Cinema event of the year

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‘Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.’ – Ingmar Bergman.

The next two weeks are filled with cinematic splendour and if you’re a fan of all things film then you’ll already have your eyes glued to the red-carpet antics of the French Riviera and beyond, for the cinema event of the year is here.

The Cannes festival began on May 8 and runs on for a star-studded fortnight. Star Wars might be stealing much of the spotlight, but amongst the glittering premieres of the next couple of weeks, there’s lots to look forward to from some of the most accomplished, cerebral and controversial filmmakers – from Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing; She’s Gotta Have It) to Lars Von Trier (Breaking the Waves; Dancer in the Dark,) Asghar Farhadi (A Separation; The Salesman) to Pawel Pawlikowski (My Summer of Love; Ida,) Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire; Paris, Texas) and the iconic Jean-Luc Godard (A bout de Souffle; Bande à part.) It’s a list of directors revolutionary and influential, and as such people go, it feels right that this week at the Showroom we are rejoicing in the work of one of the world’s most prolific , philosophical directors, Ingmar Bergman. Today, a handpicked season of films kicks off with a special introductory talk by Swedish cinema expert Peter Walsh to get you up to speed and in the mood for a whirlwind ride through Bergman’s back catalogue, taking in hits such as Persona, Wild Strawberries and The Seventh Seal. Curated through the BFI’s huge Bergman project, it’s a worldwide celebration of the life and work of Bergman in the period leading up to what would have been his 100 th birthday in July this year. Our season will be running here in Sheffield every week.

Called Permanent Dreams, it’s a timeless and stimulating season for everyone, whether you’re a lover of all things Sweden, or just dipping your toes into the amazing thoughts and ideas that made Bergman’s work so iconic. We’ll be exploring the relationship between films and dreams; how they occupy a space away from the everyday limitations of time and place and let the imagination run wild. Ingmar Bergman was a master of this; across his 60-year career he frequently lifted moments directly from his dreams, using these ready-formed scenes to craft worlds in which to explore the intricacies of life, death and everything in between. The season includes a mix of his most famous and universally-adored titles, alongside some rarely seen. From actors marooned on remote far-off islands; families in anguish; teenage summers of love; terrifying games of chess with Death; star-crossed lovers; affairs of the heart, and horrors in the head - visions, nightmares and daydreams collide with ground-breaking style and mind-bending beauty.