Using Lacanian psychoanalysis, Derridean deconstruction, and queer theory, this chapter explores the thematic ramifications of the three-frame shot of an erect penis in first few seconds of Ingmar Bergman’s Persona. Ultimately arguing that the character of Elisabet, who rejects the false sincerity of speech for the productively duplicitous practice of writing, represents radical queer negativity, this study presents a new reading of Persona that celebrates its subversive power.
This chapter discusses the creative playfulness in the screenwriting process of Ingmar Bergman’s filmmaking. The process of writing from notes and drafts to finished screenplays is examined from the perspective of genetic criticism in combination with perspectives on screenwriting as an intermediate process across media and in stages. The notion of play refers both to Bergman’s method of creative writing and to the playful dimension of the finished artwork, i.e. the films and screenplays. Play is understood in terms of transcendence between the fictional and the real on various levels. Most importantly, the chapter focuses on play in the ambivalence of agency in Bergman’s notebooks—that is transgressions between author, narrator, and character—that continues in the aesthetics of self-reflexivity and auto-fiction in the screenplays and in the films. The Ingmar Bergman Archives, where his notes and screenplay drafts are collected and digitized, allow such an examination of the writing process. The archive consists of the donation of Bergman’s personal collection of notes, drafts, letters, and other documents—personal and professional—from his early career in the 1930s until the last productions in the early 2000s, across several media and art forms.
This chapter argues that Bergman deviated from his highly critical depictions of bourgeois life in the films of the 1960s and 1970s—from Persona (1966) to the television series Scenes from a Marriage (1973) —in Fanny and Alexander (1982), his final contribution to films made for the cinema. Bergman himself came from an upper-class bourgeois background, and by his own account he did not take an interest in politics until the mid-1960s. He sided with Sweden’s ruling Social Democratic party at that time, a stance that certainly represented a sort of break with his family background. It is argued here that Bergman obviously profited from this connection to contemporary power politics, by obtaining official support for his work, both in the theatre and in film. However, Bergman temporarily broke off with Sweden in the aftermath of his being charged with tax evasion in 1976. The author argues that Bergman’s return to Sweden with Fanny and Alexander in the early 1980s coincided with a new Zeitgeist, in which the country’s Socialist past came under much critical scrutiny. It was in this new political climate that Bergman chose to celebrate the bourgeois society in which he was raised and at the same time denigrate enemies, like Uppsala philosophy professor Ingemar Hedenius, a strong advocate of scientific positivism and atheism, who appears in several Bergman film as the arch rationalist Vergérus. In Fanny and Alexander, this figure is—somewhat surprisingly and ambiguously—depicted as the Lutheran clergyman.
Classical music in the lms of Ingmar Bergman—a lecture-recital
From the earliest decades of sound cinema, films have incorporated classical and popular music in their soundtracks, both on screen as part of the action and off screen. One of the first major directors to make classical music a regular feature was Swedish auteur Ingmar Bergman, who largely eschewed traditional soundtrack scores in favour of pre-existing music, incorporated this material into the lives of his characters, and found artistic inspiration in the lives of several Western classical composers. This chapter explores the appearance, function, and meaning of classical music in Bergman’s films, from his earliest in the 1940s to his final film in 2003. Patterns of musical use through his oeuvre suggest a conceptual framework that differentiates three ways in which such music appears onscreen: music heard (sound), music performed (act), and music sensed (presence). A series of case studies, from It Rains on Our Love (1946), Music in Darkness (1948), To Joy (1950), Summer Interlude (1951), Waiting Women (1952), Wild Strawberries (1957), The Silence (1963), Autumn Sonata (1978), In the Presence of a Clown (1997), and Saraband (2003), demonstrate how Bergman’s portrayals of musical interaction offer a sophisticated array of encoded sounds, performance dynamics, and historical meanings that resonate through the cinematic text.
This chapter draws comparisons between a number of Bergman’s films that focus on visionary/charlatan relationships and the diverse portraits of ‘Bergman’ as both ‘visionary filmmaker’ and self-reflexive practitioner. In Bergman’s films of the 1950s, we often witness the visionary and the charlatan (merged within a single figure) feeding off each other’s resources to gain validity and power, as is the case with Jof in The Seventh Seal (1956), for example. However, beyond this there are protagonists plagued by a profound fear of being exposed as charlatans, such as the visionary figure Isak Borg in Wild Strawberries (1957). The charlatan artist/doctor in Bergman’s work conjures up a vision of the self as fraud—the returning nightmare of not being able to create or to perform at the expected level in our professions, or to deliver the product we have promoted. Permeating Bergman’s creative work is the motivation to convey intuitive visions that have the capacity to melt borders between space and time, or between old age and childhood. Any lingering concern with strict (truth/false) binaries of understanding—of seeing visionaries and charlatans as separate entities for example—disintegrates in Bergman’s films, particularly from the mid-1960s onwards, as the concept of secure selves and worlds shatters: Fanny and Alexander (1982) allows for a liberating fluidity of identity. Nevertheless, portraits of Bergman discussing his practice convey an enduring fear of not being capable. This in turn fuels a ritualistic compulsion to generate fresh creative work that lives and is meaningful.
