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Fanny & Alexander

Fanny & Alexander

5.0 1
Director: Ingmar Bergman

Cast: Pernilla Allwin, Bertil Guve, Gunn Wållgren


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Though he made allusions to his own life in all of his films, Fanny and Alexander was the first overtly autobiographical film by Ingmar Bergman. Taking his time throughout (188 minutes to be exact), Bergman recreates several episodes from his youth, using as conduits the fictional Ekdahl family. Alexander, the director's alter ego, is first seen at age 10 at a


Though he made allusions to his own life in all of his films, Fanny and Alexander was the first overtly autobiographical film by Ingmar Bergman. Taking his time throughout (188 minutes to be exact), Bergman recreates several episodes from his youth, using as conduits the fictional Ekdahl family. Alexander, the director's alter ego, is first seen at age 10 at a joyous and informal Christmas gathering of relatives and servants. Fanny is Alexander's sister; both suffer an emotional shakedown when their recently-widowed mother (Ewa Froling) marries a cold and distant minister. Stripped of their creature comforts and relaxed family atmosphere, Fanny and Alexander suddenly find their childhood unendurable. The kids' grandmother (Gunn Wallgren) "kidnaps" Fanny and Alexander for the purpose of showering them with the first kindness and affection that they've had since their father's death. This "purge" of the darker elements of Fanny and Alexander's existence is accomplished at the unintentional (but applaudable) cost of the hated stepfather's life. Ingmar Bergman insisted that Fanny and Alexander, originally a multipart television series pared down to feature-film length, represented his "retirement" work, though within a year after its release he was busy with several additional Swedish TV projects. Oscars went to Fanny and Alexander for best foreign film, cinematography (Sven Nykvist), costumes and art direction/set decoration.

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. Criterion’s newly remastered DVD edition restores this remarkable motion picture to all its glory, and for cineastes its release is one of the signal events of the year.
All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
As Ingmar Bergman's pentultimate theatrical feature, this semi-autobiographical tale of two young children in turn-of-the-century Sweden is a distillation of a six-hour TV miniseries, which the director turned into a 3-hour plus movie. The last feature film that Bergman directed, it is a story seen through a child's eyes. The potent symbolism and profound melancholy that run through most of Bergman's work is evidenced here, but it is balanced by scenes of great sensual pleasure (a true delight, given Bergman's reputation for dourness) and emotional joy. The youthful point-of-view encourages the audience to adopt a naive simplicity while viewing the film, resulting in more profound mood swings as the tale follows the downward spiral of the protagonists' lives after their beloved poppa Oskar dies. Bergman's notoriously determined pacing works particularly well in evoking the childrens' dread in the Bishop's stultifying Puritanical household. The large ensemble cast is uniformly superb, with the two children (Bertil Guve and Pernilla Allwin) a heartbreakingly sweet touchstone for our emotions. This is one of Bergman's most impressive achievements, and probably his most popular and accessible film, as it examines his familiar issues of psychological torment and spiritual confusion in a humanistic and life-affirming context. Nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, Fanny and Alexander took home four trophies, including Best Foreign Language Film, Best Cinematography for Bergman's longtime collaborator Sven Nykvist, Best Art Direction, and Best Costume Design.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
[Wide Screen]
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Special Features

New, restored high-definition digital transfer; Audio commentary by film scholar Peter Cowie; Original theatrical trailer; Optional English-dubbed soundtrack; New and improved English subtitle translation; Bergman video introductions, made for Swedish television; A selection of theatrical trailers; A new essay by novelist Rick Moody

