Jane Magnusson & the Seventh Seal - Photo: Max Rangner / Svensk Filmindustri

Ingmar Bergman and Jane Magnusson to Cannes

The centenary of Ingmar Bergman is to be celebrated at the Cannes Film Festival. Today it was announced that Jane Magnusson’s documentary Bergman - A Year in a Life will have its world premiere in the section Cannes Classics. In addition the newly restored 4K version of The Seventh Seal has also been selected to be screened in the same category.

Jane Magnusson’s documentary Bergman - A Year in a Life is a deep dive into the year of 1957 which is considered to be Ingmar Bergman’s most productive and intense year. He shot two films, both The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries had their respective premieres, he produced four plays at the theatre, one TV movie, he had six children and struggled with several relationships. How was it possible? Bergman - A Year in a Life is a full portrait of Ingmar Bergman, showing all sides of the artist, lover and father and explains how the art was formed by Bergman’s private life and his experiences, through interviews, archival material and animations.

– When I started doing research into Bergman’s situation in 1957 I was totally floored and thought that somebody should do a documentary about this intense year. But then I thought – why don’t I make the film myself? Bergman is one of most beloved directors at the Cannes Film Festival – to have the opportunity to screen it at that particular festival feels amazing, says Jane Magnusson, the director and screenwriter behind the film.

Jane Magnusson (born in 1968) is a director and journalist and has previously directed the award winning short film Cupcake (2014), the documentary Ebbe – The Movie: The Man, the Myth, the Affair (2009) (which received a Swedish Guldbagge for Best Documentary) and Bergman’s Video (2013) where some of the world’s most famous film creators participated, Michael HanekeMartin ScorseseAlejandro González IñárrituAng LeeClaire DenisWoody AllenFrancis Ford CoppolaWes AndersonLars von TrierRidley ScottTomas AlfredsonThomas Vinterberg and many more.

During the Bergman year, Magnusson is working on several film projects on Ingmar Bergman. Together with the cartoonist Liv Strömquist, she has been a part of the short film project Bergman Revisited with the film Vox Lipoma (2018) – an animated satirical short that competed at the Sundance film festival earlier this year.

Bergman - A Year in a Life is produced by B-Reel Films with Mattias NohrborgCecilia Nessen and Fredrik Heinig as producers. It received a grant by the Swedish Film Institute and the film commissioner Antonio Russo Merenda. The Swedish distributor is SF Studios who plans to release the movie on Ingmar Bergman’s birthday, July 14th. International rights are handled by The Match Factory.

Moreover, the Swedish Film Institute’s digital restoration of The Seventh Seal in 4K has been selected into Cannes Classics.

Three years ago, the Film Heritage Department at the Swedish Film Institute set the goal to digitize and translate all of Ingmar Bergman’s films into English by 2018, which would have been the director’s 100th birthday.

– It’s been wonderful to work with such an iconic film and to be able to screen a restored version of The Seventh Seal yet again. The camera negative that was used was in quite good condition apart from a couple of torn frames but the more than 60-year-old magnetic tape used for audio was challenging, says Lars Karlsson, head of digital restoration and preservation at the Swedish Film Institute.

Ingmar Bergman received the Cannes Jury prize for The Seventh Seal (together with Andrzej Wajdas Kanal) in 1957, where it was also nominated for the Palm d’Or. It is considered to be a classic of world cinema, as well as one of the greatest movies of all time. It established Bergman as a world-renowned director, containing scenes which have become iconic.

Read more about celebrating a century of Ingmar Bergman at ingmarbergman.se.

This year's Cannes Classics will also feature the documentary Searching for Ingmar Bergman, where Margarethe von Trotta follows the filmmaker’s footsteps as well as her own past and questions the new generation about the place left by the Swedish master. Many of Bergman's Swedish collaborators are interviewed in the film.

The category Cannes Classics was created 14 years ago with the ambition to showcase vintage films and masterpieces of the history of cinema in restored versions. Examples of other films that have been chosen into Cannes Classics are: Psycho by Alfred HitchcockA Clockwork Orange by Stanley Kubrick and A Fistful of Dollars by Sergio Leone among others.

This year’s edition of the Cannes Film Festival takes place 8-19 of May.