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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Ingmar Bergman's Cinema -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Message #21 of 42 Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
    titch

    titch Supporting Actor

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    One of the greatest directors in film history, Ingmar Bergman had an enormous oeuvre, consisting of productions for film, theater, television, radio, ballet, opera and books. He also made documentaries for TV – the two Fårö Documents are included in the set. The Ingmar Bergman Archives (Taschen, 2008) remains the definitive reference of Bergman’s prodigious output, with contributing editors Birgitta Steene, Peter Cowie, Bengt Forslund and Ulla Åberg listing Bergman’s whole life, from his birth in 1918 until his death in 2007.

    The films missing from the set are mostly from his first “apprentice” phase from 1944-1951, when he made 10 films. (The films are numbered according to their place in Bergman’s chronological output). The films missing, with two exceptions, were not distributed by Svensk Filmindustri, who, together with Svenska Filminstitutet, were responsible for restoring and making available all of the masters in the Criterion set. The Ingmar Bergman Taschen Archives list 46 films in his filmography, not including the two Fårö Documents. The nine films missing from the set are as follows:


    1. Torment (Hets); released as Frenzy (UK) - 1944. Distributed by Svensk Filmindustri (Sweden), Oxford Films (USA)
    Bergman wrote the Torment screenplay, was the assistant director and scriptboy on the film. However, it is really director Alf Sjöberg’s film, so not completely an Ingmar Bergman film. Probably the reason it is not included in the set.

    3. It Rains On Our Love (Det regnar på vår kärlek); released as Man with an Umbrella (UK) - 1946. Distributed by Svenska AB Nordisk Tonefilm (Sweden)
    Ingmar Bergman and Herbert Grevenius adapted Norwegian playwright Oskar Braathen’s play Bra Mennesker (Decent People). It won a Charlie (Swedish Oscar) for the film in 1946. Not Svensk Filmindustri.

    5. Music in Darkness (Musik i mörker); released as Night is My Future (USA/UK) - 1948. Distributed by Terrafilm/Stjärnfilm (Sweden), Embassy Pictures/Janus Films (USA)
    Ingmar Bergman and Dagmar Edqvist adapted the screenplay after her 1946 novel of the same name. It was an entry at the Venice Film Festival in 1948 but won no prize. Even though Janus films has the distribution rights in the USA, it is not a Svensk Filmindustri title.

    7. Prison (Fängelse); released as The Devil’s Wanton (USA/UK) - 1949. Distributed by Terrafilm (Sweden), Embassy Pictures, Janus Films (USA).
    This was the first time Ingmar Bergman had written an original screenplay, after his debut Torment. Again, even though Janus films has the distribution rights in the USA, it is not a Svensk Filmindustri title.

    10. This Can't Happen Here (Sånt hander inte här); released as High Tension (UK) - 1950. Distributed by Svensk Filmindustri (Sweden).
    Ingmar Bergman said in an interview that this was the only film from his whole life that he genuinely regretted making.

    The made-for-TV Fårö Documents from 1970 and 1979 are not listed as part of his “film” or “television” production. Bergman was buried on Fårö on August 18, 2007.

    37. Face to Face (Ansikte mot ansikte) - 1976. Distributed by Cinematograph (Sweden), Dino de Laurentiis/Paramount (USA)
    The major omission from the Criterion set, the reason being that this was distributed by Bergman’s own company, Cinematograph, in Sweden, not Svensk Filmindustri. Dino de Laurentiis and Paramount were responsible for distribution in in USA. It won the 1977 Golden Globe as best Foreign Film of the Year and starred all of Bergman’s regular cast. There is a longer TV version running 175 minutes, 40 minutes longer than the film version. In January 1976, Bergman was arrested for tax evasion. He fought the tax authorities but they refused to budge and he left Sweden in April. He did not make another film in Sweden until Fanny and Alexander, which started production in September 1981.

