Home Page  
 
 

Ingmar Bergman's Cinema, 8: Scenes from a Marriage (Theatrical Version) / Saraband
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • Swedish PCM Stereo
  • Swedish PCM Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Video interview with Ingmar Bergman from 1986
  • Video interview with stars Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson
  • Video interview with Bergman scholar Peter Cowie comparing the two versions of Scenes from a Marriage

Ingmar Bergman's Cinema, 8: Scenes from a Marriage (Theatrical Version) / Saraband

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Ingmar Bergman
2018 | 280 Minutes | Licensor: Svensk Filmindustri

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $299.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Release Date: November 20, 2018
Review Date: August 25, 2019

Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca

Share:

SYNOPSIS

In honor of Ingmar Bergmanís one hundredth birthday, the Criterion Collection is proud to present the most comprehensive collection of his films ever released on home video. One of the most revelatory voices to emerge from the postwar explosion of international art-house cinema, Bergman was a master storyteller who startled the world with his stark intensity and naked pursuit of the most profound metaphysical and spiritual questions. The struggles of faith and morality, the nature of dreams, and the agonies and ecstasies of human relationshipsóBergman explored these subjects in films ranging from comedies whose lightness and complexity belie their brooding hearts to groundbreaking formal experiments and excruciatingly intimate explorations of family life.

Arranged as a film festival with opening and closing nights bookending double features and centerpieces, this selection spans six decades and thirty-nine filmsóincluding such celebrated classics as The Seventh Seal, Persona, and Fanny and Alexander alongside previously unavailable works like Dreams, The Rite, and Brink of Life. Accompanied by a 248-page book with essays on each program, as well as by more than thirty hours of supplemental features, Ingmar Bergmanís Cinema traces themes and images across Bergmanís career, blazing trails through the masterís unequaled body of work for longtime fans and newcomers alike.


PICTURE

Disc 8 of Criterionís box set Ingmar Bergmanís Cinema presents the U.S. theatrical version of Scenes from a Marriage and the sequel Saraband. Both films are presented on this dual-layer disc, each with a 1080p/24hz high-definition encode. Scenes from a Marriage is presented in the aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is sourced from an older high-definition restoration scanned from the original 16mm A/B negatives. Saraband was filmed digitally and is sourced from a high-definition master. It is presented in the aspect ratio of 1.78:1.

Scenes from a Marriage doesnít look too different in comparison to the television version found on the previous disc, or any different to what is found on the individual Blu-ray edition Criterion released for that matter. The image looks fine but the film could certainly use an updated scan and restoration. While details are sharp and colours look great (despite the drab colour scheme) the older master shows its age, primarily in how it renders the filmís grain. Itís a very grainy looking film but the grain looks noisy here, just like the television version found on the previous disc. Damage isnít a concern but there is at least one digital anomaly that I did notice: at around the 1:29:50 mark the image shows an odd blocky pattern that pops up. This issue was also on the theatrical version of the individual Blu-ray edition, though oddly itís not present on the DVD edition.

Unsurprisingly Saraband fairs quite a bit better but since it was filmed digitally back in 2003 itís only as good as the original source allows. All-in-all it looks very sharp, delivers nice looking colours, and black levels are surprisingly solid for digital photography of the time. There is some noise evident, though, and it can be noticeable in darker shots and in some close-ups. Itís all minor in the end and doesnít impede oneís viewing but itís there.

Scenes from a Marriage: 7/10, Saraband: 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.

Screen Capture
Scenes from a Marriage (Theatrical Version)

Screen Capture
Scenes from a Marriage (Theatrical Version)

Screen Capture
Scenes from a Marriage (Theatrical Version)

Screen Capture
Scenes from a Marriage (Theatrical Version)

Screen Capture
Scenes from a Marriage (Theatrical Version)

Screen Capture
Scenes from a Marriage (Theatrical Version)

Screen Capture
Scenes from a Marriage (Theatrical Version)

Screen Capture
Scenes from a Marriage (Theatrical Version)

Screen Capture
Scenes from a Marriage (Theatrical Version)

Screen Capture
Scenes from a Marriage (Theatrical Version)

Screen Capture
Saraband

Screen Capture
Saraband

Screen Capture
Saraband

Screen Capture
Saraband

Screen Capture
Saraband

Screen Capture
Saraband

Screen Capture
Saraband

Screen Capture
Saraband

Screen Capture
Saraband

Screen Capture
Saraband

AUDIO

Scenes from a Marriage comes with a lossless PCM 1.0 monaural soundtrack. Itís a very low key affair and is very limited in range, but dialogue sounds sharp and the track is clean, free of distortion and noise.

Unless Iím mistaken Saraband is the only film in the set that isnít a monaural track, and is instead a lossless PCM 2.0 stereo track. Itís also a low key affair with very little range, but dialogue has better fidelity and clarity, sounding more natural, and the sound field ends up spreading out nicely (if subtly) between the front speakers.

Scenes from a Marriage: 6/10, Saraband: 7/10

SUPPLEMENTS

On this disc Criterion includes all of the special features they had for their original DVD and Blu-ray editions of Scenes from a Marriage. You first get the same 15-minute interview with Ingmar Bergman recorded a few years after Scenes from a Marriage first aired on television. The director talks about the miniseries from idea to screen, and then its impact. This is then followed by a 25-minute conversation with stars Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson. Here the two talk about the show, but mostly concentrate on talking about each other and their work together, not limited to this film. And then finally Peter Cowie talks about the two versions. Most of the differences are obvious if you've seen both but he does compare some subtle little things that I did otherwise miss, even during this go with it. He also looks at the editing and pacing of each version, noting how Bergman was aware that audiences would react differently when watching it over multiple nights on television or trapped in a theater for a few hours.

Rather oddly and somewhat disappointingly Criterion doesnít include any special features at all around Saraband. Since Criterion started licensing from Sony I figured this would have been one of the first films they would go after but oddly they never got around to it until this set and now it almost feels as though they just couldnít be bothered, that at best itís just a supplement film to Scenes from a Marriage. The Sony DVD included a making-of that Iím sure Criterion could have at least included but alas itís not here. Iíd like to think Criterion would revisit the film individually in the future but since they didnít do much with it here Iím not sure how likely that would be now.

At the very least the 247-page book that comes with the set does feature an essay around the two films, written by Philip Lopate. It has been constructed from two separate essays: the essay he wrote for Scenes from a Marriage for the 2003 Criterion DVD, and then another article written around Saraband in 2004.

The features for Scenes from a Marriage are fine but still feel a little light, but the lack of anything for Saraband, Bergmanís last film, is one of the bigger disappointments around this rather incredible set.

6/10

CLOSING

Scenes from a Marriage could really use a new scan and restoration while Saraband is limited by the digital source, but both still come off looking fine in the end. The lack of any supplementary material for Saraband proves to be one of the setís bigger letdowns.




Share: 



Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca