Marie Nyreröd (SE)

Director, documentary filmmaker and TV producer. Born in Arvika in 1955.

After completing her journalist studies in 1980, Marie Nyreröd was employed by the Swedish state television, SVT, where she has been highly active ever since. As both reporter and producer, she has made her most distinctive marks specializing in cinema-, theatre- and literature-related topics, notably for the arts magazine shows Nike (1990s) and Kobra (2000s and 2010s), spanning three decades. Under the heading Dramat i soffan (loosely, The Armchair Drama, 2004-2005), she explored the history of Swedish television stage productions through the years. Apart from being producer and project manager of the literature magazine Babel, she has also herself done some memorable coverage for the show, including in-depth portraits of Joyce Carol Oates, Patti Smith and Nobel prize recipient of 1913, Rabindranath Tagore.

In 2001, while visiting New York together with photographer Åke Visén in order to do a story on the legendary Hotel Chelsea, the World Trade Center attacks suddenly erupted. As the only Swedish television journalist in town, she got to spend three intense days delivering live reports from the disaster area back to Sweden. A somewhat surprizing but notable entry in the curriculum of a creator of intimate personal profiles and penetrating interviews.

In 2000, she was invited by author Sara Lidman to her home in Missenträsk in northern Sweden, a visit that resulted in the television documentary Det står livet efter – en film om Sara Lidman (loosely, It takes a back seat to life – a film about Sara Lidman). A few years later, Nyreröd also managed to gain access to the more private spheres of Ingmar Bergman, at least significantly more so than most journalists. Her resourceful behaviour during the New York chaos most certainly gained his trust, she has herself deducted. Starting out with little snippet-like introductions in connection with a television season of Bergman films, the collaboration gradually grew into something more, including a friendship.

It also resulted in a three-part documentary titled, respectively, Bergman och filmen (Bergman and the cinema), Bergman och teatern (Bergman and the theatre) and Bergman och Fårö (Bergman and Fårö). Nyreröd and her team were given a unique opportunity to film fresh footage at his home in Fårö, in the north of Gotland. In their interviews, they look back on his childhood, his views on the concepts of love, life and death and finally, his existence as an old geezer and monarch of this secluded island realm, one that became all his own.

This trilogy gained vast international attention, with screenings at Cannes, and also, edited into a documentary feature called Bergman Island, as a DVD special presented by Criterion. Bergman Island would be screened at film festivals all over the world and was nominated for an Emmy award in 2004.

For more than two decades now, Nyreröd has been “in cahoots” with Bergman. She has taken a large amount of her initial Bergman documentary material, including interviews with persons from Bergman’s different walks of life, and compiled them into a television feature, Bergmans början: ilska kärlek magknip (loosely, Bergman’s Beginnings: Anger, Love and Bellyaches). It serves as an introduction, a portrait of the artist as a young man of sorts, where ex-girlfriend testimonies and his mother’s diary notes brings to life a picture of a manically creative young laddie, complete with assorted choleric outbursts and a perennially bad stomach.

2018 celebrated the centennial birthday of Bergman with considerable hubbub in assorted media with Nyreröd readily on board. “I’d like this Bergman year to feel filled with pleasure and fun – because Ingmar was really fun”, she emphasized. Needless to say, she was appointed supervisor of all things Bergman-related on Swedish television during the year. Her centennial commissions include the Bergman Revisited project, where directors such as Lisa Aschan, Tomas Alfredson, Pernilla August, Linus Tunström and Jane Magnusson each contributed a Bergman-inspired short with full creative freedom within the ten-minute mark. The Bergman television year also produced a brand new documentary by Kristian Petri, Winter Light Revisited, focusing on Bergman’s thoughts on his directorial methods.

She has also given due attention to the women in Bergman’s life, many of them very strong personalities, worthy of extensive focus. In The Undefeated Woman (Den obesegrade kvinnlighetenen film om Gun Bergman), a documentary about Gun Grut Bergman that screened at the 2018 Bergman Week, Nyreröd brings us the story of Gun Grut, later Gun Bergman, and the passionate affair of the two married lovers, driven to a pinnacle during their Paris escapades, where Mr Bergman’s well-documented (not least in his own fictional writings) fits of jealousy had a heyday. Nyreröd documents a highly interesting and headstrong woman, who does not let Bergman, or anyone else, choose her paths in life. The film was selected for the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, IDFA in 2018.

Louise Lagerström (2018, redigerad 2020)
(translated by Jan Lumholdt)

Basic info

Main profession: Director
Born: 1955
Active: 2000-

Filmography

Regi:
Den obesegrade kvinnligheten – en film om Gun Bergman (2018)
Bergman och filmen (2004)
Bergman och Fårö (2004)
Bergman och teatern (2004)
Bergman Island (2004)
Det står efter livet – en film om Sara Lidman (2000)

Producent:
Den obesegrade kvinnligheten – en film om Gun Bergman (2018)

Roll:
Bergman och filmen (2004)
Bergman och Fårö (2004)
Bergman och teatern (2004)
Bergman Island (2004)

 

Read more about the films at Svensk Filmdatabas (SE)

Awards

2004: Emmy-nominerad för Bergman och Fårö, Bergman och filmen.

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