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Ingmar Bergman's films had a very broad and rich relationship with the rest of European cinema, contrary to the myth that Bergman was a peripheral figure, culturally and aesthetically isolated from the rest of Europe. This book contends that he should be put at the very center of European film history by chronologically comparing Bergman's relationship to key European directors such as Carl Theodor Dreyer, Jean-Luc Godard, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Andrei Tarkovsky, and also looks at Bergman's critical relationship to key movements in film history such as the French New Wave. In so doing, it demonstrates how Ingmar Bergman's films illustrate the demonic struggle in modernity between faith and secularity through "his intense preoccupation with the malaise of intimacy."
John Orr was Emeritus Professor at the University of Edinburgh where he taught film studies. He contributed to many film journals, and his books include Cinema and Modernity, Contemporary Cinema, The Art and Politics of Film, and Hitchcock and Twentieth Century Cinema. His most recent book is Romantics and Modernists in British Cinema (Edinburgh UP, 2010).