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The Making of Fanny and Alexander (1986)
"Dokument Fanny och Alexander" (original title)

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Title: The Making of Fanny and Alexander (1986)

The Making of Fanny and Alexander (1986) on IMDb 7.8/10

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14 September 1986 (Portugal)  »

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The Making of 'Fanny and Alexander'  »

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A sweet, intriguing companion piece to the feature
21 November 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

While the making of Ingmar Bergman's last film, Fanny and Alexander, has been available on video for some time, that it is now available along-side the new American DVD release of the TV series/Theatrical cuts makes it essential viewing. Along with an interview as a bonus feature with Bergman in 1984, the film acts like a kind of sequel to another director's documentary- "Ingmar Bergman Makes a Movie"- which charted his production of Winter Light.

For Fanny and Alexander, we as the audience get an evolutionary look at the production, from out-door scenes simply involving a horse and carriage, to the elaborate, joyous Christmas and Christening dinners, and to the dead silent, dead serious scenes involving the tragedies in the story. The inter-titles put in by Bergman himself in-between the segments is another unexpected treat- as he comments on what's going on with the actors and the set-ups, there is a little humor here and there (i.e. a reference to a high church official who got upset about an incident involving a TV antenna).

And like with the previous documentary on Winter Light, Document of Fanny and Alexander provides for Bergman and non-Bergman fans alike to see what goes into the directorial/shooting process. How does a director talk to the actors? How does the director of photography (as with the previous film, the master Sven Nykvist) fit into shaping the scenes? And is the mood always completely focused, or does a shot of excitement over the process get over them (in other words, what's the mood)?

These kinds of questions are answered with an unflinching eye for the viewer, and at worst can only make the filming process to be boring (which it can be). But for a behind-the-scenes venture, there's a lot worse out there.


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