Both were shot by cinematographer Sven Nykvist, but the deep reds and palpable textures of the former doesn't quite match up to anything in the latter. Eventually, we discover that Sarastro is actually a good guy. At this stage in the plot, Pamina and Tamino have not yet met. This is true to Bergman's vision as is evidenced by several emotional scenes in which the overall color scheme shifts to blue. In any case, despite the fact that my attention sometimes wandered during the 138-minute running time, and despite the lack of color or dazzle, I still enjoyed great portions of The Magic Flute, and found myself getting swept up in is charm. And now, together, we'll create! The film was reviewed from a musical perspective by Richard Evidon, who paid Bergman the compliment of praising the film as a realization of Mozart's own vision cf.
The young actress who played this silent role is identified in :308 , who lists two other Bergman films in which Helene Friberg appeared. An admirably light touch is applied throughout, making for a performance of musical excellence, dramatic vitality and enormous, effortless charm. Shooting in Swedish on a set replicating a lovely 18th-century theatre, Ingmar Bergman begins his wonderfully warm, witty and sensuous movie by focusing on the faces of a rapt audience enjoying the overture. Mozart's music is both gorgeous and character-appropriate: lyrical arias for aristocratic lovers Tamino and Pamina, powerful coloratura for the vengeful Queen of the Night, folksy melodies for the bird-catcher Papageno. Cited material may be read on line at Google Books:.
Most of the images are suffused in a golden, almost orange, light. The film's almost honey colored stage lighting is beautifully recreated here, and fine detail on elements like costumes and props is consistently engaging. What we needed were warm, sensuous voices that had personality. The film had its first screening in the old barn at Bergman's house on which had just been transformed into a cinema on an August evening in the same year. The liner notes state that 'The Magic Flute remains the finest screen version of an opera ever produced' but this is clearly hyperbole. While this production is often effortlessly ebullient, there are some issues some may have with either the performances or Bergman's directorial choices.
This collaboration across the centuries between two great artists, Mozart and Bergman, yielded a lovely result. The duo travels in a journey of love and knowledge. The Magic Flute was to be the first stereo broadcast in Sweden and the director took great care to build a detailed and rich soundfield. This setting would also approximate the conditions of the original 1791 production in the in. For those unacquainted with the plot of The Magic Flute, I refer you to the summary Svet provided in his now long ago of a live opera performance.
. To film it, Bergman attempts a kind of tribute to old-fashioned theater houses, where painted sets change via hand-cranked gears. Additionally, there's a four-fold leaflet in the keepcase containing an essay by Alexander Chee, thank you mentions, and information on the transfer. Conclusion: For all its merit as both a film and a staging of Mozart's opera I found The Magic Flute to be less than satisfying. This is certainly one of the most unique offerings in Bergman's monolithic output, and even those who wouldn't know an aria from a recitative may find a lot to enjoy here.
Pamina must be a beautiful young woman. I walked inside and saw for the first time the carefully restored baroque theater. If I knew more about opera, I might have loved it, but I can at least recommend it to anyone who might be interested. The Extras: There are no significant extras on this disc beyond the availability of English subtitles. Bergman clearly knows the Opera inside and out, so the staging feels right. The Queen of the Night offers her daughter Pamina to Tamino, but he has to bring her back from her father and priest Sarastro.
However, I enjoyed it less than the only other opera film I can think of having seen, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's amazing. The dynamic range is surprisingly broad with detailed imaging, crisp highs and saturated lows. We're encouraged to identify with the theater audience and to consider ourselves one amongst its numbers. Although the film emphasizes the context of the old theater, it also includes many effects that are purely cinematic. The prince is accompanied by the comic relief Papageno, who also wishes to find a bride for himself. Evidon suggests that the characters of Frid and Petra in Bergman's 1955 film , and Johan and Alma in his 1968 pre-figure his conception of Papageno and Papagena, and Tamino and Pamina respectively in The Magic Flute. The film is filmed opera with all the high energy.
When characters sing about how handsome Tamino or how beautiful Pamina are, it's difficult to grasp what they're talking about. The insert leaflet included with this release contains the following information on the transfer: The Magic Flute is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1. He had wanted to film in Drottningholm's ornate baroque theater, but that was deemed too perilous due to the age of the facility. In that respect, The Magic Flute brought to mind a comment by Mel Brooks in the recently reviewed , where Brooks states that one of the most notable things about Buster Keaton's films, and something that Brooks himself sought to emulate in his films, is how Keaton repeatedly draws attention to the fact that an audience is watching a film. The opening sequence shows lingering close ups of a crowd of onlookers forcing the viewer to abandon their attachment to standard movie viewing conventions. Instead of his usual costume of plumage, Papageno wears conventional clothing.
One October day I set out for Drottningholm in Stockholm to see its unique from the eighteenth century. Tamino plays his flute while, through the wings, we catch sight of Papageno responding to Tamino's flute and Pamina. During the intermission, Sarastro's priests gather on the stage, readying themselves for the priestly council that will begin the second act. The film is notable as the first made-for-television film and filmed in then-standard 4:3 television aspect ratio with a stereo soundtrack. For the plot, see , and for details of the libretto see. In addition to the singers who appeared in the film, the musical forces included the and Ericsson's own choir, the.
More information is also available about the and the. He first saw The Magic Flute at the in Stockholm when he was 12 and hoped then to recreate it in his marionette theatre at home; he could not do so because he couldn't afford the cost of a recording. I'm kind of curious about what might have happened to the negative, but I haven't been able to find any authoritative data. Since we were not performing The Magic Flute on a stage but in front of a microphone and camera, we did not need large voices. The audio is acceptable, but still seems very dated, a bit hollow sounding. A conceit of these backstage glimpses is that the singers themselves are made to resemble the characters they are playing.