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Pernilla Allwin Fanny Ekdahl
Bertil Guve Alexander Ekdahl
Gunn Wållgren Helena Ekdahl
Börje Ahlstedt Helena's son Prof. Carl Ekdahl
Allan Edwall Oscar Ekdahl
Ewa Fröling Emilie Ekdahl
Christina Schollin Lydia Ekdahl
Jarl Kulle Gustav Adolf Ekdahl
Mona Malm Alma
Gunnar Björnstrand Filip Landahl
Jan Malmsjö Bishop Edvard Vergerus
Marianne Aminoff Bishop's mother Blenda
Erland Josephson Isak Jacobi
Stina Ekblad Ismael
Mats Bergman Aron
Nils Brandt Mr. Morsing
Svea Holst Miss Ester
Heinz Hopf Tomas Graal
Maud Hyttenberg Mrs. Sinclair
Kerstin Karte Prompter
Tore Karte Administrative Director
Ake Lagergren Johan Armfeldt
Sune Mangs Mr. Salenius
Per Mattsson Mr. Mikael Bergman
Lickå Sjöman Grete Holm
Kristina Adolphson Siri
Inga Ålenius Lisen
Kristian Almgren Putte
Harriet Andersson Justina
Pernilla August Maj
Anna Bergman Miss Hanna Schwartz
Siv Ericks Alida
Majlis Granlund Miss Vega
Maria Granlund Petra
Sonya Hedenbratt Aunt Emma
Lena Olin Rosa
Kerstin Tidelius Henrietta Vergerus
Eva von Hanno Berta
Angelica Wallgren Eva

Technical Credits
Ingmar Bergman Director,Screenwriter
Anna Asp Production Designer
Daniel Bell Score Composer
Jörn Donner Executive Producer
Katinka Farago Production Manager
Frans Helmerson Score Composer
Sylvia Ingemarsson Editor
Marianne Jacobs Score Composer
Sven Nykvist Cinematographer
Jacob Tigerskiold Set Decoration/Design
Marik Vos-Lundh Costumes/Costume Designer
Brita Werkmäster Production Manager

Scene Index

Side #1 -- The Theatrical Version
1. Prologue [5:03]
2. The Christmas Play [6:13]
3. Celebration 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. Maj 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 [2:49]
20. Acting Hamlet [7:38]
21. Ghostly Visit [5:03]
22. Poor Children [5:59]
23. Maj's Troubles [2:41]
24. Justina's Story [2:03]
25. Punishment [10:34]
26. Emilie's Confession [3:34]
27. Discussing Maj [5:21]
28. Rescue [8:27]
29. Safe Haven [2:24]
30. The Ghost Returns [3:38]
31. A Long Night [3:48]
32. Aron and Alexander [5:39]
33. Emilie's Revenge [1:55]
34. Ismael and Alexander [5:47]
35. Unfortunate Circumstances [2:41]
36. Christening [5:10]
37. New Beginnings [4:47]
38. A Dream Play [2:54]
39. Credits [2:44]
1. Return to Childhood [5:03]
2. Grand Finale [6:13]
3. Two Brothers [2:39]
4. Bergman's First Love/Dark and Light [3:40]
5. Isak/Family Dynamics [4:30]
6. Togetherness/Börje Ahlstedt [4:54]
7. Restoring the Balance [4:53]
8. Magic Lantern/Sven Nykvist [3:42]
9. Gobelin Tapestry/Costumes and Sets [7:14]
10. Editing/Bergman and Sex [4:49]
11. Stringbergian Dialogue [4:33]
12. Almas and Petras/Literary Quality [5:21]
13. Gunnar Björnstrand/Hamlet [9:38]
14. Bergman and Death [5:25]
15. Grief [2:42]
16. The Bishop/Sources [4:21]
17. Jan Malmsjö/Max Von Sydow [8:50]
18. Dreyer/Lutheranism [4:47]
19. Betrayal [2:49]
20. Exorcism/Trapped People [7:38]
21. Bergman's Parents/Alan Edwall [5:03]
22. Harriet Andersson/Justina [5:59]
23. Maj/The Two Versions [2:41]
24. The Suspense Tightens [2:03]
25. The Trial/Caning [10:34]
26. Long Version [3:34]
27. Delicate Balance/Mistress [5:21]
28. E.T.A. Hoffman [8:27]
29. A Family Affair [2:24]
30. Cuts [3:38]
31. Bergman and Masks [3:48]
32. Magic [5:39]
33. Melodrama [1:55]
34. Ismael/The Outsider [5:47]
35. Dickens/"Ius" [2:41]
36. Summing Up [5:10]
37. Independent Women [4:47]
38. Strindberg [2:54]
39. Credits [2:44]

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Fanny & Alexander 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago