I believe both of them studied theaters, arts and film making and UCLA. Apparently they were in a elitist phase in uni where they believe "We were both really big film fans in university. At that time unless you only liked foreign film, and hated American ones, you weren’t cool"
When Sveriges Radio approached us with the idea of creating our own musical for the radio,” Russell said, “we were excited about the prospect yet hesitant at trying to figure a way to successfully fulfil their only restrictions with the project: that it incorporates the Swedish language in some manner. Once we came up with the idea of placing one of the ultimate Swedish icons and one of our favourite film directors, Ingmar Bergman, in a fantasy setting, we became extremely excited about this musical and knew we were on to something special.”
Ron Mael wrote on the liners note "We were familiar with much of Bergman;s work in film from our university years when cinema was considered a legitimate art form and Bergman was considered a master. It didn't hurt that being a "foreign film" buff at the time was as much of a turn on to young ladies as being a football star. Hollywood films were for the masses and we were not of the masses. Liking Bergman at the time was even more prestigious than liking any director from the French New Wave because he was ... Swedish! France was such an obvious choice"
When they decided to do the Ingmar Bergman concept they decided to watch every single Bergman movie in preparation for it.
: Depends on what kind of cinema you like.
: I'm not really a big Bergman fan though. I
: guess "The Seventh Seal" is still
: his best-known picture, but I don't think it
: works well as an introduction (or as a film
: for that matter).
: "Summer with Monika" is charming;
: "Wild Strawberries" is another
: good one; the whole bogus "Trilogy of
: Faith" is probably his finest
: achievement in my opinion. Maybe start with
: "Winter Light". It's not exactly
: pleasant, but it's Bergman alright.
: If you're into more experimental stuff
: "Persona" is your bet.
: Honestly though, I don't believe that Sparks
: are really big Bergman fans.
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