So long, Farewell: Ingmar Bergman


A Call to Arms

At the end of Ingmar Bergman’s Cries and Whispers, a woman insists, “I am dead, but I can’t leave you.” If only that were the case. But Bergman does seem to have left us, at the age of 89. He’d actually left theater audiences some four years before, when he retired in 2003. His final work was a thrilling and quite erotic adaptation of Ibsen’s Ghosts, which played at BAM. Indeed BAM hosted 12 Bergman stage productions between 1988 and 2003, allowing American audiences a chance to witness Bergman’s thoughtful, visceral stage direction and to enjoy the extraordinary actresses he often brought with him. I do wish that, like the Ibsen and Strindberg works he staged, Bergman, too, could be revived.