Hiding Out with Ingrid Bergman

MVFF Exhibit is not easy to find—but it’s well worth the effort

photo 1-7October 10, 2015 — Just out of shouting distance of the crowds, right around the corner from the thrumming hub of cinematic energy that is the Rafael Film Center (in downtown San Rafael), there is a free exhibit of photos and film clips celebrating the 100th birthday of Ingrid Bergman (1915-1982). According to Film Center programmer Richard Peterson, the exhibit—titled The Saga of Ingrid Bergman—comes to the Mill Valley Film Festival straight from the Embassy of Sweden, in Washington, D.C., where it was developed and presented as part of Sweden’s cultural outreach program. The showing is tucked away in an unused office space at 1020 B. St. “It’s not easy to find, that’s for sure,” laughs Peterson, on opening night of the exhibit, attended (when I was there) by only about a dozen people, “but we’re hoping the word spreads and people coming looking for it. I don’t think people will be disappointed.” True, and most attendees of the festival will be walking past the exhibit anyway, as it stands between the theater and one busy parking area.

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The exhibit is comprised of 30 photos of Bergman showing the actress in her professional and personal life, and a multimedia kiosk with three screens showing clips of her films with details of her rise and fall—and rise again—in Hollywood. There are also a small number of movie posters, which are cool to see close up and life-sized.
The underlying tone of the exhibit is one of deep respect, making the case for Bergman as the consummate artist and iconoclast. Hardcore Ingrid fans are unlikely to discover anything new, but it’s thrilling to see one of the most iconic actresses of all time get the star treatment, and bit of praise and love, all over again.


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