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.
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).