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As for the Criterion five-disc DVD: This may be the most beautiful DVD release ever devoted to a single film. The original 188-minute international release is here, of course, in all its original glory. (It won four Oscars: foreign language film, costumes, art direction/set decoration, and cinematography--the last to longtime Bergman collaborator Sven Nykvist.) An audio commentary by Peter Cowie gives useful background.
That film was carved out of Bergman's preferred 312-minute version, telecast on Swedish TV and included here. While the shorter cut remains a wonderful movie, and complete unto itself, the five-hour film is a deep, luxurious expansion. There is more of the Christmas Eve party that begins the film, more of the theater, more of Alexander's imagination. Especially meaningful is a long sequence between Fanny and Alexander and their doomed father, as he demonstrates the nature of storytelling with a simple chair.
Also here is The Making of Fanny and Alexander, Bergman's feature-length self-portrait, and a fascinating look at the rapt attention he bestows on actors and camera. DVD extras include a penetrating hourlong TV interview Bergman gave in 1984, and a 40-minute documentary shot in 2004 with reminiscences from cast and crew (including actors Guve, Pernilla August, and Erland Josephson). A handsome booklet includes essays by Rick Moody and Paul Arthur, and one disc is made up of pithy introductions shot by Bergman in 2003, for 11 of his classics, plus a sampling of trailers. Fanny and Alexander was Bergman's final theatrical film, though he has gone right on making TV movies and writing screenplays. This is a fitting treatment of his triumph. --Robert Horton
A masterpiece and easily one of my favorite films ever.
Even for a master of Bergman's powerful talent, "Fanny and Alexander" is extraordinary - a profound film which is also one of his most accessible works.
I've seen both versions and must say that the story makes much more sense in the five hour version, and I hope that's the one we eventually will get.
Delivered as promised, fully met my expectations - a beautiful collection that will certainly stay a long-time source of delight.Published 1 month ago by T. Arppe
This is an incredibly masterful motion picture and one of Ingmar Bergman's crowning jewels among a lifetime of outstanding films. Read morePublished 3 months ago by G.I Gurdjieff
I have always loved this Bergman film, second only to the Magic FlutePublished 8 months ago by ruth
I have no doubt that this is the best movie Bergman made, and I could and mostly would argue that it may be the best film anyone ever made. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Peter Green
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|the 5th disc?||
The 5th disc is more bonus features (-Bergman video introductions, made for Swedish TV in 2003/ - Theatrical trailers), so not much really on that disc. The TV cut is a little over 5 hours, but it's a marvelous 5 hours. I don't want to watch the 3 hour theatrical cut, because I don't think... Read More
Nov 24, 2008 by Jip | See all 3 posts
|This movie is quite horrible||
Norwegian? ... nope, you've got it all wrong. Although it never says in the storyline, they speak Swedish, and the story is supposed to be in Sweden. Bergman was Swedish, not Norwegian anyway...
Fanny & Alexander is not Bergman's best how can you compare the work of a master with American trash... Read More
Aug 4, 2010 by Alfonso Torres Castillo | See all 3 posts