New East Digital Archive

Retrospective of Ingmar Bergman-Liv Ullman collaborations opens in Moscow

17 June 2013

An exhibition spanning 50 years of partnership between Japanese-born Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann and Swedish director Ingmar Bergman is now on show in Moscow after being exhibited in St Petersburg last February. The images, many of which are being shown for the first time, draw a picture of how the couple’s private lives were closely entwined with their work.

As well as playing a significant role in guaranteeing Scandinavian cinema’s place in history, the duo also laid the foundations for the development of independent and auteur cinema in the Nordic countries. After meeting in 1964, Ullman and Bergman lived together for five years, working together on 12 films, nine of which starred Ullmann. The film that marked the actress’s debut, Persona (1966), skyrocketed her to success. She has since gone on to play a number of indelible complex female characters, in films such as Hour of the Wolf, The Passion of Anna, Cries and Whispers, Face to Face and many others. Bergman once said that Ullmann was the “Stradivarius” of their collaboration.

The Nineties saw a new chapter in the couple’s collaboration in which Ullmann debuted as a film director with Sofie (1992). Since then Ullman has been directing films based on Bergman’s scripts, such as Private Confessions (1996) and Faithless (2000).

The show, in collaboration with the Consulate General of Norway, runs at The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography in Moscow until 23 June.