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Fanny och Alexander

4 August, 2007; 10:54 Leave a comment Go to comments

Fanny & AlexanderYou probably saw my post on Ingmar Bergman earlier this week. This was a serious loss for Sweden — a few people I know felt personally saddened. Not only was he thought of throughout the world as one of — or possibly the — greatest artist ever to work in the film medium, but for Sweden he was also known for his contributions to theater and television. Of course, this is Sweden, so it hasn’t really been “all-Bergman all the time” as it would be for whatever counterpart in the U.S. on American media. But Swedish Television has shown a few of his most famous productions. And it’s a good thing, too. …

You see, I’m embarrassed to say that until he died, I had never seen a Bergman film! Yes, go ahead and berate me, have at it. But, all of you who now say you are a Bergman aficionado, well Ha!, I defy you to say that you have seen Fanny & Alexander. Oh, so you have, I hear you reply. But…have you really seen all of it? All five hours, eight minutes of it?

I tuned in Friday night to see this film, which is thought of as one of this three best films (along with Wild Strawberries, shown the evening after he died, and The Seventh Seal), and it won four Academy Awards in 1982. But I didn’t exactly realize what I was getting into. This wasn’t the 3-hour, 8-minute wide release that was subtitled in English and released in the U.S. No, this was to be the original version, a four-act mini-series for Swedish Television!

So, five-some hours, a simple dinner, several beers, and a bit of the new Ben & Jerry’s Peace of Cake ice cream later, now I have seen it. With the help of Wild Strawberries earlier in the week, I think I’ve finished my introductory crash-course in Bergman films.

Categories: film, people
  1. kat
    6 August, 2007; 23:56 at 23:56

    for shame! never seen a bergman film. Scenes from a marriage should be somewhere on your list too–another tv miniseries that was edited for theatrical release. actually the male lead comes off as sort of shallow in the film, but supposedly is much more developed in the tv version.

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