Ingmar Bergman: auteur, innovator, genius... and a big fan of the Blues Brothers

Documentary reveals guilty pleasures of art house director renowned for bleak films

He was one of the bleakest's art-house directors of his generation, best known for forbidding and dark films exploring the absence of God.

But in quiet moments Ingmar Bergman liked nothing better than crashing out in front of Ghostbusters or Jaws, according to a new documentary. The Swedish filmmaker's other guilty pleasures included the musical comedy The Blues Brothers, the Michael Douglas action-adventure Romancing The Stone and Foul Play, a comedy-thriller starring Goldie Hawn. All of these films were found in Bergman's personal library after his death in 2007.

Now, two young Swedish filmmakers, Jane Magnusson and Hynek Pallas, are making a documentary about "Bergman's videos".

"We were very surprised by the collection. He had everything from Die Hard to Solaris," Magnusson said. "For instance, he loved The Blues Brothers. He even had a Blues Brothers T-shirt."

The filmmakers argue that their discovery of this unlikely treasure trove of Hollywood action movies and art house classics will enhance rather than diminish Bergman's reputation.

To many Swedes he is a forbidding figure, revered but not much loved for his towering achievements as a director, which included The Seventh Seal (1957), set during the Black Death.

"As Woody Allen told us, when he would talk with Bergman on the phone, Bergman would tell him that 'when I need to relax when I have my angst, I need to watch something easy'," Magnusson said, noting the surprising number of lowbrow comedies in the collection.

The documentary makers have been at the Holland Film Meeting in Utrecht this week, raising finance to complete their film for a likely release next spring. They have already interviewed dozens of filmmakers and stars whose movies appeared on Bergman's shelves, including include Wes Craven, John Landis, Catherine Hardwicke, Robert De Niro and Laura Dern.

Bergman was sent a copy of almost every video released in Sweden but he was selective about the ones he kept. Of the 80,000 VHS movies he is thought to have been sent, he kept 1,711. "He sent the rest to the garbage," Magnusson said.

Like a film critic, the director marked the films he most liked with Xs. Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard is one of the few movies in the collection to receive five Xs, while Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher received four Xs.

We already knew that alongside Charlie Chaplin's The Circus and the 1921 Swedish film The Phantom Carriage, which he screened every year in his private cinema, he also had a sneaking affection for Dallas.

What is startling about Bergman's collection is the sheer breadth and populism of his tastes. Some of these films he is likely to have watched with his many grandchildren. Others must have been his own guilty pleasures.

Fans of British cinema will be heartened to discover that there was plenty of Mike Leigh and Ken Loach in the collection as well as old Ealing comedies, Hammer horror films, Stephen Frears' The Hit, David Lean's Brief Encounter and Lynne Ramsay's Ratcatcher. And what about Sex Lives Of The Potato Men? Bergman, it seems, had to draw the line somewhere.

High minds, low culture

Julian Baggini, philosopher

"There are records by Whitesnake, Rainbow and Marillion from the late 70s and early 80s that I still enjoy."

Alison Moore, author

"I have a penchant for musical films like I and The Sound of Music. 'Hopelessly Devoted To You' by Olivia Newton John is fantastic."

Amanda Nevill, BFI chief

"I do have guilty pleasures on television, especially Wartime Farm and The Great British Bake Off."

Arts and Entertainment
Saw point: Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in ‘Serena’
film
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
musicReview: 1989's songs attempt to encapsulate dramatic emotional change in a few striking lines
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
Arts and Entertainment
Miranda Hart has called time on her award-winning BBC sitcom, Miranda
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Boy George performing with Culture Club at Heaven

musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years

Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing
books

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulling the strings: Spira Mirabilis

music
Arts and Entertainment
Neville's Island at Duke of York's theatre
musicReview: The production has been cleverly cast with a quartet of comic performers best known for the work on television
Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol

art
Arts and Entertainment
Lynda Bellingham stars in her last Oxo advert with on-screen husband Michael Redfern

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Minchin portrait
For a no-holds-barred performer who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, Tim Minchin is surprisingly gentle
Arts and Entertainment
Clara takes the lead in 'Flatline' while the Doctor remains in the Tardis
tvReview: The 'Impossible Girl' earns some companion stripes... but she’s still annoying in 'Dr Who, Flatline'
Arts and Entertainment
Joy Division photographed around Waterloo Road, Stockport, near Strawberry Studios. The band are Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Stephen Morris (drums and percussion), Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals).
books
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Harris in 'The Goob' film photocall, at the Venice International Film Festival 2014
filmThe Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Streisand is his true inspiration
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor contestant Fleur East
tvReview: Some lacklustre performances - but the usual frontrunners continue to excel
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Tuttle's installation in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern
artAs two major London galleries put textiles in the spotlight, the poor relation of the creative world is getting recognition it deserves
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman
film
Arts and Entertainment
On top of the world: Actress Cate Blanchett and author Richard Flanagan
artsRichard Flanagan's Man Booker win has put paid to the myth that antipodean artists lack culture
Arts and Entertainment
The Everyman, revamped by Haworth Tompkins
architectureIt beats strong shortlist that included the Shard, the Library of Birmingham, and the London Aquatics Centre
Arts and Entertainment
Justice is served: Robert Downey Jr, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong and Robert Duvall in ‘The Judge’

Film

Arts and Entertainment
Clive Owen (centre) in 'The Knick'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
J.K. Simmons , left, and Miles Teller in a scene from

Film

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

    Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

    The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
    Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

    Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

    The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
    DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

    Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

    Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
    The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

    Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

    The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

    The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
    Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

    Paul Scholes column

    I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
    Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker