WOW! The release of the year! Bergman and Criterion!

3 Stars

Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema
In honor of Ingmar Bergman’s 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 relationships—Bergman 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 films—including 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 Bergman’s Cinematraces themes and images across Bergman’s career, blazing trails through the master’s unequaled body of work for longtime fans and newcomers alike.

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  1. SPECIAL FEATURES

    • Thirty-nine films, including eighteen never before released by Criterion
    • Digital restorations, including a new 4K restoration of The Seventh Seal and new 2K restorations of Shame, The Touch, Waiting Women, and The Serpent’s Egg, among many others, with uncompressed monaural and stereo soundtracks
    • Introductions to eleven of the films by director Ingmar Bergman
    • Six audio commentaries featuring film scholars Peter Cowie and Birgitta Steene
    • Over five hours of interviews with Bergman
    • Interviews with many of Bergman’s key collaborators, including actors Bibi Andersson, Harriet Andersson, Ingrid Bergman, Erland Josephson, Gunnel Lindblom, Liv Ullmann, and Max von Sydow and cinematographer Sven Nykvist
    • Daniel and Karin’s Face, two rarely seen documentary shorts by Bergman
    • Documentaries about the making of Autumn Sonata, Fanny and Alexander, The Magic Flute, The Serpent’s Egg, The Touch, and Winter Light
    • Extensive programs about Bergman’s life and work, including Bergman Island, . . . But Film Is My Mistress, Laterna Magica, Liv & Ingmar, and others
    • Behind-the-scenes footage, video essays, trailers, stills galleries, and more
    • PLUS: A lavishly illustrated 248-page book, featuring essays on the films by critics, scholars, and authors including Cowie, Alexander Chee, Molly Haskell, Karan Mahajan, Fernanda Solórzano, and many others; selections from Bergman’s own writing and remarks on his work; and detailed guides to the feature films and supplements included in the set
  2. You all can thank me for the announcement of this set.

    Over the last several months I purchased a good number of the individual Bergman Criterions during a CC flash sale (and Virgin Spring during the recent B&N sale).

    But I doubt I really need to add the lesser-known titles to my collection.

    Wonder what the price tag's gonna be on this 39-film set??

    Ratko Mladic

    This is a release of the year only if you are spanish like he was

    [​IMG] Even if you meant Swedish, I cannot imagine what anyone's nationality might have to do with their ability to appreciate the content of this release.

  3. I've seen almost everything Bergman ever laid his hands on, and this is a massively exciting release for me. My rankings of the titles:

    Masterpiece:
    1. Fanny and Alexander
    2. Scenes from a Marriage
    3. Shame
    4. Winter Light
    5. Through a Glass Darkly
    6. Sawdust and Tinsel
    7. Saraband
    8. Autumn Sonata
    9. Wild Strawberries

    Excellent:
    10. Thirst
    11. The Silence
    12. Smiles of a Summer Night
    13. Summer with Monika
    14. The Seventh Seal
    15. Persona
    16. The Virgin Spring
    17. Cries and Whispers
    18. Brink of Life
    19. Hour of the Wolf
    20. Summer Interlude

    Good:
    21. Dreams
    22. Port of Call
    23. The Passion of Anna
    24. The Magician
    25. Waiting Women
    26. A Ship to India
    27. The Magic Flute

    Okay:
    28. To Joy
    29. The Rite
    30. The Serpent's Egg
    31. Fårö Dokument
    32. Fårö-dokument 1979

    Not so hot:
    33. From the Life of the Marionettes
    34. A Lesson in Love
    35. The Devil's Eye
    36. Crisis
    37. After the Rehearsal
    38. The Touch
    39. All These Women

    Best films not included:
    In the Presence of a Clown
    Hustruskolan
    Spöksonaten
    The Last Gasp
    Ovader

  4. Martin_Teller

    I've seen almost everything Bergman ever laid his hands on, and this is a massively exciting release for me. My rankings of the titles:

    Masterpiece:
    1. Fanny and Alexander
    2. Scenes from a Marriage
    3. Shame
    4. Winter Light
    5. Through a Glass Darkly
    6. Sawdust and Tinsel
    7. Saraband
    8. Autumn Sonata
    9. Wild Strawberries

    Excellent:
    10. Thirst
    11. The Silence
    12. Smiles of a Summer Night
    13. Summer with Monika
    14. The Seventh Seal
    15. Persona
    16. The Virgin Spring
    17. Cries and Whispers
    18. Brink of Life
    19. Hour of the Wolf
    20. Summer Interlude

    Good:
    21. Dreams
    22. Port of Call
    23. The Passion of Anna
    24. The Magician
    25. Waiting Women
    26. A Ship to India
    27. The Magic Flute

    Okay:
    28. To Joy
    29. The Rite
    30. The Serpent's Egg
    31. Fårö Dokument
    32. Fårö-dokument 1979

    Not so hot:
    33. From the Life of the Marionettes
    34. A Lesson in Love
    35. The Devil's Eye
    36. Crisis
    37. After the Rehearsal
    38. The Touch
    39. All These Women

    Best films not included:
    In the Presence of a Clown
    Hustruskolan
    Spöksonaten
    The Last Gasp
    Ovader

    I am surprised that Seventh Seal is not higher on your list … Perhaps we can settle this with a game of
    View attachment 47716 Chess 😉 …

  5. Martin_Teller

    Not so hot:
    33. From the Life of the Marionettes

    and this is what makes this forum worthwhile in that everyone gets to express their opinion, for I consider FROM THE LIFE OF MARIONETTES one of his greatest films. Grim as all getout, not to mention dark, but also very illuminating, where Bergman finally stops using symbols and simply shows us the lives of characters, whose only positive aspect is that they are fellow human beings. And just because Bergman's technique is pared down, without all that beautiful light and lovely composed frames, doesn't mean this is inferior filmmaking; just different, and of course I would argue superior.

  6. Derrick King

    $300 MSRP, so $150 during one of the 50% off sales (Hope B&N make it to the end of the year:mellow:)

    I don't think they'd close up before the end of the Xmas season. Anything beyond that has finally now become Injury Time.
    Of course that's some 9 years longer than a large and loud contingent was predicting a while back when Borders was supposed to bury the carcass next to Circuit City. I've been playing with house money since 2010.

  7. Stepping off track for just a second, if Criterion was able to include SHAME and HOUR OF THE WOLF here (which is awesome!), that means they still have some kind of arrangement with Fox/MGM. How about a comprehensive Truffaut box that includes Blu-rays of SMALL CHANGE, THE WILD CHILD and any other films released here by MGM/UA?

  8. A must have but pity it was kept dark until today's email. I just received their blu ray Virgin Spring. Happens all too often but I will invest in the set which comes out on what would have been my late Mother's birth anniversary, she would have been 91. Good reason to get this set. As a family we watched some of these films on 16mm with lunch borrowed from the government's film institute locally on Sundays, my payment for taking or picking up films from railroad stations for them.

  9. Ratko Mladic

    Well I just google it and it turned out he is from sweden.. I knew that some third world country is in question

    Which makes me wonder, what is a second-world country if Sweden is a third-world country?:huh:

  10. I've only seen a few Bergman films so far – The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, Persona, and Fanny and Alexander (theatrical). All four I'd consider great films and among my favorites. This box set, even off Criterion's website is a bargain. $240 is actually cheaper than buying all the separate releases available or announced on Blu-ray – and you get twice as many films and a book on top of that. That's even with a 50% off sale.

  11. I'm still in shock. This may be the greatest (and most affordable) Blu-ray release ever. I'm not even mad that I already own several of the titles on Blu-ray. Even at full retail (which none of us are gonna pay), the sheer number of previously-unreleased titles (in HD, no less!) makes this the bargain of the century. The thought that maybe it'll be half-price during the next Barnes & Noble sale is crazy.

    I can't believe I'm about to complain, but this would be a complete Bergman filmography with the addition of only FIVE films:

    It Rains On Our Love (1946)
    Music in Darkness (1948)
    Prison (1949)
    This Can't Happen Here (1950)
    Face to Face (1976)

    I'm sure there are rights issues preventing Criterion from including them, but…. damn.

  12. Most of the titles have been streaming on Filmstruck/Criterion. The transfers are perfect. Bergman's films never looked so good. Can't wait to own them in November.
    Saw the 2K restored "The Touch" in London recently. This is the Swedish/English version that was not shown in the US.

  13. Ratko Mladic

    This is a release of the year only if you are spanish like he was

    Ratko Mladic

    Well I just google it and it turned out he is from sweden.. I knew that some third world country is in question

    Remarks like these are not welcome on the HTF. Continue them at your own risk (with the likelihood of disciplinary action if you choose to do so).

  14. Craig Beam

    I'm still in shock. This may be the greatest (and most affordable) Blu-ray release ever. I'm not even mad that I already own several of the titles on Blu-ray. Even at full retail (which none of us are gonna pay), the sheer number of previously-unreleased titles (in HD, no less!) makes this the bargain of the century. The thought that maybe it'll be half-price during the next Barnes & Noble sale is crazy.

    I can't believe I'm about to complain, but this would be a complete Bergman filmography with the addition of only FIVE films:

    It Rains On Our Love (1946)
    Music in Darkness (1948)
    Prison (1949)
    This Can't Happen Here (1950)
    Face to Face (1976)

    I'm sure there are rights issues preventing Criterion from including them, but…. damn.

    Actually, I would say that this is the greatest release Criterion has ever done, since they released the laserdisc of Citizen Kane in 1984. Criterion has done major blu ray box sets before (their majestic Olympic box set came out only last year) but nothing comes close to the scope or quality of this one. I am absolutely delighted – I was sort of hoping for a HD upgrade of their DVD Through A Glass Darkly, Winter Light and The Silence trilogy, but this is a Bergman bonanza!

    According to the Ingmar Bergman Archives (Taschen, 2008), his complete filmography stands at 46 films, so there are seven missing. His entire opus is listed thus:

    1. Torment (Hets) 1944
    2. Crisis (Kris) 1946
    3. It Rains On Our Love (Det regnar på vår kärlek) 1946
    4. A Ship To India (Skepp till India land) 1947
    5. Music In Darkness (Musik i mörker) 1948
    6. Port Of Call (Hamnstad) 1948
    7. Prison (Fängelse) 1949
    8. Thirst (Törst) 1949
    9. To Joy (Till glädje) 1950
    10. This Can't Happen Here (Sånt hander inte här) 1950
    11. Summer Interlude (Sommarlek) 1951
    12. Waiting Women (Kvinners väntan) 1952
    13. Summer with Monika (Sommaren med Monika) 1953
    14. Sawdust and Tinsel (Gycklarnas aftan) 1953
    15. A Lesson in Love (En lektion i kärlek) 1954
    16. Dreams (Kvinnodrama) 1955
    17. Smiles of a Summer Night (Sommernattens leende) 1955
    18. The Seventh Seal (Det sound innseglet) 1957
    19. Wild Strawberries (Smultronstället) 1957
    20. Brink Of life (Nära livet) 1958
    21. The Face (Ansiktet) 1958
    22. The Virgin Spring (Jungfrukällen) 1960
    23. The Devil's Eye (Djävulens öga) 1960
    24. Through A Glass Darkly (Såsom i en spell) 1961
    25. Winter Light (Nattvardsgästerna) 1963
    26. The Silence (Tystnaden) 1963
    27. All These Women (För att inte tala om alla dessa kvinnor) 1964
    28. Persona (Persona) 1966
    29. Hour Of The Wolf (Vargtimmen) 1967
    30. Shame (Skammen) 1968
    31. The Ritual (Riten) 1969
    32. A Passion (En passion) 1969
    33. The Touch (Beröringen) 1971
    34. Cries and Whispers (Viskningar och rop) 1972
    35. Scenes from a Marriage (Scener ur ett äktenskap) 1973
    36. The Magic Flute (Trollflöjten) 1975
    37. Face to Face (Ansikte mot ansikte) 1976
    38. The Serpent's Egg (Ormens ägg) 1977
    39. Autumn Sonata (Höstsonaten) 1978
    40. From the Life of the Marionettes (Ur Marionetternas liv) 1980
    41. Fanny and Alexander (Fanny och Alexander) 1982
    42. After The Rehearsal (Efter repetitionen) 1984
    43. The Blessed Ones (De två saliga) 1986
    44. In The Presence of a Clown (Larmar och gorgeous sig till) 1997
    45. The Image Makers (Bildmakarna) 2000
    46. Saraband (Saraband) 2003

