The Magic Flute

Movie Information

In Brief: You can probably bump Ingmar Bergman’s 1975 film up a half star if you happen to like the opera by Mozart. I have to admit that I’m not fond of it, and that prevents me from fully enjoying this unquestionably brilliant version of the work. It does not prevent me from admiring Bergman’s handling of the material, or marveling at the cinematic playfulness on display. Bergman’s decision to present the opera as if it were indeed taking place onstage — and a period stage at that — is fascinating, especially because he only adheres to the concept as long as it suits his purpose. The opera never opens up in the sense that it leaves the confines of its theater, but the size and shape of the theater itself is hardly constrained to the cramped stage on which it’s supposedly being performed. (It would have to be a remarkably labyrinthian stage to look anything like the production Bergman gives us.)  This excerpt was taken from a review by Ken Hanke published on May 20, 2009.
Genre: Comedy Fantasy Opera
Director: Ingmar Bergman
Starring: Josef Köstlinger, Irma Urrila, Håkan Hagegård, Elisabeth Erikson
Rated: G

The Hendersonville Film Society will show The Magic Flute on Sunday, Nov. 26, at 2 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community, 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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