– Vernon Young (1)
Ingmar Bergman's most engrossing and challenging films of the 1950s and '60s invariably explored the ultimately disappointing conflicts between men and women. And yet, the most emblematic image from his entire work is that of the medieval Knight, Blok, confronting the figure of Death on a deserted beach in The Seventh Seal (1957). The international success of that film contributed to Bergman's substantial – and somewhat unwelcome – reputation as a troubled Believer in God and as an artist searching for some meaning to life.
I think I have made just one picture that I really like, and that is Winter Light. That is my only picture about which I feel that I have started here and ended there and that everything along the way has obeyed me. Everything is exactly as I wanted to have it, in every second of this picture. (4)
(1) Vernon Young, Cinema Borealis: Ingmar Bergman and the Swedish Ethos, David Lewis, New York, 1971, p. 210.
(2) Though I'm more familiar with the Roman Catholic liturgy, Bergman's High Lutheran liturgy is verbatim with the one I remember from countless childhood Sundays.
(3) Vernon Young, p. 203.
(4) Cited in John Simon, Ingmar Bergman Directs, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York, 1972, p. 17.