Pulitzer-Winning Playwright Annie Baker Appears for FANNY AND ALEXANDER at the IFC Center Today
Acclaimed playwright Annie Baker will appear in person today, December 4, at the IFC Center movie theater in New York to present and discuss a 35mm print of a personal favorite, FANNY AND ALEXANDER, a film that helped spark her Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Flick."About five years ago, [Annie] Baker went to the IFC Center to watch one of her favorite films, Bergman's FANNY AND ALEXANDER, and noticed something weird going on with the screen. 'I was like, There's something wrong, there's something wrong! I'm not enjoying this; something's wrong!' She realized that the movie, originally shot on 35mm film, was being projected digitally. 'To me, it changed the whole phenomenal experience,' she says. The Flick draws from the disorientation she felt that day..." - The New Yorker Several years after Annie Baker watched FANNY AND ALEXANDER projected digitally here at IFC Center, we're thrilled to welcome her back to present a screening of the theatrical cut of Bergman's 1982 masterpiece in glorious 35mm. She'll discuss the film's impact on her life and work, and sign copies of The Flick, recently released in paperback. "This late gem from the Swedish maestro upped the ante in terms of autobiographical resonance, radically expanding on the way he'd often used personal experience to inflect the thematic preoccupations of his work, and anticipating scripts like 'The Best Intentions' which, despite being directed by others, represented events from his life more literally and explicitly than previously. Here, filtered through the eyes of young Alexander (Bertil Guve) and his sister (Pernilla Allwin), aspects of Bergman's past are transformed not only into fiction but into a meditation on the nature and craft of fiction: the children's experiences - first in the warm fold of a theatrical family, then, after dad's death, at the mercy of a stern stepfather (whose Lutheran calling inevitably evokes that of the director's own parent) - are structured largely as a series of scenes centred on watching, listening, performing and storytelling. "As such it's a marvellously engrossing and thought-provoking film, filled with dazzling dramatic set-pieces and witty, knowing allusions to its creator's artistic conceits and deceits. Especially when the children are subjected, thanks to their well-meaning but misguided mother (Ewa Fröhling), to the harsh regime of the Bishop Vergerus (Jan Malmsjö), the film also packs an emotional punch, so that the elegant recreation of early-twentieth-century life feels alive in a sense barely dreamt of by most makers of 'costume drama'." - Time Out (London) Annie Baker's works include The Aliens (Obie Award), Body Awareness, Circle Mirror Transformation (Obie Award), Nocturama, and an adaptation of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. Her work has been produced at more than a hundred theaters in the U.S. and in more than a dozen countries. Recent honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Steinberg Playwright Award and a New York Drama Critics Circle Award. She is a resident playwright at Signature Theater.