Reclusive Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman rails against the movie business for its rampant "butchery and whoring," according to a rare interview published today.
The 82-year-old filmmaker, one of the most recognized in modern cinema, typically does not speak to journalists. He broke his code of silence with a bang, telling Swedish tabloid Expressen that he has no lost love for the industry now that he's retired from film.
"I have left, after all, the branch of butchery and whoring," Bergman told the paper. Asked what he meant, Bergman answered, "Yes, films."
Bergman's films and the plays he has directed often use desolate imagery, and are filled with lonely characters. His noted movies include Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, and Fanny and Alexander.
Despite his disgust with the movie business, Bergman watches films daily in a private movie theater. He owns 4,500 videotapes, and every year chooses 150 to 200 films from the Swedish Film Institute, which are brought to him so he can keep abreast with Swedish movies.
Bergman recently directed a play, Maria Stuart, which is running until the end of May and stars Swedish actresses Pernilla August and Lena Endre.
The famed director said there are two places in the world where he feels at home: the rugged Swedish islet of Faro, where he lives, and in Rome. On Faro, Bergman owns seven houses to host his numerous children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Bergman, who was married five times and has eight children, admitted to having been a bad father, but said he now has good relations with all his offspring. The 1995 death of his wife Ingrid (no relation to the actress of the same name) devastated him.
Bergman said he now has few personal relations — only one best friend, the Swedish actor Erland Josephson, who appeared in many of his films. The two speak on the phone just once a week, and do not visit in person.
Reuters contributed to this story.