Another evening, another movie -- tonight we watched the first act of The Magic Flute, and were pretty pleased with it all in all. My experience with Bergman has been pretty mixed; I liked this a lot. It had the beautiful photography and lacked the slowness and storyless-ness that has turned me off to some of his movies. And it presented the opera in a way that allowed me, who am not much good at enjoying opera, to really dig it -- I especially liked the reaction shots of the audience. Sylvia was into it too, except for the part with Papageno and Pamina singing about the wonderfulness of love, which she found boring.
...Idly wondering whether Bergman's films had much influence on the creative process of Monty Python. There were a number shots in this film that made me think of The Holy Grail. The dragon at the beginning could easily have been a Gilliam design. Both movies came out in the same year so I guess there isn't much of a possibility of direct influence one way or the other; but it seems to me like they could be coming from similar places stylistically. And if this were so I would tend to think of Bergman as the source and Python as the derivative since Bergman had been around for a lot longer at that point -- or I guess it's also possible that the source was some third party from which both The Magic Flute and The Holy Grail are derivatives -- but the similarities were striking enough to make me want to think there is a closer point of connection.
(Note: if you are watching this movie with young kids, there are one or two scenes in Act II that you will want to skip over.)