Prauge - Žižkov's Aero cinema last week launched a unique series of 43 films by Swedish director Ingmar Bergman that will run until mid-December.
Entitled simply Bergman, the festival will screen two to three films per day. An extensive catalogue, including critical texts on the individual films, has been published for the occasion.
A part of the opening ceremony, which took place in the downtown cinema Světozor on 14 October, was the screening of Bergman's latest film, Saraband, from 2003.
The organizers managed to assemble the most comprehensive collection of Bergman's works that has ever been presented to the Czech audience.
The films are being screened chronologically, starting with Bergman's oldest films from the 1940s and ending with his latest production from the 1980s.
The programme includes some of Bergman's less-known works, including Sawdust and Tinsel, Smiles of a Summer Night, The Virgin Spring, The Magician, Winter Light, Through a Glass Darkly, Hour of the Wolf, Cries and Whispers, and Shame.
Some items on the programme are completely unknown to the Czech audience, including Summer Interlude, Secrets of Women, The Joy, A Passion, The Rite, From the Life of the Marionettes, and After the Rehearsal.
About Ingmar Bergman
Bergman was one of the first post-war filmmakers who introduced existential themes in cinematography. His name soon became a synonym for highly aesthetic psychological film.
His best-known works include Scenes from a Marriage, Persona, Fanny and Alexander, Wild Strawberries, The Seventh Seal and The Silence.
Bergman died on 30 July 2007, almost the same day as Michelangelo Antonioni, another giant of the world cinematography.
A part of the festival is a number of documentaries about the director, including the film Bergman's Island by Marie Nyreröd, the only filmmaker whom Bergman ever allowed to film inside his house on the Fårö island.
"She made a terrific film, including materials from Bergman's archive, his accounts of his childhood, his first loves, and also his worst daemons," says Aero's art director Ivo Andrle.
The Prague screening of Bergman's Island will be introduced at Světozor on 3 November by the documentary's author herself, giving the audience a chance to talk to someone who was very close to Bergman. Nyreröd will also launch a Bergman exhibition to accompany the film festival.
A shorter version of the Bergman festival will later be staged in Hradec Králové and Brno.
The festival is organized by the Embassy of Sweden in cooperation with Axman Productions, and is marking Bergman's 90th birthday.