With Ingmar Bergman's passing on Monday, no one was busier this week than famed Bergmaniac Woody Allen, who was the go-to eulogizer for the director he's repeatedly cited as "probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion-picture camera." Allen told Time magazine: "[He was] a magical filmmaker. There had never been anything like [him], this combination of intellectual artist and film technician. His technique was sensational." In Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet he says, "[Bergman] was a friend and certainly the finest film director of my lifetime."
Even people that couldn't get Woody on the phone had something to say about his appreciation for the filmmaker who inspired him to stop being funny. Film Babble points out the many ways in which Allen's films were influenced by Bergman, and New York Times book blog Papercuts directs us toward his review of Bergman's 1988 autobiography, The Magic Lantern, in which he recalls his first exposure to the filmmaker's work:
I was a teen-ager living in Brooklyn, and word had got around that there was a Swedish film coming to our local foreign film house in which a young woman swam completely naked. Rarely have I slept overnight on the curb to be the first on line for a movie, but when Summer With Monika opened at the Jewel in Flatbush, a young boy with red hair and black-rimmed glasses could be seen clubbing senior citizens to the floor in an effort to ensure the choicest, unobstructed seat.
Woody Allen on Ingmar Bergman [Time]
Woody Allen: Bergman 'Was the Finest Director of My Lifetime' [The Local]
Ingmar and Woody [Paper Cuts]
Ingmar Bergman — The Woody Allen Angle [Film Babble]
Earlier: Edelstein on Bergman: The Master of the Dream Play