A young woman, Karin, has recently returned to the family island after spending some time in a mental hospital. On the island with her is her lonely brother and kind, but increasingly ... See full summary »
Max von Sydow
The title characters are children in the exuberant and colorful Ekdahl household in a Swedish town early in the twentieth century. Their parents, Oscar and Emilie, are the director and the leading lady of the local theatre company. Oscar's mother and brother are its chief patrons. After Oscar's early death, his widow marries the bishop and moves with her children to his austere and forbidding chancery. The children are immediately miserable. The film dramatizes and resolves those conflicts. A sub-plot features Isak, a local Jewish merchant who is the grandmother's lover and whose odd household becomes the children's refuge. Written by
All three of the Ekdahl sons are named after Swedish kings. In fact, if we assume that the characters are the same age as the actors who played them, then Oscar Ekdahl would have been born during the reign of Oscar I (reigned 1844- 1859), and Carl during the reign of Karl XV (reigned 1859 - 1872). Gustav Adolf would also have been born three years after Oscar, and thus during the reign of Oscar I as well, so he was presumably named after Gustav II Adolph (reigned 1611 - 1632), who made Sweden an international power during the Thirty Years' War, and who is possibly more famous to movie fans as the father of Queen Christina. See more »
In the theatre scene, early in the movie, Georg Årlin, who plays a high ranking military man, is seen whispering with a person sitting next to him. The next shot shows other people talking, and then Årlin is seen behind them at the left corner, in conversation with no one, staring into space in front of him. See more »
"...Anything can happen, anything is possible. Time and space do not exist..."
"Fanny and Alexander" (1982) was announced at the time of its release as Ingmar Bergman's swan song, his last film for the big screen. It is his most optimistic and enchanting blend of romance, tragedy, comedy, fantasy, and mysticism. Set in Sweden in the beginning of the 20th century, the film follows the lives and adventures of two children, brother and sister Fanny and Alexander Edkahl.
I love Bergman in every mood and in every genre - I love him dark, bleak, harrowing ("Shame"), mysterious ("Persona"), merciless and devastating ("Scenes from a Marriage, "Face to Face", "Autumn Sonata). I love his lighter, smiling side ("Wild Strawberries", "Smiles of a Summer Night). Even for a master of Bergman's powerful talent, "Fanny and Alexander" is extraordinary - a profound film which is also one of his most accessible works.
Pablo Picasso said once, "When I was 9 years old, I could paint like Rafael; as an adult, all my life I tried to learn how to paint like a child". In his final film, one of the greatest masters of dark and sometimes morose psychological studies looks at the world with a child's eye. The words he chose to finish his film with reflect the hope, the happiness and the magic that can be fully felt only in one's childhood: "...Anything can happen, anything is possible. Time and space do not exist. ..On a flimsy ground of reality, imagination spins out and waves new patterns." --- August Strindberg's introductory notes for A Dream Play.
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