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.
Appears in: Magic & Loss: Coming of Age Onscreen
Other Films by Ingmar Bergman
One of Bergman’s most famous and audacious experiments in a career filled with piercing character studies and psychological realism unparalleled in Western cinema, Persona is a taut, unflinching portrait of two women at once: Elisabet Vogler (Liv Ullmann), a famous actress who has ceased speaking, and her caretaking nurse Alma (Bibi Andersson). Elisabet goes months …