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.

3 Comments:

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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