Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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mfunk9786
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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#426 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:21 pm

swo17 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:06 pm
Amazon has it again, but now it's for $226.79
Before anyone sees dollar signs and buys it to resell, it also appears to have dipped in price on eBay, selling recently in the high $200s

And one eBay user appears to really dislike The Seventh Seal - this gives me so much anxiety

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bunuelian
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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#427 Post by bunuelian » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:41 pm

That reviewer is lucky. By having the whole set still available, they are sure to learn how to beg for forgiveness in Swedish before long.

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ShellOilJunior
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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#428 Post by ShellOilJunior » Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:09 pm

That eBay seller might've received a duplicate disc in the set and Criterion told them to keep the disc. If that's not the case they're going to hell.

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swo17
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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#429 Post by swo17 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:18 pm

If you can sell each disc for $15 and each page of the book for $2, that's practically $1,000 of profit--you'd be insane not to do it

Zack567
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:11 pm

Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#430 Post by Zack567 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:22 pm

Much earlier in this thread, I mentioned my concerns about the original stand-alone Criterion blu-ray of Summer Interlude — the original release suffered from severely reduced contrast compared to the many 35mm prints that I've seen — and my disappointment that the screencaps at DVD Beaver indicated that the new transfer for the box set did not seem to be an improvement.

I've now had a chance to spot check the new transfer of Summer Interlude, and it's better than I expected. The new restoration really cleaned up a lot of the damage that was visible on the original blu-ray. I'm normally pretty tolerant of dirt, scratches, and such, but the first blu-ray suffered from some really distracting density variations, and those are greatly minimized on the new release. Most of the scenes suffering from this problem had water or moving foliage in the background, and it's possible the problem may actually have resulted from in-camera flares resulting from the sun reflecting off of the moving water or shining through the moving leaves (although I don't remember this being an issue with the film prints). Regardless, the new release is a huge improvement in this respect. In general, the contrast is somewhat better than the original release, but disappointingly it's still too flat. Reducing the brightness setting on my Oppo player to -3, and boosting the contrast to +3 got things roughly into right ball park.

The other transfer I was very curious about was A Passion. The color grading of this film was badly messed up by MGM when they did their DVD release — the colorist was obviously unaware of Bergman's statements that he and Sven Nykvist had worked hard to eliminate as much blue as possible from the photography. The colorist's attempts to put back the missing blue made the film look overly saturated and made some of the lighting look weird and artificial. I'm happy to say that the transfer for the box set pretty well nails it, and looks very close to what I remember from the film prints. The look is somewhat desaturated, very earthy, extremely natural, the mood is very close to what I remember from seeing this theatrically. My only complaint is that the transfer may be a touch too bright in places, but really overall it's excellent.

Last, I took a quick look at some scenes in Cries and Whispers. Wow, is this transfer different from the original stand-alone Criterion blu-ray. As is well known by now, the first release was VERY warm, the red was really pumped up. The new transfer is much more natural, and if anything errs on the the side of being too cool. Which one is "correct"? I wish I knew. I saw Cries and Whispers several times theatrically in the late seventies/early eighties, and my memory is that the colors were rich and saturated. Having said that, the stand-alone blu-ray really does seem too red, there is also a slight green tint in some of the images that seems wrong, and a number of scenes seems lacking in contrast. The new transfer is more natural, has more contrast, but I think the skin tones are just to cool. The slightly bluish tinge makes sense for Agnes, who after all is dying of cancer, but doesn't seem right for the other characters. It also doesn't make sense in light of Bergman's comment that a starting point for the film was his feeling that red was the color of the soul.

I haven't seen the Criterion DVD, but judging by the DVD Beaver screencaps (always a slightly dangerous thing to do), it may well have had the best color grading - more saturated and warmer than the new Criterion transfer, but not as extreme as the first Criterion blu-ray release.

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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#431 Post by perkizitore » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:01 pm

Zack567 wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:22 pm
The slightly bluish tinge makes sense for Agnes, who after all is dying of cancer

Spoiler alert! :P

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bunuelian
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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#432 Post by bunuelian » Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:23 am

I second the positive impression of Passion. I probably haven't watched the film in ten years, and it's interesting to see how my relationship to the characters has changed. My reasons for relating to Winkelman have transferred from his alcoholic tendencies to his sense of despair and alienation. I must be maturing.

Watching Ullman's face transform during her one-shot monologue I was struck by the extraordinary good fortune we have to be able to see such genius in high definition.

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tenia
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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#433 Post by tenia » Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:24 pm

tenia wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:34 pm
I'll try to test if I can just put the individual discs I plan to keep in plastic sleeves and place them somewhere in the boxset "disc book" and see if I can still close it. There are only 4 discs I plan to insert this way so it shouldn't be too thick.
Coming back to this : I took out all 4 covers and placed them flat in the first page of the text book with no problem. I placed the 4 discs in individual plastic sleeves, placed them in the first page of the disc book 2 by 2, and it fit too. This way, I can keep the 4 discs with restorations different than from the set and not having to care about what to do with the empty cases, all in the same boxset (I have a dedicated boxes where I keep booklets or other text material I receive so I placed the Criterion booklets there).
I also now have 4 spare Scanavo cases.

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Magic Hate Ball
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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#434 Post by Magic Hate Ball » Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:34 pm

ari101 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:47 pm
kekid wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 2:19 am
I apologize if this has been mentioned before. But I was quite surprised to notice that "Face to Face" is not included in this set. It has appeared on DVD in region A, with a tantalizing comment that a longer version exists. So I was looking forward to both versions (the theatrical version and the extended cut). Instead, it is completely excluded. Does anyone know why?
From Wikipedia.....

The film was conceived and produced as a four-part mini-series on Swedish television with a running time of 177 minutes. The episodes were entitled:

Uppbrottet (The Separation)
Gränsen (The Border)
Skymningslandet (The Twilight Land)
Återkomsten (The Return)

It was edited down for theatrical releases for running times from 114 to 135 minutes. However, the theatrical version premiered first. The film was later screened at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival held in May, but was not entered into the main competition. The television version aired in Sweden over four weeks in May and June of that year, and has not been released for home media.
As a note, I was able to see the uncut version at TIFF's Bergman retrospective (a standard-def digital screening with slightly erratic subtitles). It was hard for me to sense anything new in the longer version, but it's been almost a decade since I first saw the theatrical edition. There was plenty to like, particularly how it approaches that sense of being absolutely unable to truly be in contact with others, and Ullmann throws herself bodily into the role (there's a particularly good scene where she has a breakdown in the middle of the night and she's lit so her face is just a black void). Everything feels ill and sick, the characters are desperate and unhappy, people grasp at each other in a misanthropic way, there's lots of disappointment about, which is fun. On the other hand, I don't think it's Bergman's most well-constructed film. Jenny plays a psychiatrist, which means people are constantly blabbing their torment to her, and then she loses her mind, and that should be satisfying as a literalization of the catastrophic limits of control, but for some reason it's not. It feels like an oddly incomplete thought, even though I think it makes a very good and firm statement about empathy. Comfort yourself with the fact that it's not a must-see, I guess.

Robin Davies
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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#435 Post by Robin Davies » Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:51 pm

There's a scene at 8.02 in the Monika Exploited featurette which is presumably from the uncensored version of Summer with Monika.
Does anyone know if this was this actually in the Kroger Babb version?
According to this article:
https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Bad+girl ... 0465808776
the Kroger Babb version contains "no added salacious content" but I'm not sure if that includes bits of the original uncensored version.

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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#436 Post by Glowingwabbit » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:25 pm

I'm not sure if this has already been talked about (apologies if so), but are the discs relatively easy to get in and out of the packaging? That is something I'm always concerned with these type of releases and partly why I'm waiting until the Feb Flash Sale. Thanks.

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domino harvey
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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#437 Post by domino harvey » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:40 pm

Very easy. The backing material is slick and they slide out with no effort. Maybe if you have thicker fingers or decreased digital mobility there might be some issues with pulling the slot away from the backing while simultaneously removing the disc, but that's about it

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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#438 Post by Glowingwabbit » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:41 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:40 pm
Very easy. The backing material is slick and they slide out with no effort. Maybe if you have thicker fingers or decreased digital mobility there might be some issues with pulling the slot away from the backing while simultaneously removing the disc, but that's about it
Thanks domino! Just what I wanted to hear.

HitchcockLang
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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#439 Post by HitchcockLang » Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:08 pm

For the most part, I would agree, but I must have struggled for a solid 10 minutes to get Fanny and Alexander out. Not because it was stuck. I agree, the backing is very slick, but I couldn't get enough leverage to get the disc above the lip of the upper layer of packaging which kept the disc in place. Some of those little rounded thumb cutaways would have been helpful.

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tenia
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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#440 Post by tenia » Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:28 am

HitchcockLang wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:08 pm
For the most part, I would agree, but I must have struggled for a solid 10 minutes to get Fanny and Alexander out. Not because it was stuck. I agree, the backing is very slick, but I couldn't get enough leverage to get the disc above the lip of the upper layer of packaging which kept the disc in place. Some of those little rounded thumb cutaways would have been helpful.
Same issue here. I managed to move them down the sleeves at some point, and then could grab them and take them out.

Robin Davies
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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#441 Post by Robin Davies » Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:21 pm

I'm baffled that anyone has trouble getting these discs out. I just put my thumb in the centre hole, lift the top edge of the disc with the fingernails of the same hand and push the disc upwards with my thumb. Easy peasy.

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tenia
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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#442 Post by tenia » Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:11 pm

In the case we described, there was no space on the outer side of the disc to take it out this way and not enough space at its center to move it and then take it out. All the other discs were able to be taken out either by their center or their outer side, but not all of them wich were pitch perfect preventing me too.
This being written, it wasn't a major hassle : I managed to slide them and then take them out in a few seconds, but it did required a first action to be able to grab them.

mteller
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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#443 Post by mteller » Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:05 pm

I just now found out that several months ago Taschen finally released a more budget-friendly of their Ingmar Bergman Archives book, just like they did for the Kubrick book. This one's half the size and weight, doesn't come with a filmstrip or DVD, and it's only $41.75 on Amazon right now. It's only 452 pages compared to 592 for the "XL" version, but judging by the table of contents there isn't anything obviously missing.