    43. The Blessed Ones (De två saliga) – 1986. Distributed by Swedish TV (Sweden)
    Made for Swedish TV.

    44. In The Presence of a Clown (Larmar och gör sig till) - 1997. Distributed by Swedish TV (Sweden)
    Made for Swedish TV.

    45. The Image Makers (Bildmakarna) - 2000. Distributed by Swedish TV (Sweden)
    Made for Swedish TV.
     
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  2. titch

    titch Supporting Actor

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    Actually, the first ever Ingmar Bergman "film" was probably Drama In The Deserted House. Around the mid-1930s, friends Ingmar Bergman (writer/director) and Rolf Åhgren (photographer) made two film scripts consisting of simple plot texts. Ingmar, Rolf, Margaretha Bergman (Ingmar's sister), and Margareta's friend Liliane had worked together on puppet theatre, so film was a natural extension for them.

    IMG_7272.
     
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  3. Ken Koc

    Ken Koc Screenwriter

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    I watched THE SILENCE last night. As powerful and controversial as it was in 1963. One of DP Sven Nykvist's best. Months ago I said it was the boxset of the year...I think it is the boxset of the decade. TSL_WEBSITE_CALENDARPAGE-746x1024.
     
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  4. PMF

    PMF Producer

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    Thanks to Patrick McCart (Post #20) and titch (Post #21 and 22) for filling in the chronological and contractual gaps.
    Just another reason for why I dig HTF; for when an expert is asked for, one or two are bound to come forward.
    Excellent information from both.:thumbs-up-smiley:

    And what was "the boxed-set of the decade" prior?;)
     
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  5. titch

    titch Supporting Actor

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    I totally agree with you - and this taking into consideration that Criterion has done some outstanding collections before. The best ever boxset before the Ingmar Bergman's Cinema set is Criterion's superb boxset: Essential Art House, to mark 50 years of Janus Films, which came out in 2006. This was essentially "film school in a box" - everything Robert Harris had to sit through as a youngster!

    https://www.criterion.com/boxsets/305-essential-art-house-50-years-of-janus-films

    However, the set is only available in DVD versions of the films and at an SRP of $850 (currently $470 on Amazon), is far more expensive than the Bergman set. I also agree with other commentators, that it is really uplifting that the first printing of Ingmar Bergman's Cinema sold out within one week of going on sale. No one saw that coming!
     
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  6. Message #26 of 42 Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
    PMF

    PMF Producer

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    Yup, I'd have to go along with your citing of "Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films" boxed-set as being the answer.
    Albeit the "Essential" is priced higher than the Bergman, its still an extraordinarily fair price for 50 films.
    Be it "Essential" or Bergman, there isn't a single consumer or film buff who could gather such a comprehensive collection on their own without paying the crazy dollars; plus, they even throw in a book.

    Well, one thing is for certain; Criterion has dominated "The Boxed-Set of the Decade" title twice in a row.
    Wanna throw into the mix their Olympics boxed-set? Okay, then, but which one get the Gold, Silver and Bronze? No matter, as all arguments would end up being valid within our own personal tastes.

    Meanwhile, here's to Criterion's Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films; 100 Years of Olympics(1912-2012) and Ingmar Bergman's Cinema.
    :cheers:
     
  7. Ken Koc

    Ken Koc Screenwriter

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    The restored Bergman films on iTunes cost $19.99 a film!
     
  8. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor
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    To be fair, Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema is in a different league than any other box. Janus 50 was a great collection of films, but wildly varied in master quality and zero supplements. Olympics uses new masters and new restorations, but no supplements. Literally the only thing making this set imperfect other than the few omissions is not including De Duva: The Dove as an extra.
     
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  9. moviepas

    moviepas Supporting Actor

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    Got my flown in from USA last week and it went out before the Nov 20 release date. The box has stamped on it not to display before Nov 20 2018. I already hd one or two of the Blu Rays before they announced the box set(happens so often!!0>

    I first saw Bergman at home on 16mm mid-1970s when I used have a free borrow of European films for a weekend from a government film library. Watch them with my late parents over Sunday lunch beaming the images on the wall over our gas heater. My parents loved what I showed too Such memories!!
    .
     
