Is your film collection snoop ready?
The chamber of secrets that we had entered was situated in Bergman’s house at Fårö. This was the room where he kept his private collection of videotapes, all in all 1711 movies, neatly arranged in alphabetic order.
Alfredson’s eyes moved quickly over the rows. Then, like a homing missile, he stopped and pulled out a movie for everyone to see. It was Emmanuelle, a soft porn movie from the 70s.
I waited for some kind of commentary or analysis to come. What did this say about Bergman? Had this film had an influence on him as a director? Was it an example of a particular broad approach to movies? But he was lost for words. “A very… exciting movie…. About a woman who is naked, I think”, he said awkwardly before putting it back and moving over to another movie in a safer territory.
I was watching the first episode of “Bergman’s video”, a Swedish TV series based around Bergman’s videofilms. Apparently the word “Bergman” has magical effect on famous film makers. All the TV-team had to do was to say: “Did you know that Bergman had a tape with your movie [insert name ]?” This was the only door opener the they needed to get access to names such as Woody Allen, Robert de Niro, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott and Lars von Trier. They were delighted to be a part of this series.
Now, without having any knowledge about it, I would guess that Bergman was well aware of and approved that people would check out his collection of movies after he was gone. I can’t imagine he would have anything against Alfredson finding it.
But a thought popped up in my backhead: is this the only one? Or would it be possible that Bergman had a secret drawer somewhere with more of that kind? It wouldn’t be a strange thing: as far as I understand it most men watch pornography occasionally in their lives. It’s rather the opposite – a complete lack of porn consumption – that is rare.
Bergman displayed Emmanuelle openly. Now I wonder how other film collectors handle those things.
For my own part I’m a bit of a bore in this area: I can’t think of any movies that I wouldn’t like my children to find. Our film collection is relatively small and I can’t recall anything particularly exciting. And if there is any, I’m sure that my kids have found it already, our house isn’t big enough to hold secrets.
What about you? Have you got an official collection of movies that is safe for snooping visitors to go through? Do you keep a secret pile locked up somewhere else, containing anything from explicit sex to zombies, anything that you don’t want to expose to your parents or the children of visiting friends? Have you taken precautions in case of your death, seeing to that a trusted friend will come and grab the films that can make your mother embarrassed before she finds them?
Are you prepared to have your video collection inspected by a TV show?