Dan Schneider On Fanny And Alexander
Fanny and Alexander (, Ingmar Bergman) Bergman reveals characters both young and old, relationships bitter and filled with other than another part of the master's personal signature, which he retained until the end. I will begin and end my analysis of Fanny and Alexander where Berg man does —by .. ently not found in her marriage to Oscar Ekdahl. In the script, she. Synopsis: Fanny and Alexander Ekdahl belong to a prosperous theatrical family in Christmas season and passes away, leaving their mother Emilie devastated. the film reflects the director's complicated emotional relationship with his late.
The plot in a nutshell goes like this. Two wealthy kids stoic Fanny; intense, indulged Alexander grow up in the bosom of a lovingly dysfunctional family home. Following their dad's death, mum remarries a bishop a superb performance by Jan Malmsjo and an Oedipal struggle breaks out between Alexander and his icy new stepfather.
Matters are resolved in a devastating final section inside an exotic curiosity shop, in which Alexander is shown "the swift way that evil thoughts can go". Along the way we run across an androgynous madman, a bloated, bedridden aunt and a lecherous uncle who lights his own farts.
Few films boast as many indelible supporting characters as Fanny and Alexander. Bergman die-hards traditionally describe this as the director's most user-friendly movie, as though that's somehow a bad thing.
Fanny and Alexander - Wikipedia
True, it contains more in the way of light and warmth than some of the more nakedly anguished masterworks The SilenceThrough a Glass Darkly. But light does not necessarily mean lite, and certain sections of Fanny and Alexander are as harrowing and profound as anything you will find in Cries and Whispers or The Seventh Seal.
This applies not only to marriage. The human condition, Bergman seems to imply, is characterised by a need for closeness with others, but all attempts to get close, to express that need, fail, and in the process one harms both oneself and others. Sibling conflicts Although not so common in Bergman's films, sibling conflicts certainly deserve a mention. Anna with her son Johan and her sister Ester in The Silence Her anguish on the point of death is intensified by her sisters' lack of love.
Her only solace comes from the servant, Anna, not a member of the family: The Humiliation of the Child One only has to look at his later works, especially the autobiographical ones like Fanny and Alexander, The Best Intentions and Sunday's Childrento see how Bergman's frequent punishments as a child have left an indelible impression that he has grappled with in his later professional life.
Yet, as mentioned elsewhere, the humiliation of the child is present even in his earliest writings. However, in early Bergman the children in question have usually grown up and started to revolt against their parents.
In The Silence, the boy Johan appears to be completely left to his own devices while his mother occupies her time with erotic escapades. And never having wanted any children, Elisabet in Persona consequently neglects her son. Charlotte is a self-obsessed, dominant mother with little interest in her two daughters. The films centres on Eva's confrontation with her mother, who refuses to appreciate what she has subjected her children to.
Otherwise Fanny and Alexander is probably the most well known of Bergman's depictions of the vulnerable child. On a number of occasions Alexander is caught lying by his stepfather, and the ritual of punishment and apology becomes increasingly refined. Those who have read The Magic Lantern will recognise these rituals from the director's own childhood experiences.
If you've never seen a Bergman, see Fanny and Alexander
Yet Bergman's own memories may well have been fuelled by August Strindberg, who, in a famous passage from Son of a Servant Woman writes: Splendid, moral institution, holy family, irreproachable and divine foundation for bringing up citizens in the ways of truth and virtue! Reputed seat of virtue, where innocent children are tortured into their first lie, where willpower is crushed to pieces by despotism, where self-esteem is suffocated by selfishness.
Family, the home of all social evil, a charitable establishment for all comfortable women, an anchorage for bread-winners, and a hell for children!
The first is when Oscar spins a tale of intrigue from an old wooden chair, on that opening Christmas Eve, about how the chair is art, and art is connected to life, essentially, and how not to judge things by appearances.Fanny and Alexander ending scene
This sentiment is reprised and expounded upon, later, when Isak, after rescuing the children, spins a primal tale- ostensibly from a Hebrew book of legends, but clearly from his own pained psyche, that ends up with Alexander having his own ideas of great import, as well as a symbolic dream set in a desert.
There are some interesting bits of symbolism in the film, and were it not for the sheer depth and power of the larger tale being woven, some of it might irk and be a bit too heavy-handed. Also, the barren mausoleum-like household of the Bishop vs. It is clear that the families approach life differently, but such sharp contrasts, in a film like this, are not really necessary, for the characters themselves convey such differences. Inanimata need not be employed to underline what the dialogue and script- by Bergman, so aptly do.
It is marvelous- one of the best jobs that company has done. There is a single disk with the theatrical version, which- Hallelujah! That disk also features an excellent film commentary by Bergman film scholar Peter Cowie. Although manifestly scripted, he conveys an ease and breadth of knowledge of the film and actors that rarely gets didactic.
We get helpful anecdotes, interesting insights, and even some rationales for specific scenes or artistic choices, as well as bits of trivia that delight film fanatics.
However, he does make some unsupported statements, such as claiming the chronological order of the three Ekdahl brothers, or telling us that Helena Ekdahl was half-Jewish.
These flaws are minor quibbles, however, in an otherwise top notch commentary. It simply follows scenes of the filming, with no real discussion by Bergman nor any of the participants, nor any commentary.
Especially in this DVD age, the film seems sort of self-indulgent and pointless. The final disk is a superb little treasure. There are eleven several minute long insightful video introductions by Bergman for many of his greatest films, which were taped for the release of those films on European DVDs. Also, most of them come with trailers.