|Ernst Ingmar Bergman (14 July 1918 ľ 30 July 2007) was a Swedish director, writer and producer for film, stage and television. His influential body of work often dealt with themes such as bleakness and despair, as well as comedy and hope, in his cinematic exploration of the human condition. Described by Woody Allen as "probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera", he is recognized as one of the most accomplished and influential film-makers of modern cinema.|
He directed sixty-two films, most of which he also wrote, and directed over one hundred and seventy plays. Among his company of actors were Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson and Max von Sydow. Most of his films were set in the landscape of Sweden, his major themes being death, illness, betrayal and insanity.
Bergman was active for more than six decades, but his career was seriously threatened in 1976 when he suspended a number of pending productions, closed his studios, and went into self-imposed exile in Germany for eight years following a botched criminal investigation for alleged income tax evasion.