Critic’s Choice: Rare screening of five-hour ‘Fanny and Alexander’ at the Wilder

Film Critic

Ahead of his time in this as almost everything, Swedish director Ingmar Bergman saw the possibilities in long-form television before it was the norm.

Created as a five-part, five-hour Swedish TV series, the autobiographical narrative of 1982’s “Fanny and Alexander” captivated Hollywood in an abbreviated three-hour version, winning four Oscars, including foreign-language film and cinematography for the peerless Sven Nykvist.

Though it has its darker moments, no Bergman venture has ever been so warm, so understanding, so forgiving of human foibles. Having spent most of a lifetime exploring the darkness, Bergman, as it turns out, is uniquely suited to lead us into the light.


The full five-hour TV version, rarely seen on the big screen, will play at 3 p.m. Saturday at the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s Billy Wilder Theater in the Hammer Museum in Westwood, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 206-8013. $8-$10.