Thanks for scaring me to death, Ingmar Bergman
To me, Ingmar Bergman will always be synonymous with the Christmas of 1984. I was 10 years old and my family spent the holidays with my grandmother and grandfather on a small island on the west coast of Sweden, Bohus Malmön. It was dark, cold, and windy and the big thing on TV (only two channels provided by the state back then) was Bergman’s masterpiece ”Fanny and Alexander” [IMDB here].
The movie (shown in a couple of parts, as I remember it) totally changed Christmas that year and I remember spending loads of time thinking about death and what I guess we can call materialism. The children – Fanny and Alexander – were forced to move to a priest and could not bring any of their toys or other possessions. A scary thought to a boy obsessed with a lot of belongings connected to the football team IFK Göteborg, such as the autographs of all players in the squad that won the league the same year.
How can I remember all this? I have a scary memory (ask my family) and in retrospect, that Christmas made me realize how much ”culture” (movies, plays, books, etc) can affect me. Thanks, Ingmar Bergman, that Christmas scared me and sparked an interest that would provoke me to watch films on a very regular basis. And in 1987 I was again scared to death by a movie as dad sneaked us into the cinema so that we could see ”Full Metal Jacket” [a decision he regretted some two hours later; to see a guy blowing his head off with a rifle, sitting on a toilet in a military camp, is not ideal for a 13 year old]. But that is another story.