TTYA – Fanny & Alexander (1982)

3 hours of Bergman… For any other cinephile, this would be a truly exciting prospect.

Spoilers

I’ve expressed my feelings about Ingmar Bergman before. I think he’s a talented director, whose films are just too dialogue driven and who often lack really interesting filmmaking qualities, and because of that, I often have a hard time getting really invested in them. There are definite exceptions, particularly Wild Strawberries, Persona and The Virgin Spring. But in the case of films like Seventh Seal and today’s film, I just cannot vet into them. And I’m afraid to say that Fanny and Alexander is my least favorite Bergman film. By far.

Fanny and Alexander carries all the usual hallmarks of a Bergman project, but there’s far too much of it. Bergman’s best projects are all very short, 90 minutes or less. Fanny and Alexander is 188 minutes of meandering plot, irritating characters, and Tarkovsky levels of nap-inducing dialogue. The difference between this and, say, Stalker is that Stalker has an incredibly fascinating plot and premise.

Now, I know some people who love this film are probably saying something like “Well, you should have watched the film episodically as a mini series,” but I didn’t know it was a mini-series until I got Filmstruck, and by that point I had absolutely zero interest in watching it again. Plus, it’s not like there aren’t 3 hour projects I enjoy watching. The Great Escape is one of my favorite films ever. I think Fanny and Alexander is just too dull a film for me to pay attention to it all the way through.

And believe me, I did my best to pay attention for most of it. But the thing is, the things I watched just put me in a really bad mood. Fanny and Alexander’s mom marries some douchebag priest or whatever, and he’s an absolute piece of shit. He abuses the kids and practically tortures the mom. It’s the early 1900’s, so a divorce isn’t going down. It just makes me really mad, puts me in a sour mood, and I hated watching it. Then a dude saves the kids, and just leaves the mom with the priest which is depressing. Then the film starts to get all fantastical, and that’s when I stopped paying attention. I just did not give a fuck anymore, I was pissed off, I didn’t understand what was going on, and I felt like this was going on for way too long, so I just went of Reddit and looked at that.

Fanny and Alexander isn’t my thing. If you love watching it around Christmas, than good for you, but as for me, I’d rather watch something I can relate and pay attention to, like It’s a Wonderful Life.

3/10

Thank you, and remember kids, you know what capitalism is? Getting fucked!
Also, check out the latest episode of my podcast.

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