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tenia
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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#444 Post by tenia » Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:05 am

I like what Taschen has been doing with their Archives books, but I found it hard to find out what is different between the original bigger versions and the cheaper ones. Are they less pictures ? Is the font smaller ? Some texts or addendums missing ? I believe that some books are dual-language, maybe the new one is single language, etc.

I'm not complaining because I always managed to find the ones I was interested in in sale, but it can be difficult to understand what are the differences precisely in order to make one's choice.

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headacheboy
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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#445 Post by headacheboy » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:18 am

In the original Bergman Archives book from Taschen it is divided up into chapters. You will find a forward, seven chapters and an appendix, with each chapter divided into years, covering each movie made during that specific chapter. For example, Chapter 1 covers ten films beginning with Torment and ending with This Can't Happen Here. At the end of each chapter is something called "Complete Chronology." Chapter One's 'complete chronology' covers the years from 1918 through 1951. In this chronology is a biography about Bergman and a brief discussion about everything he wrote, directed or produced for the stage during that specific time frame. There is commentary from a variety of people such as Birgitta Steene, Bergman himself and others who worked with him during those time frames. It is akin to an oral history. It is not deeply detailed, but it does provide the most comprehensive list of everything Bergman was involved with that I've ever seen. As the years move forward, Bergman does a tremendous amount of work and this chronology provides us with all the television plays he directed, all the stage plays he directed (who knew he did A Streetcar Named Desire) and all the scripts he wrote. It is this "complete chronology" that is taken out of the new, smaller Taschen Ingmar Bergman Archives. In the mammoth edition, the chronology is printed on a different paper compared to the information surrounding each individual film. The info on the films is printed on slick paper while the chronology is printed on a beige color paper and it is of a thicker stock.

You will still have the details about all the films he directed. Those include the lush photos Taschen is known for, the cast list and Bergman's commentaries about what went into the making of each film. These also include commentaries from actors as well as critics such as Peter Cowie. So the focus of this new, lighter and smaller edition will be his cinema whereas the gigantic, heavier version focuses on his entire career of cinema, TV and stage.

I have the original version and it is enormous and quite cumbersome to use. After having it for so long, I got a bit accustomed to it and begin sitting it on my lap while trying to write and access the information. It fell off my lap and I knew that was the end of my perfect edition. The binding ripped right off the back cover so now it is even clunkier to use. I rarely access the complete chronology because I'm more focused on his cinema. It's an extravagant book, but honestly, I believe I would prefer the smaller more streamlined edition.

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tenia
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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#446 Post by tenia » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:45 am

I never found it for the Kubrick set, but I originally bought a separate book that was coming with just the text. They had that at my nearby supermarket in their book section. It's a very simple A4-dimensionned perfect-bound book. I don't think it has any picture at all, but just compiled all the text in a much much lighter and simpler version.

I ended up buying the "normal" huge heavy version later anyway, but only because it was discounted (I think it cost me 45€).

mteller
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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#447 Post by mteller » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:09 am

Thank you very much for the rundown, headacheboy! While I'd like the see the chronology stuff (I'm a big fan of Bergman's TV work and hope it one day shows up on an Eclipse set or something) it doesn't sound like a huge loss. And yes, the size and weight of the original edition does seem prohibitive to casual reading.

It'd be nice if they could package the chronology in some sort of separate volume, but I won't hold my breath.

ari101
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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#448 Post by ari101 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 6:55 pm

mteller wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:09 am
I'm a big fan of Bergman's TV work and hope it one day shows up on an Eclipse set or something
Yes, his film work is so familiar at this point that 'new' Bergman works like the TV works are overdue a disc release.

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headacheboy
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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#449 Post by headacheboy » Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:37 am

mteller wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:09 am
(I'm a big fan of Bergman's TV work and hope it one day shows up on an Eclipse set or something)
I would agree, I've often fantasized about an Eclipse of Bergman's television work. Of course, some of his television work does appear in the smaller edition. Things such as The Magic Flute,Face To Face,From The Life of Marionettes, After The Rehearsal, et al. I secured a copy of the television version of Face To Face via a dealer and the final 15 minutes proved unplayable! I know that Olive gave us Face To Face but it was disappointing that it was only the US theatrical version and didn't include the Swedish television version. Criterion and other like-minded companies have spoiled me as I expect all of them to behave similarly with multiple versions of something if it exists. I'd welcome, as I'm sure all of us would, a Face To Face edition that includes the theatrical film (which runs 135 minutes) and the television version (which runs at 175 minutes).

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furbicide
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Re: Ingmar Bergman's Cinema

#450 Post by furbicide » Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:12 am

It’s surely inconceivable that Criterion would leave Bergman titles out of a set as huge and near-comprehensive as this if they had any intention of releasing them in the future. I do hope we get a proper release of Face to Face, but I can’t imagine it will be from Criterion.

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