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The Magic Flute


Bergman’s version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute is a charming cinematic treat for winter.

Image from The Magic Flute

Sweden 1975
Dir Ingmar Bergman
With Josef Köstlinger, Irma Urrila, Ulrik Cold
English subtitles
Certificate PG
A BFI release

Shooting in Swedish on a set replicating a lovely 18th-century theatre, Bergman begins his wonderfully warm, witty and sensuous movie by focusing on the faces of a rapt audience (momentarily including his own) enjoying the overture. Thereafter, as the (abridged and intriguingly amended) tale of Tamino, Pamina et al proceeds, he highlights the piece’s exuberant theatrical illusionism, at the same time deploying close-ups to enhance the emotions conveyed by an excellent young cast. An admirably light touch is applied throughout, making for a performance of musical excellence, dramatic vitality and enormous, effortless charm.

Geoff Andrew, Programmer-at-large

Also available on BFI Player.

See our Ingmar Bergman season.


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