Fanny & Alexander Box Set

Fanny & Alexander Box Set

4.0 3
Director: Ingmar Bergman

Cast: Ingmar Bergman

     
 

Honored writer and director Ingmar Bergman's final masterpiece, Fanny & Alexander, gets a long-awaited deluxe DVD treatment thanks to this magnificent five-disc release from The Criterion Collection. Every inch of this release, from the DVD menu design to the box set packaging, is a perfect example of the classic Criterion style. Things get off to a roaringSee more details below

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Overview

Honored writer and director Ingmar Bergman's final masterpiece, Fanny & Alexander, gets a long-awaited deluxe DVD treatment thanks to this magnificent five-disc release from The Criterion Collection. Every inch of this release, from the DVD menu design to the box set packaging, is a perfect example of the classic Criterion style. Things get off to a roaring start with the full-length (312-minute) version of the film broadcast on Swedish television in 1984. This version, which is Bergman's preferred cut of the film, has never been available on home video in the U.S. The film's 1.66:1 aspect ratio looks stunning, and the film, which is split up on two discs, features remarkably sharp picture quality and audio done in an all-new high-definition digital transfer. The second disc features one of the set's first hidden gems -- a new documentary titled "A Bergman Tapestry." This nearly 40-minute retrospective features new interviews with many of the surviving cast and crew members from Fanny & Alexander. Next up is the more familiar 188-minute theatrical cut of the film. While the picture and audio mix appears the same, this disc features an insightful commentary from film scholar Peter Cowie and the film's original theatrical trailer. Between the television and theatrical versions, fans with time to spare can finally compare and contrast the two very different versions of the same story. The set's final two discs consist of a treasure trove of rare items sure to thrill Bergman enthusiasts. First, there is the long-awaited Bergman-directed feature-length documentary The Making of Fanny & Alexander. In the documentary, the viewer has the rare opportunity to get a glimpse into Bergman's on-set behavior, his attention to detail, and his relationship with actors. Next up is a Swedish television special titled Ingmar Bergman Bids Farewell to Film in which we see a very relaxed Bergman lounging on a couch as he discusses his childhood, his career, and why he quit making films. A stills gallery, sketches of the film's Oscar-winning costume design, and video footage of Anna Asp's set designs round off this fourth disc. The fifth and final disc features a fascinating special made once again for Swedish television, only this time in 2003, when we see the 85-year-old director looking back on 11 of his films and offering thoughts on what those films meant to him when he made them and what they mean to him today. For several of the films, the original U.S. theatrical trailers are included. As if all this were not enough, Criterion has included a beautifully made booklet containing choice photos from the film and essays from film critics and writers from around the world. An outstanding DVD package for an outstanding film, Criterion's five-disc Fanny & Alexander will be a prized possession for any serious cinemagoer.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Announced with some fanfare as the final feature-length film to be directed by Ingmar Bergman, the autobiographical Fanny and Alexander turned out to be one of this great filmmaker’s very best movies. One would be hard pressed to imagine a more fitting culmination to such a distinguished career -- but, as it turned out, Bergman still had many stories to tell, albeit mostly for Swedish television. This 1982 film begins as the loving Ekdahl family, a financially comfortable clan, gathers to celebrate Christmas; but tragedy soon strikes when the patriarch dies. Ten-year-old Alexander (Bertil Guve) and eight-year-old Fanny (Pernilla Alwin) suffer terribly after their widowed mother (Ewa Froling) marries an outwardly pleasant clergyman (Jan Malmsjo) who turns out to be a sadistic tyrant. It takes the efforts of their indomitable grandmother (Gunn Wallgren) and her Jewish friend (Erland Josephson) to liberate the children. Bergman’s cinematic memoir is certainly realistic, but it’s also enchanting, as you would expect from a fairy tale. Comedy, tragedy, romance, and fantasy skillfully blend to create a perfect evocation of time and place. On the one hand, there’s an ebullient sense of wonder; on the other, a gothic sensibility reminiscent of such tales as Jane Eyre. The performances are above reproach, especially those of Guve and Alwin, who betray none of the precious theatricality that all too often mars the work of child actors. Sven Nykvist’s cinematography provides one unforgettable image after another, and Daniel Bell’s superb music perfectly underscores the moods Bergman creates so powerfully with his innate storytelling ability. The Criterion Collection has finally released Bergman's 312-minute cut of the film -- nearly twice as long as what was shown in theaters -- that was originally shown on Swedish television in 1984 as a four-part miniseries. Now issued in the U.S. for the first time ever, this was Bergman's preferred version of the film, and as such this DVD set is one of the signal events of the year.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/16/2004
UPC:
0037429197622
Rating:
R
Source:
Criterion
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
5:12:00
Sales rank:
1,061

