HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dreams on Fire
Sing as We Go!
Burnt Orange Heresy, The
Craft Legacy, The
Eye of the Storm
Inflatable Sex Doll of the Wastelands
Where No Vultures Fly
Come True
Kagemusha
Justine
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Madchen in Uniform
Fire Will Come
Suspect
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
   
 
Newest Articles
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
   
 
  Magic Flute, The Go Start Mozart
Year: 1975
Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Josef Köstlinger, Irma Urrila, Håkan Hagegård, Elisabeth Erikson, Britt-Marie Aruhn, Kirsten Vaupel, Birgitta Smiding, Ulrik Cold, Birgit Nordin, Ragnar Ulfung, Erik Sædén, Ulf Johansson, Gösta Prüzelius
Genre: Fantasy, TV Movie, MusicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: First, the overture, where people of all nations are settled in the auditorium to watch this version of the Mozart opera, the last he ever wrote. We are given particular attention to a red-haired girl whose placid but engaged reactions will be returned to throughout, even when the action has begun. Speaking of which, the curtain goes up and we are immersed in a fairy tale of the theatre, where Tamino (Josef Köstlinger) finds he has met his match in a fire-breathing dragon while making his way through the forest one day, but is rescued by three mysterious ladies who want a big favour in return...

Director Ingmar Bergman was not much given to the lighthearted when it came to his work, but he did have this adaptation of a stage opera on his resumé which was often pointed to by his numerous fans as proof he was not all doom and gloom, and could deliver something frothy and fun when he put his mind to it. Naturally, the dour Swede's idea of fun was not, say, what you went to see the average Disney movie for, and there was a definite heavy-handed quality to the sparkle he was attempting to sprinkle across the famed classical piece. For some, this is their favourite adaptation of Mozart for the screen.

For others, it's a bit of a slog that only the brightness of the music and performances managed to life, and certainly there was a determinedly theatrical style to almost every frame as Bergman refused to open this up cinematically. There was a reason for that: it was not a cinema film, it was a television special designed as a treat for mid-nineteen-seventies Swedish viewers on the first of January, though it was, predictably, served up as an experience for the arthouses across the world for those film buffs eager for new Bergman content, thus it was included in the director's filmography when it would be more accurate to term it on the level of a variety show.

Of course, it had ideas higher above that station, bringing the opera to the masses, and in this instance sung entirely in Swedish as translated from the German. For English speakers, hearing opera translated into their native tongue was apt to sound odd and a little off for whatever reason: call it a need for artistic fidelity, or simply being jarring to hear and understand the words in that manner when you were used to its original incarnation. Unless you spoke Swedish, however, this sounded well-translated from Mozart, and would not matter so much if you preferred the German, with the power of the voices the thing that was uppermost in importance for this performance, as one would suspect was important in any production for the stage (film and television were of lesser importance, it seemed).

If you knew the story, you would probably be able to better assess how it came across under Bergman, though it was possible to follow what was going on if that plot was what interested you, but it was largely the melodies that were what you should have been here for, especially when the director preferred to keep his camera in tight on the singers' faces, aware that anything visually grand and sweeping would have been lost on the small screen as opposed to the big screen he was more used to. The comic couple were nicely contrasted with the more serious counterparts, not that they were funny at all, but you had the impression Bergman was more enthused by the tale of Tamino and his search for his true love he hasn't met yet, Pamina (Irma Urrila), as instructed by the Queen of the Night (Birgit Nordin) in return for saving him. There was the occasional example of imaginative imagery, but in the main this settled for stagebound throughout, leaving it dependent on your liking for Mozart as to how much you got out of it.

[The BFI's Blu-ray looks fine, but sounds better, and has three vintage short films as extras (Lady Dunn's accent is quite something).]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1564 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Ingmar Bergman  (1918 - 2007)

Undoubtedly one of the greatest artists of cinema, Ingmar Bergman was often accused of being too depressing as his subjects covered the existence (or otherwise) of God and deep-seated marital problems (he himself was married five times), but he always approached them with a sympathetic eye. Among his most memorable films were Summer with Monika, Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal (with its unforgettable chess game with Death), Wild Strawberries, The Virgin Spring (the inspiration for Last House on the Left), Through a Glass Darkly, The Silence, Persona, Hour of the Wolf, Cries and Whispers, Scenes from a Marriage and Fanny and Alexander. He also made international stars of Max von Sydow, Liv Ullman and Bibi Andersson.

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: