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« Funny Linky People | Main | Posterized: Oscar's Well Loved Losing Dozen »
Thursday
Feb212013

Dear Ingmar...

Hi lovelies, Beau here with something that plastered a big smile across my face today:

It's a fan letter from Stanley Kubrick to Ingmar Berman. Text after the jump...

February 9, 1960

Dear Mr Bergman,
You have most certainly received enough acclaim and success throughout the world to make this note quite unnecessary. But for whatever it's worth, I should like to add my praise and gratitude as a fellow director for the unearthly and brilliant contribution you have made to the world by your films (I have never been in Sweden and have therefore never had the pleasure fo seeing your theater work). Your vision of life has moved me deeply, such more deeply than I have ever been moved by my any films. I believe you are the greatest filmmaker at work today. Beyond that, allow me to say you are unsurpassed by anyone in the creation of mood and atmosphere, the subtlety of performance, the avoidance of the obvious, the truthfullness and completeness of characterization. To this one must also add everything else that goes into the making of a film. I believe you are blessed with wonderfull actors. Max von Sydow and Ingrid Thulin live vividly in my memory, and there are many others in your acting company whose names escape me. I wish you and all of them the very best of luck, and I shall look forward with eagerness to each of your films.

Best regards, Stanley Kubrick

Amidst all this Oscar brouhaha, it's always nice to see famed filmmakers who really found joy in each others work. Mutual admiration and respect, no gold statues required.

We's totes awesome.

• What's your favorite film from either of these two cinematic heavyweights?

• If you could write one letter to a famed director of yesteryear, who would it be and why?

• Do you think the filmography of anyone currently working might eventually sustain the kind of longevity these two had?

Sound off in the comments.

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Reader Comments (7)

My favorite Kubrick is Eyes Wide Shut, followed closely by Paths of Glory and Dr. Strangelove.

Bergman, however, is my favorite filmmaker and the one to whom I would write a letter. His work IS cinema to me -- vibrantly interior even as it is studiedly aesthetic, profoundly moral, disconcertingly mysterious, altogether memorable. My favorites of his are Through a Glass Darkly, Persona and Wild Strawberries (all three of which would likely land in my all-time top 20), although I could name all-time favorite scenes, too, from The Passion of Anna, The Seventh Seal, The Virgin Spring, Autumn Sonata, Smiles of a Summer Night, Hour of the Wolf...

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJason Cooper

I'd write a letter to Buster Keaton thanking him for all the years of happiness.

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

I'd write a letter to William Wyler thanking him for understanding actors so well.

February 22, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I'd write to Robert Wise for immortalizing two of my favorite musicals and helping to define my childhood.

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJonny

Can there be a time machine involved? 'Cause if so, someone should write to poor 1942 Orson Welles and clue him in as to what's about to happen...

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

I second Nathan's post. My favorite director holds the record for guiding the highest number of Oscar-nominated performances. I believe the term "actor's director" was coined for Wyler.

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

What's interesting about that letter is that it's written in 1960 before Bergman made his masterpieces: Persona, Cries and Whispers, Scenes from a marriage, Fanny and Alexander. The films he made before 1960 are ridiculously overrated.

I wonder if Bergman ever wrote back to Kubrick. Lars von Trier famously wrote Bergman many times but Bergman never wrote back to him, which surely must've pissed von Trier off.
Bergman did, however, call von Trier a genius...

February 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterUlrich

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