I wrote [Scenes from a Marriage] just for fun and didn’t know what to do with it. It was like Winnie the Pooh. You know, Christopher Robin was ill and, every evening before sleep, A. A. Milne told him one of those little stories. Then he wrote them down and suddenly the whole world bought Winnie the Pooh. It was the same with Scenes from a Marriage. I wrote it for fun, for myself. I started with the third scene, then I wrote the fourth, then the second. The whole thing took me about four weeks. Remember, it’s called Scenes from a Marriage, not the Marriage. To me, it was very private. Then suddenly it wasn’t private any more, suddenly it became a shared experience for a great number of people. In Denmark, for instance, the divorce statistics went up. That’s got to be good!

A Visit with Ingmar Bergman, New York Times Magazine | 1975

[…] I wanted to make it for television, a more beautiful everyday product, since we had practically no budget. We planned to create six episodes, each to be rehearsed for five days and then filmed during the subsequent five days. About fifty minutes of film would be made in ten days, which meant that the six episodes would be finished in a little more than two months. When we actually shot the film, it went much faster than that. Erland Josephson and Liv Ullmann enjoyed their parts as Johan and Marianne and learned them quickly. Suddenly we had a film that had cost practically nothing, which was great since we were broke. (Cries and Whispers had not yet been sold.)

All in all, Scenes from a Marriage was a pure joy to make because we approached it as a television production and made it without feeling the paralyzing pressure of making a feature film.

Images: My Life in Film | Ingmar Bergman

"When I decide to portray a part, I can never completely hide who I am, what I am. At the point of identification, the audience encounters a person, not a role, not an actress. A face to face. It’s what I know about women. It’s what I have experienced, what I’ve seen. That’s what I want to share with you."

Liv Ullmann
Born December 16, 1938

Bibi AnderssonBorn November 11, 1935
"When I was reading a script, I tried to figure out what side of me [Bergman] was trying to use now, or what had he seen, or what it was that he did not want. You can sometimes be very frustrated if you feel the part does not do you justice. When I read Persona I wasn’t flattered. I didn’t understand why I had to play this sort of insecure, weak personality when I was struggling so hard to be sure of myself and to cover up my insecurities. I realized that he was totally aware of my personality. I was better off just trying to deliver that. It’s a good way to know oneself. Sometimes I think artists instinctively are very good psychiatrists. I also think all parts have to be based on oneself, otherwise they will never come across.”

Bibi Andersson
Born November 11, 1935

"When I was reading a script, I tried to figure out what side of me [Bergman] was trying to use now, or what had he seen, or what it was that he did not want. You can sometimes be very frustrated if you feel the part does not do you justice. When I read Persona I wasn’t flattered. I didn’t understand why I had to play this sort of insecure, weak personality when I was struggling so hard to be sure of myself and to cover up my insecurities. I realized that he was totally aware of my personality. I was better off just trying to deliver that. It’s a good way to know oneself. Sometimes I think artists instinctively are very good psychiatrists. I also think all parts have to be based on oneself, otherwise they will never come across.”

"Film as dream, film as music. No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight room of the soul. A little twitch in our optic nerve, a shock effect: twenty-four illuminated frames a second, darkness in between, the optic nerve incapable of registering darkness. At the editing table, when I run the strip of film through, frame by frame, I still feel that dizzy sense of magic of my childhood: in the darkness of the wardrobe, I slowly wind on one frame after another, see the almost imperceptible changes, wind faster — a movement."

Ingmar Bergman (July 14, 1918 -– July 30, 2007)

Scenes from a Marriage // dir. Ingmar Bergman