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Tuesday, 11 June, 2002, 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
Bergman helps preserve legacy
Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman is one of the key figures in cinema history
Legendary director Ingmar Bergman has donated a host of material to the Swedish Film Institute, which hopes to preserve his legacy as one of the world's most important film-makers.

The donation includes manuscripts, notebooks, plot summaries, sketches and photographs packed into 45 cases.


His love for the cinema almost gives me a guilty conscience

Steven Spielberg
"It is a donation of great national importance," said Ase Kleveland, director general of the national film institute.

Bergman will narrate excerpts from the footage of the making of some of his greatest films, including Wild Strawberries, The Seventh Seal, Persona and Cries and Whispers.

'Fortune'

"It is very rare that you find an artist of international significance who has documented his own life in the way that Bergman has," added Mr Kleveland.

He said the collection would be worth a fortune if sold on the market.

The material is to be made available to researchers and universities, although the aim is to provide the public with access.

Bergman is one of the most revered figures in cinema, and Steven Spielberg once said of him: "I have always admired him, and I wish I could be an equally good filmmaker as he is, but it will never happen.

"His love for the cinema almost gives me a guilty conscience."

Steven Spielberg
Spielberg is a long-time admirer of Bergman
Maaret Koskinen, professor of cinema studies at the University of Stockholm, was the first person Bergman asked to study the collection.

"'I have a room full of stuff. Do you want to go through it?', Bergman asked me," she said, describing the archives as a "unique cultural work".

The 83-year-old has lived in seclusion on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland since the death of his wife seven years ago.

He gave up directing in 1982 after a career of pioneering cinema, cinematography, producing and writing.

He is now back at work, filming the movie Saraband.

The film returns to the characters Marianne and Johan, the couple portrayed by Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson in the 1972 movie Scenes From a Marriage.

See also:

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