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The Magic Lantern: An Autobiography Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0226043821 ISBN-10: 0226043827

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 314 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (May 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226043827
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226043821
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Ingmar Bergman is perhaps the greatest living filmmaker, having written and directed the masterpieces "The Seventh Seal," "Wild Strawberries," "Through a Glass Darkly," "Cries and Whispers," "Scenes From a Marriage," "Fanny and Alexander" and many others. In this autobiography, Bergman focuses more on his personal than his professional life, offering the reader an unusually intimate portrait of a troubled and prolific artistic psyche. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Director Bergman's memoir explores his relations with his parents and older brother, his introduction to the theater, his successes and failures and his decision to stop making films. "A reader's disappointment over the paltry detail and characterization of Bergman's wives, children and lovers--and of his films--is somewhat dissipated by the inclusion of numerous anecdotes about Chaplin, Garbo, Karajan, Olivier and especially Ingrid Bergman," reported PW. Photos.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Adriana Villanueva on June 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
The Magic Lantern is not a page turner. The autobiography of the swedish film director Ingmar Bergman is the kind of book that needs time to be read, not because its boring or too deep, but because its so good so enjoyable and every chapter so wonderful that its a shame to finish it too quickly. The Magic Lantern is the life of Bergman but he hardly writes about his movies, he writes about his childhood, his life in the theater, the women of his life, his relationships with his children, his health, politics... this book will help you understand one of the greatest filmmakers of our time.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By njunge@ms.com on November 24, 1997
Format: Paperback
This book is a moving, candid account of the great director's often turbulent life. It is written the same way that his films are made: full of humor and tender observation. I was deeply touched by it and inspired by his creative spirit.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Walters VINE VOICE on August 24, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One Christmas, when Ingmar Bergman was 10 years old, a wealthy aunt gave his older brother a magic lantern--a low tech projector. Little Ingmar was overwhelmed by the contraption, and he traded 100 tin soldiers for it from his rather indifferent brother. That night he crept into a closet with the lantern, fired it up, and gazed in wonderment at the images flashed against the closet wall. He was enchanted, and in his memoir, aptly titled after that memorable experience, he tells us that he still is.

The Magic Lantern is as intriguing as Bergman's films. Anyone who has seen his films will immediately appreciate just how many scenes in them are pulled from Bergman's own life--or at least his memories, accurate or not, of his life: the spanking scene in "Fanny and Alexander," the locked-in-a-closet scene in "Hour of the Wolf," the infidelity in "Faithless" (Liv Ullmann directed, but Bergman wrote the script), the death fear in "Seventh Seal," and so on. Bergman truly is a confessional artist. As both writer and director, his personal life, both inner and outer, is the raw material for his films.

The Magic Lantern isn't written in a linear style. Memories of childhood dance with more recent ones--e.g., rehearsing Strindberg's "Dream Play" or being arrested on false charges of tax evasion. What's important for Bergman throughout is his inner life: the incredibly rich psyche that serves as the magic lantern that projects his art into the world, both on the screen and the stage.

Bergman wrote his memoir after he'd "retired." He still had several films ahead of him, including what I think turned out to be one of his best, "Saraband.
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