Friday, 27 May 2011

The Magician by Ingmar Bergman

Compared to some of his other films The Magician (the original Swedish title is Ansiktet) is not his best in terms of film as art but it is, as many critics have written, one of his most accessible for audiences in terms of plot and meaning. I am unable to give any details of the plot here without ruining the enjoyment of a film which is an act of legerdemain in itself, as it reveals secrets beneath secrets. 
What can be said is that some research must have been done in writing the film. The different attitudes of the people towards magicians of the period within which the story takes place is spot on – and central to the plot. The only real factual blunder is a portrayal of one illusion that probably didn't exist at that time.  
When someone has seen the film, there is plenty to talk about but to do so with someone who hasn't seen the film is just being a spoil sport; so although I'm itching to discuss certain topics in the film, in fairness I won’t.
The above image shows the Tartan DVD (easily found second hand); there are also others, including a new one on Blu-Ray.

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