Paul Britten Austin, a poet and relative of filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, will give two public lectures at Cornell on Monday, March 3, including one about his renowned brother-in-law.
In a lecture titled "The Bergman Background," at 4:30 p.m. in the Film Forum of the Center for Theatre Arts, Austin will discuss Bergman's family background and how his early experiences shaped his work, said Don Frederickson, associate professor of film and director of Cornell's undergraduate film studies program. Austin will give a second Cornell lecture titled "The Life and Songs of Carl Michael Bellman," about the work of this 18th-century Swedish songwriter at 7:30 p.m. in Cornell's A.D. White House. The lecture will include recordings of Bellman compositions and will be followed by a student musical performance.
"Austin's proximity to the Bergman family enables him to shed light on Bergman's childhood, augmenting what Bergman has said in his autobiography The Magic Lantern," said Frederickson, who is writing a book about Bergman's 1966 film Persona.
"It's a rare opportunity to get a peek inside the family environment of a word-famous artist," he added.
Austin's books include On Being Swedish and Life and Songs of Carl Michael Bellman. He has translated into English more than 100 Swedish books, plays and other works, including several Bergman films. He also has worked as the manager of the Swedish Tourist Office in London and headed the English-language section of Radio Sweden.
Austin's visit to Cornell is sponsored by the Cornell Institute for European Studies; the departments of Music and of Theatre, Film and Dance; the Swedish Information Service; and the Scandinavian Student Association. For more information about Austin's lectures, contact Lena Trancik, senior lecturer in Swedish and faculty adviser to the Scandinavian Student Association, at (607) 255-1156 or firstname.lastname@example.org.