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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Swedish DTS-HD 5.1 Surround
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Jan Troell's Magic Mirror, an hour-long documentary about Troell's life and career
  • Short documentary on the making of Everlasting Moments, featuring interviews with Troell, cast, and crew
  • Documentary featuring photographs by the real Maria Larsson, accompanied by narration telling her story
  • Theatrical trailer

Everlasting Moments

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Jan Troell
Starring: Maria Heiskanen, Mikael Persbrandt
2008 | 131 Minutes | Licensor: IFC Films

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $39.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #520
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: June 29, 2010
Review Date: June 24, 2010

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SYNOPSIS

Swedish master Jan Troell (The Emigrants, The New Land) returns triumphantly with Everlasting Moments, a vivid, heartrending story of a woman liberated through art at the beginning of the twentieth century. Though poor and abused by her alcoholic husband, Maria Larsson (Maria Heiskanen, in a beautifully nuanced portrayal) finds an outlet in photography, which opens up her world for the first time. With a burnished bronze tint that evokes faded photographs, and a broad empathetic palette, Everlasting Moments-based on a true story-is a miraculous tribute to the power of image making.

Forum members rate this film 8.7/10

 

Discuss the film and Blu-ray here   


PICTURE

Jan Troell’s Everlasting Moments is presented in the aspect ratio of 1.78:1 on this dual-layer Blu-ray disc. The transfer is presented in 1080p/24hz and was approved by Troell.

Despite some minor issues the image on here is quite beautiful. The colour scheme to the film is limited, a bronze/sepia tint to it so colours rarely jump away from the brownish tinges, but they’re rendered perfectly still looking bright and lively. There’s some scattered cases where the image can get murky, primarily during darker scenes but they’re few and far between. Black levels are strong, though again there are moments where blacks can look more grayish.

The film is very grainy, a fact I was rather surprised by even though I was aware it was shot on 16mm. This doesn’t bother me but I’m sure it will upset some who prefer their hi-def images as clean as possible. But because Criterion has left the grain intact detail and textures are excellent. There are some minor digital artifacts present; while the grain looks natural a majority of the time there are instances where the grain looks blocky with pixilation present in sections of the screen. Again, it’s minor, but noticeable occasionally.

The print looks exceptional, with only a couple of blemishes, but since the film is so new this shouldn’t be a surprise. In all it looks rather good, and is evidence that a 16mm film can look great on Blu-ray.

8/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

The Blu-ray editions comes with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track that completely exceeded my expectations. Though the narrating voice sounds heavy and comes off a little edgy everything else sounds natural and clear. The environment as a whole immerses the viewer with subtle use of music and sound effects which move naturally between all of the speakers. Volume levels are excellent along with range, and sound quality is crystal clear. A great sounding track.

8/10

SUPPLEMENTS

I assume all of the supplements found on this Blu-ray (and the DVD) have been ported over from other DVD/Blu-ray editions, so in that regard the supplements are disappointing (in the end it’s probably just a port.) But having said that the supplements found on here are all very involving and informative. All supplements, other than the theatrical trailer, are presented in 1080i.

First is a making-of documentary entitled Troell Behind the Camera, running 28-minutes and filmed before, during, and after the production of Everlasting Moments. It covers the inception of the project, contains footage from script meetings, and then behind-the-scenes material of the shoot. There’s also some extensive footage of Troell and editor Niels Pagh Andersen editing the film together on the computer. Interviews are included with various members of the cast and crew, as well as Troell, who comments on his interests in the project, what he looks for in actors, dealing with “money men” and other subjects. But the most rewarding aspect of what is already a great little documentary is footage of Maria Larsson’s daughter Maja recalling her mother and certain incidents portrayed in the film. I believe this footage (along with a small amount of footage with Larsson’s granddaughter) was recorded by Troell’s wife, Agneta Ulfsäter-Troell, whose story was the basis for the film. Much more engaging and informative than most making-ofs and a great inclusion.

The True Story of Maria Larsson is a short 9-minute segment presented by Agneta Ulfsäter-Troell. It presents a large number of Maria Larsson’s actual photographs with narration by Agneta, which is made up primarily of quotes from Maria’s daughter Maja, whom she had interviewed. There’s also some further material here on the grandmother and Sebastian Pedersen, the man who encouraged Larsson’s photography. Another excellent inclusion as the release wouldn’t have been complete without some sort of presentation of her actual photographs.

The final supplement on here is another documentary, this one primarily focusing on Troell, called Troell’s Magic Mirror. It’s made up of interviews with Troell that I assume were taken solely for this film. It’s a very candid, very personal interview with the director, who covers his life and his filmmaking career thoroughly. He talks about his childhood and his parents, primarily his father, a dentist, who took to making home movies with a 16mm camera. Plenty of home movie footage is shown, which Troell has edited together on to VHS tapes that he shows during the doc, commenting on how he’s basically formed his own memories from the footage, editing together footage from different days. He goes through a large chunk of his filmography, starting with his most well-known film, The Emigrants, and then moving on to his short Hollywood stint that brought forth one film, Zandy’s Bride, the filming of which presented a very different type of filmmaking that he just couldn’t quite understand. Troell gets very personal and is very open. There’s also some fantastic footage of him directing, filming, or photographing including a moment where he’s capturing footage he considers rather wonderful only to become incredibly upset when he realizes he wasn’t actually recording. It’s a fantastic document of the man, and a great, very thoughtful inclusion on this set.

The supplements then close with IFC’s theatrical trailer for the film, which is typical “feel-goody” stuff you might expect.

The edition then contains a short booklet with an essay by Armond White that’s more coherent than I would have expected as he focuses on the “feminist message” within the film.

Though the supplements don’t even total 100-minutes it’s a very satisfying collection, offering an intriguing look at Troell and also offering some wonderful firsthand material on Maria Larsson.

8/10

CLOSING

I try not to comment on the films but I have to say this is an absolutely wonderful, beautiful film, one I missed initially. And Criterion’s Blu-ray does it justice. The transfer, despite some minor issues, looks great, and the supplements are all top-notch. Comes with a very high recommendation.


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