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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • Swedish Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • New essay by director Vilgot Sjöman

Ingmar Bergman Makes a Movie


Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Vilgot Sjöman
1963 | 146 Minutes | Licensor: Sveriges Television AB

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $79.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #212
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: August 19, 2003
Review Date: June 4, 2019

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SYNOPSIS

The year is 1961 and Ingmar Bergman is making a movie. While planted on the scene as apprentice to Bergman, Vilgot Sjöman (director, I Am Curious-Yellow, 1967), suggests to Swedish Television that they take the opportunity to record with the acclaimed director. In August, Sjöman and the television crew begin to capture what would become a comprehensive five-part documentary on the making of Winter Light, offering views of script development, set construction and lighting, rehearsals and editing, as well as intimate conversations with Bergman and members of his cast and crew. Footage from the film's Swedish premiere delivers immediate audience reactions and the critics' reviews the following day. Originally recorded on 16mm film, the television series Ingmar Bergman Makes a Movie is presented here in its entirety for the first time outside of Sweden.

Forum members rate this film 7.8/10

 

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PICTURE

Technically a supplement disc found in Criterion’s DVD box set A Film Trilogy by Ingmar Bergman (the fourth one in the set), Vilgot Sjöman’s television documentary Ingmar Bergman Makes a Movie receives its own spine number and is presented on this dual-layer disc in the aspect ratio of around 1.33:1. It’s presented over five episodes that can be watched individually or viewed all at once.

Though filmed in 16mm Criterion appears to be just using the broadcast master so the whole series has a video/television look to it. The image is blurry, with the finer details getting lost in a blur. It’s presented interlaced so there are a number of artifacts present, along with signs of banding. Damage is consistent, no attempts at restoration looking to have been done. It looks pretty rough, though I can’t say this is too much of a surprise.

4/10

All DVD screen captures are presented in their original size from the source disc. Images have been compressed slightly 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 audio presentation, delivered in Dolby Digital 1.0 mono, is about as flat and monotone as can be. There is no fidelity, no depth, and there’s a little distortion.

4/10

SUPPLEMENTS

The film is, as mentioned before, technically a supplement in the Bergman Trilogy box set, a companion to Winter Light since it is about the making of that film. As a making-of documentary it never really rises above others of its type but getting such an intimate portrait of Bergman and how he goes about developing a film is still priceless. Divided into five parts, covering various aspects of production (with the last part being a straight interview between Bergman and Sjöman about the release), we get to see development and pre-production before moving onto the actual filming, watching Bergman work with his actors (though the essay included here mentions these moments were staged by Bergman specifically for the documentary). The best portion, though, covers post-production, where Bergman talks about how he constructs his films. Again, I didn’t find it to be constructed in a particularly original, or even interesting way, but I enjoyed watching Bergman work and listening to him go through his process in an almost step-by-step manner.

Criterion does also provide an insert, featuring a quote from Bergman about how much he likes Winter Light, along with a one-page essay by Sjöman on the experience of trying to film Bergman, who seemed to have been both pretty open but also hesitant on what he would allow Sjöman to show. Almost a shame Criterion didn’t get an interview with the director.

1/10

CLOSING

It looks and sounds pretty terrible and only features a short essay as a supplement. But since this is technically a supplement disc for Criterion’s Bergman Trilogy set I can’t this is all a surprise.


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