there's a thing where you adds 'in my ass' to the end of a movie title, so here are some…
Ingmar Bergman’s The Magician (Ansiktet) is an engaging, brilliantly conceived tale of deceit from one of cinema’s premier illusionists. Max von Sydow stars as Dr. Vogler, a nineteenth-century traveling mesmerist and peddler of potions whose magic is put to the test in Stockholm by the cruel, eminently rational royal medical adviser Dr. Vergérus. The result is a diabolically clever battle of wits that’s both frightening and funny, shot in rich, gorgeously gothic black and white.
I've always pictured the swedish master to be a nosferatu-like figure walking around shrouded in black mist, hiding in shadows with only half his face visible, rarely makes any noise and when he does it is to talk about death as something more than an abstract concept. But now he's shown me he can be quite playful as well, didn't resist his urge to add a few horror elements inside his work but still, this is different from the emo-Bergman I know. Too much -- light, too much laughter, not enough philosophical ponderings.. but these are not complaints, mind you. The Magician is a wonderful addition into Mr. Bergman's filmography.
P.S. it has gotten to the point where I have to squeal out loud every time Ingrid Thulin is on screen, what a beauty!
I’ve come to Bergman rather reluctantly. There’s a presupposition that his films are overtly philosophical and full of abstract dialogue that needs to be ‘worked out’ rather than enjoyed. Bergman rivals Kubrick as a director whose films are lumbered with more academic analysis than any creative work should have to bear. In some circles, to name Bergman as a favourite director is to admit you’re so far up your own ass that you can only access movies on a purely intellectual level. Which would make you a pretty sad case.
This movie isn't a chore and I'm going to briefly tell you why without relying on 'interior meanings' or anything that isn't happening immediately on the screen.
Set in the…
The Magician is an interesting story, to say the least. It never quite conforms to one genre, often times feeling like a comedy film, at others a horror film and still others as a straightforward drama. At first this all may be a bit jarring, but eventually it becomes clear that this is no accident. Leave it to the magician himself Ingmar Bergman to make all of these themes meld together to form an endlessly entertaining, impactful film.
The film follows Albert Emanuel Vogler and his traveling "magnetic health theater" as they run from the law and meet up with a group of skeptics. Throughout the film they're forced to perform their…
Bergman has a tremendous amount of fun toying with the audience with this film and it is probably his most purposefully inaccessible work. And it's not even inaccessible to the point where the audience cannot comprehend the plot but that it's impossible to relate or connect with the plot. This is all due to the purposeful ambiguity in the match up that is among Bergman's most famed debates which is the rational versus the inexplicable (science versus supernatural in this case).
The Magician in all, is very underrated in Bergman's oeuvre. This rewatch did not hold up as well as the intoxication of my first viewing which alas was during my cinema birth with Bergman. That's understandable but it is…
Film #15 of The "Cinebro, You Magnificent Bastard" Challenge
Now here's something that you don't see every day: a movie about the open contempt that a director feels for his audience. Well, OK, maybe not his entire audience, but it's pretty clear that "The Magician" has a bone to pick with someone. I've read that Bergman's early international reputation far outstripped his reception at home, and this film feels like his chance to tell his provincial Swedish detractors to go jump in a lake.
Set in nineteenth century Sweden, "The Magician" follows a troupe of vagabond illusionists (led by Max von Sydow) who are brought before a local magistrate to prove the integrity of their act. Once in the hands…
Great opening, decent ending, utter slog middle.
The Magician was another unseen Bergman film for me. I had the impression of this film to be an underrated masterpiece by the late director. Even though the movie was not really a masterpiece for me, it was nevertheless another good Bergman film. The film opened really interestingly with the magic ensemble arriving in the town with beautiful and dreamlike images in the forest, but somehow I lost interest as the film went along in the mansion. However, there were other really beautiful moments throughout the film and Max Von Sydow's performance as the mute magician Vogler was impressive. All the other familiar Bergman actors were also great, from which Ingrid Thulman and Gunnar Björnstrand really stood out. The scene in the attic was really impressive and the most memorable moment of this flick.
Frightening. Bergman should've done more horror, cause he really gets the genre. Max von Sydow and the rest of his regular troupe are as good as ever.
It probably would take a lifetime to parse out all that’s going on in the story but Bergman’s images are immediately accessible and gorgeous.
In the 19th century, a magician is challenged by the royal medical adviser in a witty game of illusion and belief. Bergman's tale of the rational vs. that which we cannot comprehend is surprisingly accessible. I expected far more trickery with us, the audience, than I got, but, then again, there was just enough to keep it intriguing. Bergman imbues "The Magician" with a more Gothic sense of storytelling than in his other features. There's always overarching doom and a distant God in his films, but, here, it all plays out like a Poe tale or something by the Brontës but with less subtlety.
I know a lot of people lament about Bergman's work when not shot by Sven Nykvist,…
A group of charlatans led by a mute magician are accosted by officials of the village they are slated to perform in. The officials proceed to try and debunk their work. But something strange happens. After director Ingmar Bergman's one-two punch that were Wild Strawberries and The Seventh Seal, this seems like minor work in comparison. Yes, it's not as great and accomplished as those two masterpieces. But there's quite a number of great moments in this film, particularly the scene in the attic (you know when you see it), that makes this more than just for Bergman completists.
honestly the only reason I watched this is because Alec Baldwin picked it up from the Criterion closest, and it wasn't a good enough reason because this is kinda dumb.
If you take away the jawdropping expressionist cinematography from Gunnar Fischer, the biggest issue I have with The Magician is its lack of cinema. It feels very much like a stage play in pretty much every respect and I couldn't help but feel it lacked something that a film needs to make it work.
This whole film must surely be taken as a thinly veiled piece of autobiography on the part of Bergman - someone whose role in making movies is akin to that of a magician - the trials, tribulations and straight-up mockery that go hand in hand with making a living off the back of other people's reactions and enjoyment; not to mention the obvious mystical element of…
Viewed on TCM
Written and Directed by Ingmar Bergman, The Magician or "The Face",
is quite different than the other Bergman films I've seen.
It not as dark, emotionally, as his other work but still has an emotionally distraught character in that of Max Von Sydow's "Vogler".
The Magician is a drama, comedy and horror picture all in one.
According to IMDB.Com: Avid Bergman fan Woody Allen says this film is his recommended starting point for watching Bergman.
I don't disagree Mr. Allen.
It's a fine starting film if you want a slightly less emotionally driven film from Bergman.
High-rated movies with very few views. Suggestions are welcome.
UPDATED: October 21, 2016
The Criterion Collection is a video distribution company that sells "important classic and contemporary films" in…