This is a continuation of the my 7 great movie series that I thought I will do in a week. It really takes much longer. But as least the movies are good. And I think that's what really matters!
Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander is saga of a rich family the Ekdahls. I am particular impressed by the confrontation scene between Alexander and the Bishop. The Bishop, whom Alexander never have much affection with, becomes his step father when he marries his widowed mother. Alexander has mischievously made up a rumor about the Bishop mistreating his former wife. His maid informed the Bishop, which leads to the inquisition scene. Being a man of honor the Bishop clearly consider this a serious defamation. Alexander flat out deny he has made such accusation. The denial has took the Bishop by surprise. How dare would Alexander lie in front of everyone? So the Bishop escalates the pressure, making Alexander swear with his hand on the bible and explain that any further lying will be considered perjury, a very serious crime. In every step Alexander just dig himself deeper into a hole. This leads to his final breakdown and the severe punishment.
The power of this scene is that we can follow each character's mind and see how end step lead to this explosive end. The Bishop is no ordinarily villain. In fact he is completely right. It maybe somewhat harsh to apply his institutional power on a kid. But we also see how Alexander's willfulness provoke him. The Bishop told him he consider himself wise and fair, why does Alexander hate him? Again he is right, it is fair to say he is wise and fair even if he is also cold and dull. It is a thought provoking exercise to try to make sense of the conflict. How someone seemingly making every right step will come out so wrong.
2012.03.08 comments -