Swedish film-maker Ingmar Bergman has announced his retirement from his illustrious career as he enters his 86th year.

THE SEVENTH SEAL director has bid adieu to his working life - namely his theatre career which last saw him directing HENRIK IBSEN's play Ghosts in 2002.

Bergman tells Swedish newspaper DAGENS NYHETER, "After Ghosts I decided that now it's over. Now it's enough.

"They won't have to carry me out of the theatre. I'll walk out myself.

"No one is going to say: 'Now the old man should know it's time to stop'."

Bergman - who lives on the small island Faaroe in the Baltic Sea - admits he does miss his life working in the theatre.

He says, "The theatre and the actors are what I miss the most when I'm sitting out on Faaroe.

"I didn't think I would miss the actors so much."

Referring to his fifth wife who died in 1995, he adds, "INGRID has been gone now for almost ten years, but I feel close to her here."

As for his approach to work, Bergman says, "It's not about talent, but rather the need to be prepared.

"I can't improvise. I have to be extremely well prepared before I go to work.

"I am pathologically afraid that everything will go to hell, so I try to prepare everything and to predict any possible catastrophes."

19/07/2004 17:08