ingmar bergman is, to me at least, one of the greatest directors of all time, but the ending of this one crushed me. obviously he's trying to make a comment on reality/illusion, as in all his films, but why take a shot at the aesthetic irrationality and maybe uncritical nature of the artist when bergman was himself an artist of first rank? that may sound like categorical complacency on my part, but i couldn't believe that bergman finished the movie by unmasking sydow's character as a money grubbing charlatan and the scientist as 'the wise one', who saw through it (for the most part) the entire time. of course all this is only my interpretation, but i pretty much sense bergman meant something like what i'm saying, and it is both puzzling and frustrating. most great artists may be lacking in the analytical faculty as sydow's 'magician' clearly is (while he is pretending) in this one, but without that passion for the imaginative and the irrational there really can't be art at all. the dissecting scientist is, no matter how much more intellectual integrity or 'noble' skepticism he may have than the artist, the antithesis of inspiring and affirmative (and there is a sense in which even pessimistic and despairing art can be affirmative, as nietzsche said many times)which all art should aspire, in one form or another, to be. the whole thing seems like a pretentious house of cards, considering that the considerable and undeniable appeal of bergman's work lies for the most part in his flair for the unspoken, the unconscious, the *irrational*. don't get me wrong, you might even call me an orthodox 'bergmanian' in that i find most of his work beyond criticism and absolutely masterful, but i just can't get behind 'the magician', although i may be intellectualizing too much. and to the movie's credit,it maintains a strong atmosphere and becomes impossible to stop watching halfway through, like nearly every film bergman made. don't watch it, buy it, but be a *little* wary of the veeeery contradictory message the movie tries to convey.
The Magician (1958) 720p YIFY Movie
The Magician (1958)
Ansiktet is a movie starring Max von Sydow, Ingrid Thulin, and Gunnar Bj?rnstrand. A traveling magician and his assistants are persecuted by authorities in Sweden of XIX century. Their captures, however, didn't bring victory to...
IMDB: 7.71 Likes
The Synopsis for The Magician (1958) 720p
When 'Vogler's Magnetic Health Theater' comes to town, there's bound to be a spectacle. Reading reports of a variety of supernatural disturbances at Vogler's prior performances abroad, the leading townspeople (including the police chief and medical examiner) request that their troupe provide them a sample of their act, before allowing them public audiences. The scientific-minded disbelievers try to expose them as charlatans, but Vogler and his crew prove too clever for them.
The Director and Players for The Magician (1958) 720p
The Reviews for The Magician (1958) 720p
definitely not bergman's best and a hypocritical message, but still greatReviewed byreasonbran234Vote: 7/10
The Magician's original Swedish title is Ansiktet, which in Ingmar Bergman's language means 'The Face'. It's also worth noting (thanks to the Peter Cowie essay with the DVD) that the subtitle in the script is 'A Comedy'. Is much funny in this film? There is some absurdity - very dark, brooding, harrowing, sometimes horror-movie absurdity - but maybe it's there. There's even some humor to be had among the supporting characters, like the (for 1958 frank) sexual talk with Bibi Andersson's character and the younger man with the magician troupe. But it's all the same fascinating to see those two points - the fact that, as in many of Bergman's other films, the face is key as almost a plot device, and that he sees it as a comedy. But hey, so did Hitchcock with Psycho, right?
The Magician is set in the mid 19th century and is Bergman right after the one-two punch of The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries continuing his cinematic inquest into truth and enlightenment. The conflict is not exactly plot driven, though there is a solid premise and a good story: a "Magical Health Troupe" (that may not be the exact wording, but 'health' is in there) arrives to do a performance - this includes the Magician Vogler (Max von Sydow) and his assistant "Mr" Vogler (Ingrid Thulin, dressed like a man for a little while) - for a heavily skeptical doctor and his group (other Bergman regulars include Erland Josephsson and Gunnar Bjornstrand, the latter being the doctor). This troupe carries some baggage with them - they've been in prison before, it's spoken of - and it's obvious just by Sydow's face, with a fake beard and dyed hair, that there's something 'funny' going on.
