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The Magic Flute (TV)

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Original title
Trollflöjten (TV)
Running time
135 min.
Sweden Sweden
Ingmar Bergman, Emanuel Schikaneder
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sven Nykvist
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Sveriges Radio Productions
Drama. Musical | TV Movie
Synopsis / Plot
Ingmar Bergman has stated that THE MAGIC FLUTE had long since been an inspiration to him by the time he directed this movie version of an actual staging of Mozart’s opera. In Emanuel Schikaneder’s libretto--performed here in Swedish instead of German--Prince Tamino (Josef Köstlinger) is sent by the mysterious and powerful Queen of the Night (Birgit Nordin) to rescue her daughter, Pamina (Irma Urrila), from the sorcerer Sarastro (Ulrik Cold), who has kidnapped the girl. Tamino is aided on his mission by the bird catcher Papageno (Håkan Hagegård), an endearing buffoon (and arguably the opera’s most popular character) who wants nothing more than to find himself a loving wife. The director presents a shortened version of the story, enhanced with a Freudian plot element (of sorts), while also giving the piece a slight overhaul for a more modern, less politically questionable feel. Bergman shows the goings-on onstage, often zooming in for close-ups of the performers’ interaction with one another, interspersed with shots of individual faces in the audience. The actors were mostly chosen for their appearance and stage presence rather than their vocal prowess, though Hagegård has been singled out by critics for his fine performance and went on to enjoy a distinguished music career.
1975: Nominated for Oscar: Best Costume Design
1975: Golden Globes: Nominated Best Foreign Film
1975: César Awards: Nominated Best Foreign Film
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