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Fanny and Alexander

With his most pronounced cinematic meditation on childhood and memory, Ingmar Bergman abandons the expressionistic and existentially obsessive tendencies that informed so much of his classic work, shifting focus to a warm and primarily realist mode of storytelling in service of peering back into the era of his youth. Fanny and Alexander is the great Swedish master’s most autobiographical work, filled to the brim with keen observations of family life and the upper class values and manners of early 20th century Sweden. Shot in warm tones that match the glow of the magic lantern so vividly captured in the film, Bergman collaborates here, once again, with cinematographer Sven Nykvist in crafting a look that effortlessly conjures the period and emotional weight of his material. Ostensibly his retirement picture (though he continued to write and direct for the stage and small screen), Fanny and Alexander is an elegant denouement to one of the greatest careers of the cinema. “As childhood films and memory films go, Fanny and Alexander is likely the best of either ever made.”—Chris Cabin, Slant Magazine. In Swedish, German, and Yiddish with English subtitles.

Genres: Drama

Other Films by Ingmar Bergman

Summer with Monika

Originally regarded as an erotic exploitation film, Monika enjoyed reappraisal as Bergman gained international recognition. Here he first articulates his recognizable psychological affinity with the ocean shore in a story of naïve desire and doomed romance. Shy, bourgeois Harry (Lars Ekborg) and the sultry, restless Monika (Harriet Andersson), escape their dreary lives in Stockholm and

The Virgin Spring

Bergman returns to the medieval Sweden of The Seventh Seal with this decidedly modern parable based on a 14th-century religious folk tale pitting Christian revenge against pagan magic. Töre (Max Von Sydow), a devoted father, leads a quiet, dignified family life. His love for his daughter Karin (Birgitta Pettersson) is affectionate but overbearing, and his

Smiles of A Summer Night

The inspiration for Woody Allen’s A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy and Steven Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, Bergman’s Smiles is an erotic, nostalgic jab at upper-class sexual repression and marital dysfunction. At a turn-of-the-century country estate, eight men and women—invited for a summer weekend—embark on frenzied rounds of sexual intrigue and deception as they variously

Autumn Sonata

Bergman’s only collaboration with Swedish film legend Ingrid Bergman, Autumn Sonata serves as a complimentary, yet more melancholy parallel to Wild Strawberries. Charlotte (Bergman), a professional musician, examines her life from the contemplative perch of old age. After having watched a lover die, she is reunited with her neglected and estranged daughter. Eva (Liv Ullmann)


Musicians Jan (Max Von Sydow) and Eva (Liv Ullmann), take refuge in a remote farmhouse hoping to escape the coming horrors of a civil war. There they face Bergman’s classic themes of personal isolation and fatalism, set in the context of political violence. Shame finds the director trying to make sense of postwar Europe in