Directed by Ingmar Bergman
With Josef Köstlinger, Irma Urrila, Ulrik Cold
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
18, 20 December
Chichester Cinema at New Park
Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle
The Electric, Birmingham
The Magic Flute will be released nationwide on 16 March 2018 as part of the Ingmar Bergman centenary celebrations.