Through a Glass Darkly – March 1962

Ingmar Bergman and cinematographer Sven Nykvist on the set.


March 13, 1962

The Academy Award winner for best foreign-language film (1961) premieres theatrically in New York on this date. Swedish writer/director Ingmar Bergman, whose name symbolized intense psychological dramas in the 1960s (all in black and white), would also earn an Oscar nomination in 1962 for best original screenplay. Foreign-language films constitute the majority (3 0f 5) of nominees in that category for the second consecutive year, representing the landmark overseas infiltration of Hollywood six decades before the eventual triumph of an international best picture winner, Parasite,  in 2019/20.

The film also features the sixth collaboration of Bergman with actor Max Von Sydow, who plays Martin, the ineffectual husband of the tormented Karin (played by Harriet Andersson in a searing performance). Sydow and Bergman worked together eleven times, in several of Bergman’s most emblematic films; in addition to Through a Glass Darkly, they include The Seventh Seal, The Virgin Spring, The Hour of the Wolf, and Shame. Sydow (who died March 8, 2020 at the age of 90) enjoyed a lengthy international career outside of Sweden, receiving two Academy Award nominations and reached his widest audience playing the title character in the 1973 horror classic, The Exorcist.


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