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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Swedish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English subtitles
  • 2 Discs
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


Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

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

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

Release Date: June 29, 2010
Review Date: June 28, 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 DVD here   


PICTURE

Everlasting Moments is presented in the aspect ratio of 1.78:1 on the first dual-layer disc of this two-disc set and has been enhanced for widescreen televisions.

Compared to the Blu-ray editionís high-definition transfer this DVDís standard-definition transfer still comes off looking incredible. Though the Blu-rayís transfer does look better than the DVDís overall, I was actually more surprised with how well the DVD turned out. Some of the IFC titles coming out from Criterion look really good on Blu-ray but soft on the respective DVD edition (A Christmas Tale and Gomorrah come to mind immediately.) Thankfully that isnít the case here; the DVDís transfer remains consistently sharp, offering a stunning amount of detail, even handling the filmís grain structure superbly, though itís still not as grainy-looking as the Blu-ray edition. Colours have a certain pop despite the films sepia/bronze tone, but reds in the dark room sequences donít look as nicely rendered as the BDís. I also canít say I noticed any digital artifacts of any kind, the transfer looking clean. The print even has very little damage present.

In the end Iím giving this DVD a higher score when compared to the Blu-ray, but it should be kept in mind that the Blu-ray, getting past some minor problems with that transfer, still looks better than this DVD. Still, the DVD looks incredible upscaled and while Iím thankful that Criterion did decide to release this film on Blu-ray I actually wouldnít have complained too much if we only got this DVD edition in the end: it looks rather stunning.

(A note: at around the 4:30 mark in the film the disc skips and goes to the next chapter. This could be a defect with my copy only and may not reflect the actual product but felt I should mention it.)

9/10

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AUDIO

The filmís soundtrack, presented here in Dolby Digital 5.1, is rather impressive, coming off far more active than one may have expected. Similar to the Blu-rayís audio I thought the narration can come off heavy, but the rest of the track is crisp, with excellent range and volume. Music sounds wonderful, moving between the speakers naturally, and sound effects sneak around as well. I found the Blu-rayís lossless track a little more robust, but this Dolby Digital track still comes off strong.

7/10

SUPPLEMENTS

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

The first disc presents only the film and then IFCís theatrical trailer, which is actually almost nauseatingly ďfeel-goody.Ē The remaining supplements are found on the second dual-layer disc.

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. Thereís 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 ďmoney menĒ and other subjects. But the most rewarding aspect of what is already a great little documentary is footage of Maria Larssonís daughter Maja recalling her mother and certain incidents portrayed in the film. I believe this footage (along with a small amount of footage with Larssonís granddaughter) was recorded by Troellís wife, Agneta Ulfsšter-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 Ulfsšter-Troell. It presents a large number of Maria Larssonís actual photographs with narration by Agneta, which is made up primarily of quotes from Mariaís daughter Maja, whom she had interviewed. Thereís also some further material here on the grandmother and Sebastian Pedersen, the man who encouraged Larssonís photography. Another excellent inclusion as the release wouldnít 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 Troellís Magic Mirror. Itís made up of interviews with Troell that I assume were taken solely for this film. Itís 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 heís 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, Zandyís Bride, the filming of which presented a very different type of filmmaking that he just couldnít quite understand. Troell gets very personal and is very open. Thereís also some fantastic footage of him directing, filming, or photographing including a moment where heís capturing footage he considers rather wonderful only to become incredibly upset when he realizes he wasnít actually recording. Itís a fantastic document of the man, and a great, very thoughtful inclusion on this set.

The edition then contains a short booklet with an essay by Armond White thatís more coherent than I would have expected as he focuses on the ďfeminist messageĒ within the film.

Though the supplements donít even total 100-minutes itís a very satisfying collection, offering an intriguing look at Troell and also offering some wonderful firsthand material on Maria Larsson.

8/10

CLOSING

A superb release. While I do praise the video transfer on here I would still point those to the Blu-ray edition of the film since it still looks better than this DVD edition. But for those that still havenít made the leap you can feel rest-assured that Criterion has put a solid effort into this edition.


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