Fanny och Alexander (1982)

March 8, 2008

This movie is too short, but at the same time entirely too long.  It’s the predicament that follows when one tries to condense a TV serial into a theatrical release.  It’s unfortunate I’ll probably never be able to see it as it was intended, because I did not enjoy it as a 3 hour movie.

For being another masterpiece of Bergman, I was shocked to see how poor some of the editing was.  Many of the shots were at poor angles with jarring cuts to slightly closer shots, or just not timed correctly.  This may have been a side effect of being cut from the TV series, but I worry that some of these cuts may have been in the original as well.

As a movie I thought they could reshot it to be an hour and a half long, sticking mainly to the latter part of the story.  The most intriguing parts would have been to see the emotional manipulation of Edvard, which unfortunately is spoken of but not really seen with his wife.  The degradation of the relationship would have been more interesting to me than the affair of Gustav Adolf and Maj.

I am still quite puzzled by the goings-on at the Jacobi house.  Why was Ismael, described as a brother, a woman?  Why, in general, are androgynous characters played by women, such as Gabriel in “Constantine”?  How would making Ismael a female give the scene less sexuality, as was the common interpretation?

If I watch the film again it will have to be the long version, spaced apart as it was meant to be seen.  I cannot give an accurate review on it as a whole, and can only say that the 3 hour version I saw was lacking.


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