Brow Beat

The Mirrors of Ingmar Bergman

One of the many joys of Ingmar Bergman’s films is the intimate, inward experience of watching them: the audience is lulled, like so many of the director’s characters, into a permanent state of reflection. It’s fitting, then, that one of Bergman’s main motifs is the mirror. The above video essay, done by Kogonada for the Criterion Collection, stitches together some of the best examples.

The result is a taut distillation of Bergman’s themes. The masterstroke, though, is the voice-over reading of Sylvia Plath’s “Mirror”—as a poem told through the perspective of the title object, it serves as a delightful meta-commentary on the director’s obsession with introspection.