Ingmar Bergman’s “Each Film is my Last”

Ingmar Bergman’s essay: “Each Film is My Last” published in the Tulane Review (1966) is an incredible read.

Bergman discusses where his urge to direct films comes from, and why he chooses filmmaking over all other mediums, despite the incredible burdens of the craft.

“I stand in the half-light of the film studio with its noise and crowds, dirt and wretched atmosphere, and I seriously wonder why I am engaged in this most difficult form of artistic creation.The rules are many and burdensome. I must have three minutes of usable film in the can every day. I must keep to the shooting schedule, which is so tight that it excludes almost everything but essentials. I am surrounded by technical equipment which with fiendish cunning tries to sabotage my best intentions. Constantly I am on edge, I am compelled to live the collective life of the studio. Amidst all this must take place a sensitive process which demands quietness, concentration, and confidence.

Simplicity, concentration, full knowledge, technical perfection must be the pillars supporting each scene and sequence. However, they in themselves are not enough. The one most important thing is still lacking: the intimate spark of life, which appears or fails to appear according to its will, crucial and indomitable.”