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A previously unknown Ingmar Bergman script is to be filmed

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Well this could turn out to be rather special. A previously unknown script by Swedish director Ingmar Bergman ( The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, Persona, Cries and Whispers, Fanny and Alexander). The film, Sixty-Four Minutes With Rebecka, was intended to be part of a collaboration with Federico Fellini and Akira Kurosawa.

The script was written in 1969 and is to be turned into a film to mark the 100th anniversary of Bergman’s birth.

Sixty-Four Minutes With Rebecka is about a teacher of deaf children who falls pregnant. The film follows her over the course of a few days, during which she gets into a car accident, visits a sex club and goes to dress fittings.

Katharine Ross (The Graduate) was originally going to play Rebecka. There is no word on who will be cast in the film now.

Bergman’s script was going to be part of a portmanteau film with Fellini and Kurosawa. That would suggest the script would be for a shorter film than usual. It is to be adapted and filmed by Suzanne Osten, one of Sweden’s most prominent directors. According to The Guardian, this is a surprising choice as they were openly hostile to each other up until his death in 2007. They were on opposite sides of the cultural struggle of the late 1960s: Bergman was seen as traditionalist, individualist and patriarchal, whereas Osten was one of the founders of the radical, feminist and collectivist Group 8 movement.

Osten has already adapted it as a radio play, which will have its world premiere on 6 November on Sveriges Radio.

“At first I was rather reluctant,” Osten said. “I had zero idea what it was. And then I was really enthusiastic when I read it. I exclaimed immediately, ‘Wow! He was a feminist for 64 minutes!’”

Jan Holmberg, who runs the Ingmar Bergman Foundation, said he was delighted when he found out Osten would be making the film, describing it as “a match made in heaven”.

“They had a difficult personal relationship to say the least,” Holmberg said. “Bergman tried his best at times to hurt Osten’s career, whereas she, from her underdog position, would attack his world view, his privileges, his alleged abuse of power, etc. As it recently turned out that Bergman had written a script on exactly those issues – gender, power, sexuality, politics, etc – during this exact time, I for one couldn’t think of a better director than Suzanne Osten to do it.”

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