Fanny and Alexander

25 Mar

It’s difficult to talk of favourites, especially when it comes to Ingmar Bergman films. How can you choose between Summer with Monika, the Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, Smiles of a Summer Night or Cries and Whispers to name just a few of the great man’s works? Yet I can’t deny the special place that Fanny and Alexander has in my heart. Last week I watched the full five hour version for the third time and found myself even more captivated than ever by it. My fondness for is based on different factors; growing up almost as an only child with half siblings who lived elsewhere and no other relatives my own age, I still dream of being part of a large family and in particular celebrating Christmas the way the Ekdahl family do. The project was also one of Bergman’s final collaborations with his brilliant cinematographer Sven Nykvist who could capture light like no other. There is a scene towards the end of the first episode where Alexnder is riding on a sledge with a flaming torch casting shadows on his face against the winter landscape and it has to be one of the loveliest I have ever seen. Probably the main reason though why I love it is because of its pure magic which is why I don’t wish to go into too much detail. In a world where so many things can be explained, dissected and objectified, I’m grateful that something manages to escape. This is an exquisitely crafted tapestry full of emotions and light. Simply watch it without any fixed ideas, alone or with friends, perhaps one evening when the wind is blowing strongly over the rooftops or perhaps after the first cold snap has left frost on the branches.

 

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3 Responses to “Fanny and Alexander”

  1. Kat March 26, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

    I’ve always wanted to see this film, but never got around to it. Thank you for the inspiration!
    I love reading your posts about cool films! So glad you started this blog!
    See you very soon in Berlin! Hope we can go to movies and see some nice ones!
    Kat

  2. emilycinephile March 29, 2011 at 5:56 am #

    Maybe we could have a couple of viewing sessions and watch it together or of course you’re very welcome to borrow my copy anytime. Can’t wait till you arrive in less that a week and it’ll be nice having someone to go to the cinema with. Most friends either don’t like the same kind of films or hate original versions with subtitles. In April there’s a Jacques Demy festival at the Arsenal Kino which looks great. Take care, xoxo.

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  1. Copenhagen « Les Carabinieres - April 10, 2011

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