Cowley Road, Oxford • 01865 245288 •

The Magic Flute Rated PG

The Magic Flute

Dir. Ingmar Bergman. Sweden, 1975. 2h 17m. Swedish/subs. Starring Ulrik Cold, Jane Darling, Elisabeth Erikson, Sixten Fark, Håkan Hagegård, Nina Harte, Arne Hendriksen, Helena Högberg.

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 this wonderfully warm, witty and sensuous movie by focusing on the faces of a rapt audience (momentarily including his own) enjoying the overture. After that, 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.

’An absolutely dazzling film entertainment, so full of beauty, intelligence, wit, and fun that it becomes a testimonial not only to man's possibilities but also to his high spirits.’ ★★★★★ Vincent Canby, New York Times

''Ingmar Bergman has never before made a movie so warm, happy and innocent as this version of Mozart's "The Magic Flute.’ ★★★★★ Roger Ebert