After watching these two films, I thought I'd pop in Intermezzo, a conversation Bergman had with Gunnar Bergdahl. In this May 11, 2001 interview, Bergman talks about Antonioni, whom he admired. Both filmmakers died July 30, 2007. Towards the end, Bergdahl asks, "Do you think about death?" to which Bergman replied:
"When you're an adolescent and in the Sturm und Drang [meaning] period you love thinking, you might say, like a self murderer. Of taking one's life. It's stylish and it's romantic and it's also a way of seducing pretty girls.
But now in my older days when death is such a fantastically manifest reality the only thing you want to avoid is becoming a vegetable. And perhaps as well you occassionally think - as I've witnessed it, you think there is - a lot of physical pain in death.
But otherwise I have to say my fear of death was much, much worse in my thirties, forties, and fifties.
But it has subsided. The fear isn't there anymore."
After that last line Bergman sat in silence, as did everyone else in the studio, for what seemed like an eternity until he decided to end the interview and leave - very quickly. Glad, though, he stayed little longer and made Saraband.