I've seen a lot of his work. I understand him better than Fellini, but like his Italian counterpart, Bergman could often be insular. It is to be wondered if he captured so much his life in codified form in his work. Often his characters played very flat, with a scant hint of torment; they played almost stoic and monkish, from the Seventh Seal to the present case in point of From the Life of Marionettes.
I can see his appeal among film students and younger adults in a certain flattening of feeling, as such the youths can be sometimes be numb to the things around them, appealing even to the counter-culture in his stoicism, that it expressed is cool, almost bored.
In From the Life of Marionettes, photography is off and on, dialogue is off and on; with so many believing Bergman dialogue brilliant, he chews a lot of scenes with musings of nothing consequential. In such a sparse film, faces, eyes, noses, lips of actors are to express something, and in that I wonder how much is lost between the decades and the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean. Most importantly, in Marionettes, we are treated to a long diagnosis of our hero by a psychiatrist, which is essential, giving us the clear indication that other attempts to hint at his state in scenes, frankly fell flat.
I did however like the plot of Virgin Spring, even if the camera was lazy and did not foster expression. It was so emotionless, stoic like Max Von Sydow.