best film:  There is quite a bit to choose from here as Bibi Andersson was a frequent player in the world of the great Ingmar Bergman. Wild Strawberries and Scenes from a Marriage deserve some consideration – but in the long run it comes down to either The Seventh Seal or Persona with 1966’s bold masterpiece ultimately earning the top honor.  This category is most definitely a strength for Andersson – both Persona and The Seventh Seal are easy top 100 of all-time films.

 

Persona– the best of Bibi’s nine (9) collaborations the great Ingmar Bergman

 

best performance:  Though her work in the same film may fall short of Liv Ullmann’s, Bibi Andersson’s performance in Persona should not be overlooked. There is no shame in losing out to Ullmann. Andersson plays Alma, and her monologue – a sort of erotic confession to Ullmann’s Elisabet Vogler – is one of the highlights of this masterpiece.

 

stylistic innovations/traits:   Bibi Andersson is the third actor from the talented troupe of Bergman players to make this list after Ullmann and Ingrid Thulin. Chronologically, Bibi started working with Bergman after Harriet Andersson (no relation) but before Liv Ullmann. Both Andersson’s are in Smiles of a Summer Night – one of Bergman’s breakthrough films and successes. Harriet was the more known quantity at the time in 1955 and this is Bibi’s first archiveable film. Bibi would surpass Harriet here in Bergman’s eyes for the next few years – similar to how Liv Ullmann would surpass Bibi in the late 1960s. That transition is certainly on display in the four person chamber drama The Passion of Anna in 1969 (where Ullmann is Anna). Bibi never really excelled outside of her collaborations with Bergman (like say Ingrid Thulin in The Damned) and she missed out on Cries & Whispers (it is almost tragic for that Bibi did not land a role in this particular Bergman film especially with room enough for four great female roles in it). Yet, Bibi is in all three films: Wild Strawberries, The Seventh Seal and Persona– just like Gunnar Björnstrand.

 

Bibi playing Bergman’s personification of purity and goodness – Mary – in 1957’s The Seventh Seal

 

directors worked with:   Ingmar Bergman (9)

 

Bibi Andersson plays a crucial role in Wild Strawberries – a dual role – one character is Sara- the professor’s love interest from his youth – the other a hitchhiker. Bergman’s pen is so sharp – the two hitchhiker suiters of Bibi’s character debating religion at lunch is just one of the many superior exchanges and scenes.

 

 

top five performances:

  1. Persona
  2. Wild Strawberries
  3. The Passion of Anna
  4. The Seventh Seal
  5. The Magician

 

archiveable films

1955- Smiles of a Summer Night
1957- The Seventh Seal
1957- Wild Strawberries
1958- The Magician
1964- All These Women
1966- Duel at Diablo
1966- Persona
1969- Passion of Anna
1971- The Touch
1973- Scenes From a Marriage
1978- An Enemy of the People
1987- Babette’s Feast