This year the Cannes Film Festival—the Festival de Cannes—which begins this Wednesday and runs through May 24th , is paying tribute to the great Ingrid Bergman. I can't say the poster design is my favorite—I much prefer the Paul Newman/Joanne Woodward poster design from 2013 while Bergman's poster does little more than feature her beautiful face. Frankly it feels like it needs a good designer BUT I do appreciate Ingrid Bergman received the honorific. As the Cannes organizers said in their press announcement, Bergman was a modern icon:
Hollywood star Ingrid Bergman was a modern icon, an emancipated woman, an intrepid actress, and a figurehead for the new realism. She changed roles and adoptive countries as the mood took her, but never lost sight of her quintessential grace and simplicity.
This year’s poster captures the actress, who worked with Alfred Hitchcock, Roberto Rossellini and Ingmar Bergman, and starred opposite Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart and Gregory Peck, in all her beauty, her face lit up by a calm serenity that seems to herald a promising future.
Liberty, audacity, modernity – values also shared by the Festival, year after year, through the artists and films it showcases. Ingrid Bergman, who was President of the Jury in 1973, encouraged this journey…
“My family and I are deeply moved that the Festival de Cannes has chosen to feature our magnificent mother on the official poster to mark the centenary of her birth,” said Isabella Rossellini. “Her outstanding career covered so many countries, from the smallest European independent films to the greatest Hollywood productions. Mum adored working as an actress: for her acting was not a profession but vocation. As she put it, ‘I didn’t choose acting, acting chose me.’ ”Bergman's most famous role was inarguably Ilsa in Casablanca but she also took my breath away in Indiscreet with Cary Grant. Take a look at this scene where the two of them cuddle up in bed together, when their beds are miles apart. That's chemistry times charisma!
Based on a photograph by David Seymour, co-founder of Magnum Agency, Hervé Chigioni, who also created for last year’s remarkable Festival poster, was once again behind this year’s image, with his graphic designer Gilles Frappier.
Bergman was memorable as usual as the woman Charles Boyer tries to make believe has gone insane in Gaslight. She won the Oscar for her role and popularized the term 'gas-lighting' ; I know I've accused my husband of gas-lighting me, how about you? Beautiful, elegant and gracious, she sizzled as a reluctant spy with Cary Grant in Notorious and electrified us as the doctor to Gregory Peck's amnesia patient in Spellbound. She was absolutely sob-worthy in The Inn of the Sixth Happiness where she played the real-life English woman who devotes her life to helping the poor in a remote village in China. Watching that one on our old black and white set, I cried my eyes out as she brings the Chinese children to safety during the Japanese invasion. But you know I do tend to cry my eyes out. My parents were both softies, what can I say? I don't quite remember if I've ever actually seen the film version of For Whom the Bells Toll but when I visited Key West last week I saw the framed poster hanging in Hemingway's home. She and Gary Cooper were both Oscar nominated for that one and like many classic films it's now available on Amazon, Google Play and Vudu so I really should check it out.
There are more, many more. Ingrid Bergman also won the Oscar for 1957's Anastasia opposite Yul Brynner and took home a Best Supporting Actress award in 1975 for Murder on the Orient Express. What's your favorite Ingrid Bergman flick? Cactus Flower, Hedda Gabler, Autumn Sonata?
Visit the official page for the Cannes Film Festival for the film line up and more.
Maybe one day I'll get to go to France during the Cannes Film Festival, for now, I'm ...
click the link to join other Francophiles dreaming of France too.