“It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself, and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.”
— James Baldwin, Collected Essays
Bergman, who suffered a nervous breakdown in the late 1970s, now regulates his life precisely: taking a walk after breakfast, writing for three hours, having lunch and reading in the afternoon.
“Demons don’t like fresh air - they prefer it if you stay in bed with cold feet,” he joked, adding more seriously: “[For] a person who is as chaotic as me, who struggles to be in control, it is an absolute necessity to follow these rules and routines.
“If I let myself go, nothing will get done.”
The director admitted that there were days when he spoke to no one, but he insisted that he was never lonely, despite his isolation.
“There is something joyous about not talking,” he observed.
—Tania Branigan, “Even I think my films are depressing, admits Ingmar Bergman” (The Guardian, April 9, 2004)
"I remember, as a kid, when I first understood that only half of every tree is visible, that the roots in the soil are equal to the branches in the sky, that a whole other half is underground. It took me a lot longer, well into adulthood, to realize people are like that too."