Weekly Brief – August 10-16 (Swedish Miniseries week)

Over the past seven days I watched 593 (nearly 10 hours) minutes of Swedish television miniseries. I started with Scenes from a Marriage (1973) and finished with Fanny och Alexander (1983). Both are directed by Ingmar Bergman.

Scenes from a Marriage Р8.2 РI am enamored with Liv Ullman ever since watching Persona. She, with Erland Josephson, gives a commanding performance of a feminist who, for a while, wishes that she can have both a positive stance on the feminine struggle and a marriage with a misogynist husband. I am interested in watching the theatrical edit but I need to wait. I am interested in what Bergman was able to comfortably edit out for run time.

Fanny och Alexander – 7.1 – ¬†This is one of the most beautiful films I have ever watched. It would have ranked higher if the story was a little stronger. I expect the theatrical version fixes some of those issues. I loved this film, don’t think otherwise, but I cannot overlook a slightly broken narrative, especially if I would hold lesser films to the same standard. Someday in the future I will watch the shorter version with hopes.

Edited to Add

Scanners – 6.4 – I also watched Scanners before bed (terrible idea) last night. It was a good movie that I wished I had watched years ago rather than some of the really trashy horror films that I had caught.

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies – 5.7 – The story is broken and the film is held up by visuals, especially the color of the sky. Some was just beautiful and matches up to the masterful Lord of the Rings trilogy. I do intend to re-watch the three Hobbits in a weekend and see if I just let too much time lapse between viewings. Now, the bad new…







The story is broken. We have collectively spent hours watching the journey to this moment. Then it ends without resolution. Well, nit-picky resolution.

1. WHO IS THE NEW KING UNDER THE MOUNTAIN? Seriously. How was this not important enough to include.

2. Do the elves and men get the cheddar they were promised? Seriously, it was a pretty big plot point.

3. What happened to Taurel, if it was so important to have another woman in the movie that Peter Jackson created a character why not resolve it. “If this is what love feels like I don’t like it.” Shenanigans. She is stronger than that.

4. 60 Frames per second is too much for me and makes some of the practical effects look as fake as the CGI.

5. Come on Pete, some of those graphics looked down right bad, just, bad.