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Archive for July 4th, 2017

by David Schleicher

Anything can happen; all things are possible and plausible. Time and space do not exist: over a minute patch of reality imagination will weave its web and create fresh patterns…” –August Strindberg, Preface to A Dream Play (1902)

How could something do deeply nostalgic and rooted in the maker’s own childhood come across as so fresh? Indeed, Strindberg was right…anything can happen. Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander happened. But it’s far from just anything. It’s definitively something. But what is it?

As Bergman himself mused, “I’m deeply fixated on my childhood. Some impressions are extremely vivid, light, smell, and all. There are moments when I can wander through my childhood’s landscape, through rooms long ago, remember how they were furnished, where the pictures hung on the walls, the way the light fell. It’s like a film-little scraps of a film, which I set running and which I can reconstruct to the last detail-except their smell.” 

Bergman’s family patch, so carefully woven across 312 minutes of master visual, aural and thematic craftsmanship (yes, it’s a Swedish TV miniseries by origin that was cut down to 188 minutes to play theatrically around the world, but it transcends any medium like all the best do), is both painstakingly of a place and time, and universally eternal in its rendering of childhood’s trauma and familial strife. (more…)

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