A production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera "The Magic Flute" is presented, this film which blurs the lines of it as a stage production - not only with aspects of the theater stage ...
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A production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera "The Magic Flute" is presented, this film which blurs the lines of it as a stage production - not only with aspects of the theater stage shown, but also the occasional shot of the audience members watching it, and the performers going through their backstage routines during intermission - and a movie as the set moves out from the confines of the stage. The actual story concerns Tamino, a prince, falling in love with Pamina solely from seeing her photograph, Pamina's mother, the Queen of the Night, vowing that Pamina will be his if he rescues her from Sarastro, a demon who has captured her. On behalf of the Queen, three of her attendants, "ladies", who saved Tamino from a serpent, provide him with a magic flute to entice Pamina, and three child angels, who will act as his guides. The ladies also dispatch the pan-flute playing Papageno, a bird catcher who laments not being married himself, with Tamino, they providing him with magic bells ...Written by
One of the people shown repeatedly during the overture is Alootook Ipellie, one of Canada's best-known Inuit artists and poets. Ipellie was attending a meeting of the International Inuit Circumpolar Conference in Stockholm during the production, and was picked off the street because of his unusual features. See more »
A wise man trusts himself alone and forms opinions on his own...
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There are no onscreen credits in this film, other than the title. See more »
Adapting theater to the screen is not easy. It is difficult enough to film a play; staying too close to the text can render the tone too "stagy," while "opening up" the story can cause it to lose its authentic feel. Filming opera is twice as problematic- there is so much that is rooted to the stage and simply cannot be pulled away. How is it possible to film something that has been performed in such a specific, disciplined way for hundreds of years and keep all the elements fully intact? The answer has been provided by Ingmar Bergman, a man known to most of the world for harrowing films which peer unsentimentally into the depths of the human soul. With "The Magic Flute," Bergman takes another great talent of his- theater direction- and combines it with his cinematic abilities to create an elaborate fantasy that even his detractors can enjoy.
Rather than just treating Mozart's opera as a story to be filmed, Bergman relies on familiar themes within the narrative to strike a balance between the stage and the screen while keeping the audience involved throughout. This is not to say that the story is simplified or made abundantly clear to any half-attentive viewer; the surprising accessibility of the film comes not from any reconstruction of the story but rather from an emphasis on elements that today's audience can easily recognize: sacrifices that are made for love, rebellion against the amoral nature of one's community, and magical occurrences that pop up just in time to save the hero, to name a few. Although the opera itself unfolds on a stage, with frequent reaction shots of the audience, Bergman's direction keeps us so deeply involved that tone is distinctly that of a film. Indeed, `The Magic Flute' proves to be a very cinematic opera, and there are moments when the imagery, theatrical as it is, becomes so overwhelming that Bergman has to cut to the audience to remind us that we are in a theater.
`The Magic Flute' is evidence that the `epic' existed long before movies, and that much of what we enjoy viewing today owes its style to stories that have been told through vastly different mediums for centuries on end.
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