Woody Allen: Bergman ‘was the finest director of my lifetime’

American film icon Woody Allen on Monday said he was devastated to hear Swedish filmmaker and playwright Ingmar Bergman had died, hailing him as cinema's greatest director.

Woody Allen: Bergman 'was the finest director of my lifetime'
Photo: Colin Swan

“I was very sorry to hear Ingmar passed away,” Allen told Swedish daily Aftonbladet’s website.

“He was a friend and certainly the finest film director of my lifetime,” added Allen, who has also expressed great admiration for Bergman in the past.

In a 70th birthday tribute in 1988, Allen said Bergman was “probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera.”

Bergman, considered one of the most influential directors of the 20th century, died Monday at his home on the Swedish island of Fårö. He was 89.