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  10. Xphile620

    Xphile620 Agent

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    So has it been confirmed Criterion will have a second printing?
     
  11. B-ROLL

    B-ROLL Cinematographer

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    Straight from the horse's ...
    https://www.criterion.com/boxsets/1427-ingmar-bergman-s-cinema
     
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  12. bujaki

    bujaki Producer

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    Yes.
    B-ROLL beat me to it.
     
  13. bujaki

    bujaki Producer

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    I have so many fond memories of De Duva. What a great supplement, and a loving one, it would have made!
     
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  14. B-ROLL

    B-ROLL Cinematographer

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    I wish the Woody Allen one was available as that was MY introduction to Ingmar ...
     
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  15. David Norman

    David Norman Producer

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    I don't think I've ever seen a Criterion 2nd Pressing officially listed as a new Pre-order and a separate availibility date.

    I knew something was strange when BN not only allowed Backorders and with an Actual Date Available and BN does neither of those for just plain OOS titles. Somewhere right after it went OOS i mentioned it was acting like a New preorder rather than the usual OOS/waiting for new items, but I don't remember seeing that page on Criterion.com before.

    Since Flash have often been times with High Profile releases I wonder if they might consider Bergman or the Berlin Alexanderplatz as the anchor to the sale?
     
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  16. Message #36 of 42 Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
    B-ROLL

    B-ROLL Cinematographer

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    I'm just wondering if Criterion is willing to loose that much money as I suspect that they would not make anything (other than their reputation at the $150 pricepoint)

    DD is currently offering it at ca. $176.00 + shipping as a backorder

    Even the five year old Artificial Eye Region B 5 film Blu-Ray set which contains one of the titles not in this set It Rains On Our Love has jumped up in price (I think it was around £30 about a month ago and is now at £53.32)
     
  17. Derrick King

    Derrick King Supporting Actor

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    I'm wondering if this is the fastest they've sold an entire print run. Also, not that I'm expecting we will ever know the answer to this, how many copies did they actually print? They certainly had to expect some bump in sales when word got out that it was region free, so I assume they had planned on that when they decided on the initial print run, and still underestimated demand.
     
  18. David Norman

    David Norman Producer

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    Don't know any of those for sure.

    The most common number I've seen with Bergman was 2000 sets, but I have no idea if that's accurate or yet another Inter-rumor. Still $300K (minimum) in gross sales seems pretty good for a specialty item like this
     
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  19. Dave B Ferris

    Dave B Ferris Screenwriter

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    Murnau/Borzage @ Fox (standard DVD).
     
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  20. Martin_Teller

    Martin_Teller Second Unit

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    There are many TV movies absent, and they'd make a fantastic companion set. All of these are good to excellent:

    Herr Sleeman kommer (1957) Mr. Sleeman Is Coming
    Venetianskan (1958) The Venetian
    Oväder (1960) Storm
    Ett drömspel (1963) A Dream Play
    Hustruskolan (1983) School for Girls
    De två saliga (1986) The Blessed Ones
    Markisinnan de Sade (1992) Madame de Sade
    The Last Gasp (1995)
    In the Presence of a Clown (1997)
    Bildmakarna (2000) The Image Makers
    Spöksonaten (2007) The Ghost Sonata


    Those are the ones I really want. Prison is a good movie and it's a shame it didn't make the set, and while I'm not a big fan of Face to Face it does feel like a big gap. I love Torment but I understand not including it because Bergman didn't direct it (I kept the DVD from the Eclipse set). The remaining films (This Can't Happen Here, It Rains on Our Love, Music in Darkness) just aren't that good. Even though he's my favorite director, I'm not enough of a completist to miss them.
     
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