Rationality and irrationality, that's what's at play here, and also the whole idea of what constitutes believing in something that's outside of the 'scientific' explanation. It's interesting to see that Dr. Vergerus (and this name would later pop up as antagonists in Bergman films, most notoriously in Fanny & Alexander) is probably more interested in doing the eventual autopsy of Vogler than really seeing any magic 'tricks' he has to offer - if they're tricks at all. And it's even noted that they are charlatans by one of the members in a key scene. But Bergman's aim here, and what drives things to be so moving and compelling and even touching, is how other characters react to these magicians, with their 'potions' and fortune telling. One of the doctor's wives actually takes a liking to Vogler - it should also be noted this is over the course of a night - and it's one of those scenes that is so striking for the tension in Sydow's face, how everything is building up inside of him.
It may be almost a spoiler to say that Vogler can, in fact, speak and just chooses to use it as part of his disguise. But the conflict is constantly driven by the choices and world-views of these characters, and this goes too for a 'dying' actor who is seen early on in the film and... we assume he dies en route to the main part of the story, but he re-appears mid-way through to give Vogler some late-night advice before he departs again. Is this Bergman putting himself in the film, saying that whether you bring illumination and wonder and the unknown in the world that you're still mortal? Probably, and it certainly wouldn't surprise me.
There are two main magic acts in the film, and they're both brilliant, awe-inspiring works if only on technical grounds: how characters move in the frame, the surprises that come to these people. One of these is a little quicker (the one you'll see involving 'invisible chains)). In the second, without saying too much, Vergerus does do an autopsy on a character late in the story, and this is something closest to a horror movie (ten years before Hour of the Wolf no less) and how Bjornstrand moves in this attic, how the elements may be playing 'tricks' on him, but most importantly how Bergman is making his own magic trick going on is shocking and a lot of fun.
It's actually terrifying, and in the way that you may wonder how it's being done... or, maybe that's not true, you know so much of the conflict has led to this point in the story - between what is quantifiable to a villainous man of science (yes, in this story, villainous) and what may be unknown in the world of conjuring and pulling the imaginary out of thin air - and it's because of that that you can't turn away from what will come next, while Bergman uses all the tools of cinema (cinematography playing with light and shadow, ominous music, how the actors move and react in such a tight place).
Some of the choices aren't great; I wondered why there was such BIG music near the end, it felt out of place. And I almost wished there were more 'little' moments in the film, like when the Granny character sings to one of the lady workers at the house and she slowly falls asleep. That's a really nice moment that adds to that hypnotic ambiance in The Magician. Yet I can't recommend it enough, especially to those just getting into the director's work. Not everyone here may be likable, matter of fact even the characters you're supposed to have most sympathy for are manipulative and jerky and full of angst. But do they make for some great drama? You betcha.
Ever since seeing The Seventh Seal, I have become a fan of Ingmar Bergman. Maybe The Magician is not up there with his finest, but of the Bergman movies I've seen so far(which is perhaps a little under 2/3 of his filmography) every single one of them are worth watching in some way or other and The Magician is no exception. Maybe the ending, while intriguing is rather rushed, but as always with Bergman there is so much good. As to be expected, I love the look of the film, the settings are appropriately Gothic and everything is beautifully shot. Bergman's direction is also superb, no qualms there, while the symbols and images are meaningful and stay in your mind for a long time. The music is appropriately haunting, while the story has its compelling magic along with its fair share of fun and thrills and the dialogue is very thought-provoking. The characters are also interesting, and this is elevated hugely by the acting. Max Von Sydow gives a bravura performance, not a surprise as he is a wonderful actor whose face alone tells so much. Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Bjornstrand, Bibbi Andersen and Naima Wifstrand give splendid support as well. All in all, The Magician is a very interesting Bergman film but sadly it is also an overlooked one. 9/10 Bethany Cox