Ingrid Bergman is the Cannes poster girl

  • Gautaman Bhaskaran, Hindustan Times, Chennai
  • Updated: Mar 24, 2015 15:14 IST

It is poster time at the Cannes Film Festival. And Sweden's Ingrid Bergman, that pinup actress, that heartthrob of millions of men, will be a poster girl all over again.

Bergman, the iconic star with bobbed hair will look at us from a rich black and white poster which the Festival has chosen for its 68th edition, starting May 13. Bergman's spellbinding smile, which one saw in movies like Notorious, Gaslight, For Whom the Bells Toll and, of course, Casablanca, radiates the poster.

The face on the poster amply illustrates Bergman's quintessential grace and simplicity. An emancipated woman, she played a mind-boggling variety of roles, changed her adoptive countries -- but remained an epitome of neo-realism.

Bergman acted for such legends as Alfred Hitchcock, Georges Cukor, Victor Fleming, Jean Renoir, Roberto Rossellini and Ingmar Bergman -- and with men as dashing and debonair as Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart and Gregory Peck among others. Little did she realise as she quipped to Grant in Notorious: "You’re afraid you’ll fall in love with me," that she would go on to inspire the greatest directors of her time, and also serve as Andy Warhol's muse for a series of portraits. Those countless films and posters from 1932 to 1978 were emblazoned with the picture of an actress who remains one of the greats of cinema history.

The Bergman poster is taken from a David Seymour photograph. Gilles Frappier helped design it.

This September Bergman would have turned 100, and the Festival's poster comes as a great accolade. But the salute will not end here. A documentary, Ingrid Bergman, in Her Own Words, by Stig Bjorkman (who has authored books and movies on Woody Allen as well) will be screened as part of the Cannes Classics, a section that showed some works of Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen in the past.

The Festival will also be associated with an Ingrid Bergman Tribute in September that will be organised by her daughter, Isabella Rossellini. The show, directed by Guido Torlonia and Ludovica Damiani, will be based on the star’s autobiography and her correspondence with husband Roberto Rossellini, and will be staged in those five cities which had a bearing on her life: Stockholm, Rome, Paris, London and New York.

The Festival will run till May 24, and its official selections will be announced in Paris on April 16.

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