of events for upcoming screenings and plucked a bit of repetory cinema I think many will enjoy, That’s Montgomery Clift, Honey! during the month of March. Montgomery Clift the actor and the man always fascinated me. Before I knew his films very well, I remember watching one of those “beyond belief”-type shows as a kid and hearing the ghost story of how the spirit of Clift haunts a landmark Hollywood hotel.

After watching many if not all of his films, I was “haunted” but in a totally different way. With an artist like Clift, it helps to watch his films sequentially. This is especially true when looking at his films in the context of what was happening in his life off-screen (notably his disfiguring car accident) and how it affected his on-screen. persona.