The Magic Flute
Cert: PG – Contains scene of hanging.
Ingmar Bergman / Sweden 1975 / 2h15m / Digital / Swedish with English subtitles
Cast: Josef Köstlinger, Irma Urrila, Håkan Hagegård, Elisabeth Erikson.
Ingmar Bergman's film of Mozart's masterpiece is one of the greatest screen versions of an opera ever made. 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.