Directed by: Ingmar Bergman
Starring: Josef Köstlinger, Irma Urrila, Håkan Hagegård, Elisabeth Erikson
From the original review: You can probably bump Ingmar Bergman’s 1975 film up a half star if you happen to like the opera by Mozart. I have to admit that I’m not fond of it, and that prevents me from fully enjoying this unquestionably brilliant version of the work. It does not prevent me from admiring Bergman’s handling of the material, or marveling at the cinematic playfulness on display. Bergman’s decision to present the opera as if it were indeed taking place onstage — and a period stage at that — is fascinating, especially because he only adheres to the concept as long as it suits his purpose. The opera never opens up in the sense that it leaves the confines of its theater, but the size and shape of the theater itself is hardly constrained to the cramped stage on which it’s supposedly being performed. (It would have to be a remarkably labyrinthian stage to look anything like the production Bergman gives us.)
The Hendersonville Film Society will show The Magic Flute Sunday, August 4, at 2 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community (behind Epic Cinemas), 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.
In Brief: Ingmar Bergman’s 1975 film is one of his most playful works. Bergman presents the Mozart opera as if it were onstage, but this apparent constraint does not make the film in any way stagey. If anything, it seems to make Bergman more resourceful. However, a taste for the original opera is probably a requirement to really appreciate the film.