Tag Archives: Bergman

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.