Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Day 14: “Fanny and Alexander”

Director: Ingmar Bergman 1983
A well-to-do theatrical family in turn-of-the-century Sweden deals with life, death, love, God, ghosts and magic—mostly seen through the eyes of a young boy. There is a wonderful Christmas celebration, a stern and creepy bishop (who becomes stepfather to Fanny and Alexander), truly human characters--and terrific performances from all. Obviously autobiographical in places (although the movie is set eleven years before Bergman’s birth in 1918), “Fanny and Alexander” is so mesmerizing that its three-hours pass quickly. I would have stayed in the hyperbaric chamber to see the end, but had to get out after two-and-a-half hours. The Time Out Film Guide says Bergman’s TV version, which clocks in at five hours, is even better.


Blogger Sam Hunt said...

This was my introduction to Bergman and after watching five or six of his movies since then, it is still my favorite. I watched the full 5-hour version and thought it took a few sittings, didn't notice anything that seemed like it could've easily been removed. I found it more compelling than the 6-hour version of 'Scenes from a Marriage,' which i realize is considered to be his best work.

10:49 AM  
Blogger Vince said...

Sam--Naturally, I went out and bought the big Criterion box set with the five-hour version. The movie really enchanted me and I look forward to seeing more, when I have a spare five hours.
I'm thinking of renting Bergman's "Smiles of a Summer Night." Have you seen it?

8:41 PM  
Blogger Sam Hunt said...

I have not, but am putting on my queue right now. Netflix users agree that it is a 5-star movie, and who am I to dispute?

3:03 PM  

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