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Sven Nykvist

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Sven Nykvist


Sven Nykvist Sven Nykvist Writer Films as Cinematographer Other

Full Name
Sven Vilhem Nykvist

3 December 1922 (
Moheda, Kronobergs lan, Sweden

September 20, 2006, Stockholm, Sweden

Ulla Soderlind (m. 1952–1968), Ulrika Nykvist (m. ?–1982)

Carl-Gustav Nykvist, Johan Nykvist

Gustav Natanael Nykvist, Gerda Nilsson

Cries and Whispers, Fanny and Alexander, Persona, The Sacrifice, Through a Glass Darkly

Similar People
Ingmar Bergman, Erland Josephson, Liv Ullmann, Gunnar Bjornstrand, Bibi Andersson

Understanding the Cinematography of Sven Nykvist

Sven Vilhem Nykvist ([svɛn ˌvɪlhɛlm ˈnyːˈkvɪst]) (3 December 1922 – 20 September 2006) was a Swedish cinematographer. He worked on over 120 films, but is known especially for his work with director Ingmar Bergman. He won Academy Awards for his work on two Bergman films, Cries and Whispers (Viskningar och rop) in 1973 and Fanny and Alexander (Fanny och Alexander) in 1983, and the Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography for The Unbearable Lightness of Being.


Sven Nykvist Siete aos sin Sven Nykvist el fotgrafo de Bergman

His work is generally noted for its naturalism and simplicity. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest cinematographers of all time. In 2003, Nykvist was judged one of history's ten most influential cinematographers in a survey conducted by the International Cinematographers Guild.

Sven Nykvist Film Production Why The Cinematographer is Your MVP

Sven nykvist s cinematography and work with ingmar bergman the snob s dictionary vanity fair

Life and career

Sven Nykvist Sven Nykvist Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Nykvist was born in Moheda, Kronobergs län, Sweden. His parents were Lutheran missionaries who spent most of their lives in the Belgian Congo, so Nykvist was raised by relatives in Sweden and saw his parents rarely. His father was a keen amateur photographer of African wildlife, whose activities may have sparked Nykvist's interest in the visual arts.

Sven Nykvist Light Keeps me Company The Life and Art of Sven Nykvist Offscreen

A talented athlete in his youth, Nykvist's first cinematic effort was to film himself taking a high jump, to improve his jumping technique. After a year at the Municipal School for Photographers in Stockholm, he entered the Swedish film industry at the age of 19.

Sven Nykvist Sven Nykvist Explore The Criterion Collection

In 1941, he became an assistant cameraman at Sandrews studio, working on The Poor Millionaire. He moved to Italy in 1943 to work at Cinecittà Studios, returning to Sweden two years later. In 1945, aged 23, he became a full-fledged cinematographer, with his first solo credit on The Children from Frostmo Mountain.

Sven Nykvist Rare 7minute interview w cinematographer Sven Nykvist from 1986

He worked on many small Swedish films for the next few years, and spent some time with his parents in Africa filming wildlife, footage which was later released as a documentary entitled In the Footsteps of the Witch Doctor (also known as Under the Southern Cross).

Sven Nykvist Flashback Sven Nykvist and Gunnar Fischer From the Current The

Back in Sweden, he began to work with the director Ingmar Bergman in 1953 on Sawdust and Tinsel (released in the US as The Naked Night). He was one of three cinematographers to work on that film, the others being Gunnar Fischer and Hilding Bladh.

Nykvist would eventually become Bergman's full-time cinematographer and push the director's work in a new direction, away from the theatrical look of his earlier films. He worked as sole cameraman on Bergman's Oscar-winning films The Virgin Spring in 1959 and Through a Glass Darkly in 1960. He revolutionised the way faces are shot in close-up with Bergman's psychologic drama Persona in 1966.

After working with other Swedish directors, including Alf Sjöberg on The Judge (1960) and Mai Zetterling on Loving Couples (1964), he then worked in the United States and elsewhere, on: Richard Fleischer's The Last Run (1971); Louis Malle's Black Moon (1975) and Pretty Baby (1978); Roman Polanski's The Tenant (1976); Jan Troell's Hurricane (1979); Bob Rafelson's version of The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981); Agnes of God (1985); Woody Allen's Another Woman (1988) and Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989); Richard Attenborough's Chaplin (1992); Nora Ephron's Sleepless in Seattle (1993); and Lasse Hallström's What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993).

Nykvist won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography for two of his films: Cries and Whispers (1973), and Fanny and Alexander (1982), both of which were Bergman films. At the 9th Guldbagge Awards in 1973 he won the Special Achievement award for his work on Cries and Whispers. He was also nominated for a Cinematography Oscar for The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), and in the category of Best Foreign Language Film for The Ox (1991), in which he directed Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann.

He won a special prize at the Cannes Film Festival for his work on The Sacrifice (1986), the last film of the Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky. He was the first European cinematographer to join the American Society of Cinematographers, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the ASC in 1996.

He wrote three books, including Curtain Call in 1999.

His ex-wife, Ulrika, died in 1982. Nykvist's career was brought to a sudden end in 1998 when he was diagnosed with aphasia, and he died in 2006, aged 83.

He is survived by his son, Carl-Gustaf Nykvist, who directed his first film, Woman on the Roof, in 1989 and directed a documentary about his father, Light Keeps Me Company, 1999.

Selected filmography

  • Sawdust and Tinsel (1953)
  • Laughing in the Sunshine (1956)
  • The Virgin Spring (1960) (Jungfrukällan)
  • Through a Glass Darkly (1961) (Såsom i en spegel)
  • The Silence (1963) (Tystnaden)
  • Winter Light (1963) (Nattvardsgästerna)
  • Persona (1966)
  • Shame (1968) (Skammen)
  • Hour of the Wolf (1968) (Vargtimmen)
  • The Passion of Anna (1969) (En Passion)
  • The Touch (1971) (Beröringen)
  • The Last Run (1971)
  • Siddhartha (1972), from the Hermann Hesse novel, directed by Conrad Rooks
  • Cries and Whispers (1973) (Viskningar och rop) (won Academy Award for Best Cinematography)
  • Scenes from a Marriage (1973) (Scener ur ett äktenskap)
  • The Dove (1974)
  • The Magic Flute (1975) (Trollflöjten)
  • The Tenant (1976) ( Le Locataire) directed by Roman Polanski
  • Face to Face (1976) directed by Ingmar Bergman
  • The Serpent's Egg (1977) (Das Schlangenei)
  • Autumn Sonata (1978) (Höstsonaten)
  • Pretty Baby (1978)
  • Starting Over (1979)
  • Marmalade Revolution (1980)
  • From the Life of the Marionettes (1980) (Aus dem Leben der Marionetten)
  • Fanny and Alexander (1982) (Fanny och Alexander) (won Academy Award for Best Cinematography)
  • Star 80 (1983)
  • Agnes of God (1985)
  • The Sacrifice (1986)
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988) (nominated for Academy Award for Best Cinematography)
  • New York Stories (1989) (segment "Oedipus Wrecks")
  • Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
  • Buster's Bedroom (1990)
  • The Ox (1991)
  • Chaplin (1992)
  • Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
  • What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
  • Something to Talk About (1995)
  • Celebrity (1998)
  • References

    Sven Nykvist Wikipedia

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