Special Features

New, restored high-definition digital transfers; Ingmar Bergman's feature-length documentary The Making of Fanny Alexander, presented here for the first time on DVD in a new high-definition digital transfer; "Ingmar Bergman Bids Farewell to Film," a one-hour conversation between Bergman and Nils Petter Sundgren made for Swedish television in 1984; Audio commentary on the theatrical version by film scholar Peter Cowie; "A Bergman Tapestry," a new documentary featuring exclusive interviews with cast and crew; Rare introductions by Bergman to 11 of his films; A selection of Bergman theatrical trailers; Costume sketches and video footage of the models for the film's sets; Optional English-dubbed soundtrack on the theatrical version; Stills gallery; New and improved English subtitle translations; 36-page booklet featuring new essays by documentarian and film historian Stig Björkman, novelist Rick Moody, and film scholar Paul Arthur

Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Fanny & Alexander
1. Prologue [7:30]
2. The Christmas Play [5:40]
3. Celebration and Preparations [6:32]
4. The Big World and the Little World [3:22]
5. The Family Arrives [4:30]
6. Christmas Dinner [8:37]
7. Fireworks [5:49]
8. Bedtime / After the Meal [8:29]
9. Magic Lantern [4:16]
10. The Emperor's Chair [7:40]
11. Helena and Isak [8:03]
12. Maj and Gustav Adolf [5:11]
13. Lydia and Carl [8:48]
14. Alma and Gustav Adolf [:37]
15. Christmas Morning [4:07]
16. Credits [3:13]
1. Rehearsal [7:12]
2. Oscar Takes Ill [8:13]
3. Deathbed [8:54]
4. Grief [2:42]
5. Condolences [6:30]
6. Funeral / The Ghost [4:32]
7. Leaving the Theater [8:18]
8. Lies and an Announcement [10:20]
9. A New Home [6:10]
10. Marriage and Concerns [3:48]
11. Acting Hamlet [8:17]
Disc #2 -- Fanny & Alexander
1. Maj's Troubles [6:33]
2. Poor Children [7:17]
3. Justina's Story [2:03]
4. Ghostly Visit [6:43]
5. Punishment [10:27]
6. Emilie's Confession [4:34]
7. Ghosts In the Attic [3:28]
8. Discussing Maj [8:57]
9. A Family Divided [6:44]
10. Credits [:01]
1. Rescue [9:45]
2. Safe Haven [3:01]
3. Isak's Tale [8:17]
4. Cards On the Table [15:51]
5. The Ghost Returns [3:38]
6. A Long Night [4:18]
7. Aron and Alexander [7:09]
8. Emilie's Revenge [1:55]
9. Ismael and Alexander [5:48]
10. Unfortunate Circumstances [4:09]
11. Return To the Theater [3:10]
12. Epilogue: Christening [7:59]
13. New Beginnings [5:43]
14. A Dream Play [2:55]
Disc #3 -- Fanny & Alexander
1. Prologue [5:03]
2. The Christmas Play [6:13]
3. Celebrations and Preparations [2:39]
4. The Big World and the Little World [3:40]
5. The Family Arrives [4:30]
6. Christmas Dinner / Fireworks [4:54]
7. Bedtime [4:53]
8. Magic Lantern [3:42]
9. Helena and Isak [7:14]
10. Kaj and Gustav Adolf [4:49]
11. Lydia and Carl [4:33]
12. Christmas Morning [5:21]
13. Oscar Takes Ill [9:38]
14. Deathbed [5:25]
15. Grief [2:42]
16. Funeral / The Ghost [4:21]
17. Lies and an Announcement [8:50]
18. A New Home [4:47]
19. Marriage and Concerns [:42]
20. Acting Hamlet [2:07]
21. Ghostly Visit [7:38]
22. Poor Children [5:03]
23. Maj's Troubles [5:59]
24. Justina's Story [2:41]
25. Punishment [2:03]
26. Emilie's Confession [10:34]
27. Discussing Maj [3:34]
28. Rescue [5:21]
29. Safe Haven [8:27]
30. The Ghost Returns [2:24]
31. A Long Night [3:38]
32. Aron and Alexander [3:48]
33. Emilie's Revenge [5:39]
34. Ismael and Alexander [1:55]
35. Unfortunate Circumstances [5:47]
36. Christening [2:41]
37. New Beginnings [5:10]
38. A Dream Play [4:47]
39. Credits [2:54]
Disc #4 -- Fanny & Alexander
1. Saying Hello [3:12]
2. Pillow Fight [3:56]
3. Uppsala [7:45]
4. Blocking [8:57]
5. Camera Movement [7:26]
6. Condolences [7:36]
7. The Christening [4:19]
8. The Puppet Theater [4:16]
9. Christmas Dinner [9:48]
10. Through the Doorway [2:07]
11. The Dolls / The Mummy [5:00]
12. Alexander and Ismael [6:59]
13. Hamlet [4:10]
14. Gunnar Björnstrand [18:52]
15. Funeral [3:27]
16. "Die, You Devil!" [7:10]
17. Fire [1:14]
18. Last Day [3:20]
1. "Like Drilling For Water" [7:37]
2. Bergman's Childhood [7:40]
3. Celebration of Life [9:04]
4. The Bishop / Dogmatism [6:13]
5. Listening [4:39]
6. Children and Grownups [4:26]
7. Life and Death [10:24]
8. Centerpiece / The Women [8:59]

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