This behind the scenes documentary of Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander, directed by Ingmar Bergman himself, has its own spine number in the Criterion Collection, which means we get to spend two more hours watching variations on material we've spent about 10 hours with already. There's some interesting material here, particularly the sequence in shooting Gunnar Björnstrand performance as the singing clown. Mostly it teaches us that Bergman was a kind grandfather of a director.
In part two of our discussion on Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander we turn our focus to the shorter theatrical version -- click here for part one on the television version. While it may be true that the two hours cut out for this version contain nothing substantial to the plot or story, it is also true that the shorter cut is objectively worse. This may be the only time I prefer watching a five hour version of a thing that exists in a three hour version as well, but I stand by it.
Listen to this week's Lost in Criterion episode Fanny and Alexander: the Theatrical Version, part two of our Fanny and Alexander discussion, via iTunes or LostInCriterion.com, and while you're at it, like us on Facebook or support us on Patreon.
Ingmar Bergman's Fanny & Alexander exists in two cuts and we'll be talking about the shorter theatrical version next week, but that can't be talked about without referencing the longer television version, which itself can't really be talked about in a single episode. All that to say: this week's episode is really part one of a two part conversation (three part if you count the fact that in two weeks we'll be talking about The Making of Fanny and Alexander).
The film itself is a coming of age story with ghosts (of Hamlet and proto-J-horror varieties) and the possible (probable?) psychic murder of a hated step-relative. It's Bergman having come to terms with his existentialism, or at least having come to accept the mystery of mysticism, and exploring it. So utterly amazing.
Listen to this week's Lost in Criterion episode Fanny and Alexander: the Television Version, part one of our Fanny and Alexander discussion, via iTunes or LostInCriterion.com, and while you're at it, like us on Facebook or support us on Patreon.
Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage was originally a six part miniseries on Swedish television and then a slightly shorter film version for international release. Both versions are on the Criterion release so we talk about each. Unlike some other truncated forms we've spoken of, Bergman himself was at the helm of the recut. That doesn't necessarily mean it is good, at least when compared to the full body, but it's the best it could be without being the original, I suppose.