Fanny And Alexander - Remastered [DVD] 
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Set in Sweden at the turn of the century, Ingmar Bergman's semi-autobiographical story tells of young sister and brother Fanny (Pernilla Allwin) and Alexander (Bertil Guve), whose comfortable lives change dramatically when their father dies onstage during a performance of 'Hamlet'. Their mother marries a puritanical bishop and the new family move into the bishop's draughty home, where the children are mistreated and their mother becomes consumed with regrets. The film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, as well as Oscars for Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction.
Fanny and Alexander is one of the more upbeat and accessible films from Ingmar Bergman. This autobiographical story follows the lives of two children during one tumultuous year. After the death of the children's beloved father, a local theatre owner, their mother marries a strict clergyman. Their new life is cold and ascetic, especially when compared to the unfettered and impassioned life they knew with their father. Most of the story is seen through the eyes of the little boy and is often told in dreamlike sequences. Colourful, insightful, and optimistic, this is far less grim than most of Bergman's work. It was awarded four of the six Oscars for which it was nominated in 1984, including Best Foreign Language Film. Though this was announced as his last film, Bergman continued to work into the late 1990s, though mostly for Swedish television.--Rochelle O'Gorman, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The Film: If you have found your way here among the Amazon listings, then it is unlikely that you do not already know that this is one of the finest productions ever committed to film. No superlatives can exaggerate the brilliance and depth of "Fanny and Alexander". Here are Bergman and Nykvist working at the absolute height of their powers to produce the warmest, most visually rich and profound storytelling that they have ever given us. It is not as bleak as some of Bergman's earlier films (although there are some disturbing scenes) but the overall impact is uplifting and deeply moving. This is an unusual film that uses a large cast to tell the intricate story of an extended theatrical family in Uppsala in the early years of the 20th century. All of this is seen through the eyes of the two children; the Fanny and Alexander of the title. I saw the film on its' first release more than 20 years ago in both the emasculated theatrical release and in the five hour version made for Swedish television. I was stunned by it then and have been bowled over by it once again in this wonderful new release.
The DVD: I was amazed to find what else was included in this set when it arrived, as the description gave few clues. The presentation of the films is faultless; a real labour of love. The sound is superb and the whole thing has a visual beauty that is extraordinary. Even the Main Menus are finely done, in keeping with the tone and mood of the films themselves. The English subtitles seem good; although not perfectly accurate and Americanised in places.Read more ›
But, pairing with one of the finest cinematographers of all times, he concocted many of the strongest brews in the history of cinema.
Fanny och Alexander may be his Masterpiece. He devouted uncounted hours to take this film where no other has ever even tried to go. Painstankingly crafted scenes and shots that may have, sometimes, been rehearsed an insane number of times, deliver a creepy, light and luminous, dark and incredibly finely woven tapestry of ideas in one film.
This work from Bergman can be and is, indeed, a benchmark to understand writing, storytelling, lighting, film sensitivity, bleach process, artistic performance, emotional shifts, colour and subtle sound recording.
The first time I saw this film was in 1986 on tv. I was quite young and I sat through five hours just wanting more. Longing... craving for more.
I searched for the film for years and couldn't find a copy, except for the original theatrical release, but I didn't want it. It was incomplete. In 2002 I found the dvd. Now, I know almost every line by heart. My students know it very well and, most amazing thing, they love it over many, many other films that show more recent technology. We go through the five hours with one "intermission" for tea or coffee, exchanging ideas and predicting where the story will go in the next chapters.
The output has always been the same: there's no film like this one. It excels in every small detail.Read more ›
Having very little basis for comparison (since my only prior exposure to Bergman has been The Seventh Seal and Scenes From a Marriage), I don't feel qualified to judge this film against a "Bergman standard," but I do, however, doubt that he has directed another movie as perfect as Fanny and Alexander (F&A), although Scenes From a Marriage is close. Classic movies tha are great on the whole may suffer from bad acting, directing, or even whole scenes that briefly go out of focus. That, however, is not the case with this film. It draws one in and keeps one alert and interested throughout. The directing and acting is mostly superb.
The story revolves around a wealthy Swedish family who run the local theater in Uppsala, and the severe upbringing of siblings F&A in the early 1900's (the story begins on Christmas, 1907).
Bergman seems to have a unique talent for combining drama with horror, fantasy, and comedy--this I also found to be the case with The Seventh Seal, but in F&A, this talent is more strongly presented; one minute you can find yourself laughing at humorous --sometimes obscene-- acts and remarks, and the next you may find yourself feeling choked up or horrified. The film is very strong, very real, and strongly recommended to anyone who wants to experience looking at film on a whole new level.
I hate not being able to give this movie five stars, but I can't because of Artificial Eye's unprofessional presentation of it. The movie itself merits full points - 100/100, but the quality of the DVD doesn't. This is the only release of the five hour (TV) version of the film yet.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a review for the blu ray version not the dvd. Amazon only put the dvd reviews with this item
Language swedish or spanish but no mention of the subtitles being only in... Read more
Only buy this edition if you speak Swedish or Italian - a warning about this would have been appreciated.Published 7 months ago by AOC
Some really good play acting but to me very far from the masterpiece others suggested. The story is very confusing,dialogues are long and boring, characters are strange. Read morePublished 7 months ago by hamptoncherry
This is a review of the 181 Minute Version.
Wow! this film is hauntingly beautiful. Sumptuous costumes and sets. The direction is mind-blowing... Read more
Great dvd delivered on time and well packaged, would recommend very highly.Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
I like the portrait of upper middle class life in Sweden 100 years ago and the contrast in the second part of the film the extreme asceticism of the bishop's home; it may have been... Read morePublished 18 months ago by JOHN THEODORE CRAGG
A somewhat jarringly-elliptical narrative partly conceals a profound - albeit theatrical - meditation on functional families. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Frank TALKER