Musical meaning and musical discourse in Ingmar Bergman’s films
Per F. Broman
In his last major radio appearance, in 2004 on the Swedish talk show Sommar, Ingmar Bergman devoted most of the time to his musical interests, highlighting his belief that music transcends language and manifests a deeply philosophical vision of life and beyond: music is a gift—a divine one, although Bergman did not mention God—given to provide hints of realities beyond our perception. Through analyses of the films and manuscript materials in the Ingmar Bergman Archives, this chapter focuses on four instances of interaction between music and dialogue in Bergman’s films that resonate with his comments in the show: music is able to communicate where words cannot in To Joy (1950), words and music interact to support the structure of the narrative in Autumn Sonata (1978), words about music provide powerful metaphors and communicate central parts of the narrative in Saraband (2003), and finally, music and the creation of music structure the entire narrative in In the Presence of a Clown (1997). Despite the stylistic shifts in his oeuvre across the decades of filmmaking, Bergman’s views of music, as represented in his work, have been surprisingly consistent. Whether seen through Beethoven’s Ninth overcoming death in To Joy or music’s emergence as an existential motif in Saraband, through its metaphoric uses of works and modes of performance, Bergman’s films reveal and are profoundly shaped by his belief in the essential, metaphysical nature of music.
The chapter is prefaced by a brief summary of the policy background. Urgent and emergency care is, by its very nature, different from planned care. The diagnosis is not always easy to nail down, the patient might be in considerable pain, distress or shock, and the trajectory of care can be uncertain. Cancer care raises issues of its own. Emergency, planned and cancer care all have waiting time targets in the NHS in England. These were successful in significantly reducing long waits. However, the system was already coming under increasing pressure before the COVID-19 pandemic, with performance deteriorating and an inexorable rise in waiting times. Coordination of care with GPs and other primary care services remains an issue. This chapter contains four stories in which hospital was a significant site for care. The stories cover planned care, emergency care and a story about cancer. The first story is about what happened to Jill following an accident involving her knee, including her follow-up care. The second is about a planned operation to remove Andrea’s gallbladder. The third concerns Lucy’s experience when she was hospitalised with sepsis. The final story concerns Shona’s journey to recovery from breast cancer, and what helped along the way. We invite readers to assess how these narratives compare with the four characteristics of patient-centred care outlined in Chapter 1. As with the other chapters, we pose questions arising from these stories, to simulate thinking and reflection. We have divided these into questions of immediate or operational concern, and those which are more strategic or policy-related.
The chapter provides an in-depth account of the moment when the environmental debate in Sweden took off: the autumn of 1967. Special emphasis is put on the choir of natural scientists who at this point in time started to warn the public and politicians of an impending environmental crisis. Most influential was the chemist Hans Palmstierna, who in October 1967 published the short paperback book Plundring, svält, förgiftning [Plundering, famine, poisoning] which became the first major environmental bestseller in Sweden. Another influential group was the scientists behind the book Människans villkor [The predicament of man]. The chapter studies how these two books, and the expertise of their authors, circulated in the mass media (press, broadcast). In addition, it examines how environmental issues were discussed at this time at the highest state level and at the Swedish National Defence Research Institute. In closing, an exchange of letters between Hans Palmstierna and a layperson in Gothenburg sheds light on how environmental issues were understood outside of the media and the corridors of power.
The chapter is prefaced by a brief summary of the policy background. A number of child health outcomes in the UK lag behind those in other comparable countries. Children from deprived areas or with a black or other minority ethnic family background are twice as likely to be obese and this inequality is widening. Children with complex needs and disabilities are often under-served. Four contrasting stories are presented here. Dan is a normally healthy teenager who was hospitalised with an acute bacterial infection from which he has now recovered. His father Jonathan tells the story from his perspective. Dan’s illness took place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jim was a severely disabled young man from birth until his death aged 36. His parents Justin and Lucinda cover his entire life – and death – in their account. In a story fragment, Eve remembers as a child how she came to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Finally, Eileen tells of her experiences as a carer for a teenage son with a diagnosis of scoliosis, including the length of time taken to get an appropriate tertiary referral. She found a support group was helpful. We invite readers to assess how these narratives compare with the four characteristics of patient-centred care outlined in Chapter 1. As with the other chapters, we pose questions arising from these stories, to simulate thinking and reflection. We have divided these into questions of immediate or operational concern, and those which are more strategic or policy-related.
In this concluding chapter, we examine how far William Osler’s injunction – to just listen to the patient – is heeded in today’s NHS. We assess the value of gathering stories in this way as a contribution to truly listening to patients and their families. We reflect on the extent to which the spirit of the NHS Constitution is being upheld, especially in relation to whom the NHS belongs. From the stories we identify five dimensions to care which is organised around patients: kindness, attentiveness, empowerment, organisational competence and professional competence. We compare these themes with the case and the evidence for patient-centred care outlined in Chapter 1. We consider what the stories tell us about the things that patients value, the extent to which these things are put into practice, and what the obstacles are. We reflect on the five themes as the basis for a call to action for improvement. We discuss vital questions of context: in particular, straitened funding and workforce shortages in the NHS, and the experiences of COVID-19. Finally we touch on future trends, for example the rise of digital healthcare, and consider the implications for better organising care around patients.