Woman, Man, Death, God

Lennart Nilsson / AFP / Getty

Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman teaching his son Daniel how to handle a camera while Bergman's wife and the mother of Daniel, Kibi Laretai, watches.

He created indelible allegories of postwar man adrift without God. He was the movies' great dramatist of strong, tortured women and the finest director of actresses. More than any other filmmaker, he raised the status of movies to an art form equal to novels and plays. Yet when Ingmar Bergman died at 89, the popular description of him was, Woody Allen's favorite director.

What did the domineering Swedish tragedian and the nebbishy American comedian have in common? Plenty. Both created original scripts from their experiences and obsessions. Both worked fast--at least a movie a year for most of their long careers--and...

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