FROM the late 1950s through the early 1980s, the name Ingemar Bergman was virtually synonymous with art-house cinema. But by the time the Swedish filmmaker died in 2007, he seemed to have gone out of fashion.

A mere week after his death, the critic Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote an Op-Ed piece in The New York Times titled ''Scenes From an Overrated Career.''

''The same qualities that made Mr. Bergman's films go down more easily'' than those of more  demanding masters like Carl Theodor Dreyer and Robert Bresson , Rosenbaum wrote, ''also make them feel less important today, because they have fewer secrets to impart.''

A filmmaker's perceived importance waxes and wanes; so do ideas about what art ought to do. The Criterion Collection's impressive and almost exhaustive Blu-ray set, ''Ingmar Bergman's Cinema,'' released recently, makes a fresh case for his importance.

Do the films in it impart many secrets?  Having explored this new box-set, I found that Bergman's art today seems more interested in laying the bare intimacies than in proffering enigmas.

It certainly offers dozen of hours of engagement, illumination and even entertainment.

For decades, few living directors could lay greater claims to a seat in the art-house pantheon than Bergman.

His reputation had been building internationally since the foreign release of ''Summer With Monika''  in 1953 - later recut and marketed to American viewers as ''Monika, the Story of a Bad Girl'' a racier-than-Hollywood film that earned him some notoriety.

The honor and serving of the latest operational research on great legends in film-making, continues. The World Students Society thanks author, researcher, and critic, Glenn Kenny.


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