    It is so fantastic to be able to have almost the entire oeuvre. Like you, I wish they had managed to secure every single one. I have seen almost all Bergman's films, thanks to this year's retrospective at our art-house cinema. However, the major missing one for me, is the Bergman film that Woody Allen's character was taking Diane Keaton's character to see in Annie Hall (but of course in the film they didn't, because they missed the opening titles, so they went to see the four hour Sorrow And The Pity, instead).

    https://www.criterion.com/current/posts/785-annie-hall

    One also has to really commend the Svensk FilmIndustri – SFI – SF Studios for managing to save and preserve all the films they had. This is unique. No other film studio in the world has shown the foresight and preservation care that they have.

  15. Ratko Mladic

    Well I just google it and it turned out he is from sweden.. I knew that some third world country is in question

    Now back to more constructive discussion about Ingmar Bergman films being released by Criterion.

  16. The Swedish Film Institute is an archive like UCLA, GEH, LofC, BFI and MOMA amongst others and not studio. I was there for an afternoon in the Northern Summer of 1980 and I met many staff guys who ha done other jobs before they joined the Archive(like in the Merchant Navy) and they gave me a Coke to drink!!!! I understand a lot of silent film was accidently lost to a fire during WW2 although Sweden was not in the war(outside selling steel to both sides of the conflict). This happened in a storage area they said but I have no other proof of that situation. Maybe someone knows more, if true.

  17. moviepas

    The Swedish Film Institute is an archive like UCLA, GEH, LofC, BFI and MOMA amongst others and not studio. I was there for an afternoon in the Northern Summer of 1980 and I met many staff guys who ha done other jobs before they joined the Archive(like in the Merchant Navy) and they gave me a Coke to drink!!!! I understand a lot of silent film was accidently lost to a fire during WW2 although Sweden was not in the war(outside selling steel to both sides of the conflict). This happened in a storage area they said but I have no other proof of that situation. Maybe someone knows more, if true.

    Apologies – I meant to write Swedish Filmindustri SFI – SF Studios – the studio. I have edited my post.

    http://www.sfstudios.se

    They are responsible for taking care of, and curating, all their movie history in such a stellar fashion. An example to others.

  18. titch

    Apologies – I meant to write Swedish Filmindustri SFI – SF Studios – the studio. I have edited my post.

    http://www.sfstudios.se

    They are responsible for taking care of, and curating, all their movie history in such a stellar fashion. An example to others.

    You can remove the SFI entirely, Svensk Filmindustri (without a capital i in industri). only uses SF.

  19. Dick

    Stepping off track for just a second, if Criterion was able to include SHAME and HOUR OF THE WOLF here (which is awesome!), that means they still have some kind of arrangement with Fox/MGM. How about a comprehensive Truffaut box that includes Blu-rays of SMALL CHANGE, THE WILD CHILD and any other films released here by MGM/UA?

    Agree about Truffaut, but while we're at it how about a comprehensive Blu Ray Elia Kazan collection, which would include both A Face In The Crowd (1957) and A Tree Grows In Brooklyn (1945)?

    Or, a collection of Istvan Szabo, which would include the signature Brandauer Trilogy – Mephisto (1981), Colonel Redl (1985) and Hanussen (1988), which are all sorely unavailable on Blu Ray?

  20. Woyzeck37

    Agree about Truffaut, but while we're at it how about a comprehensive Blu Ray Elia Kazan collection, which would include both A Face In The Crowd (1957) and A Tree Grows In Brooklyn (1945)?

    Or, a collection of Istvan Szabo, which would include the signature Brandauer Trilogy – Mephisto (1981), Colonel Redl (1985) and Hanussen (1988), which are all sorely unavailable on Blu Ray?

    A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN was included in one of two Kazan 4-disc sets released a few years ago called ELIA KAZAN AT FOX. They were priced to sell, and looked wonderful. The HTF thread link:

    https://www.hometheaterforum.com/community/threads/the-elia-kazan-collection-volume-1-2.317105/

    I'd love to see MEPHISTO, etc. on Blu…in addition to about five dozen other foreign-language titles.

  21. This is the greatest slam-dunk deal…purchase, design, offering, package, marathon, doctoral thesis, Sven is my lucky number, Liv and let Liv, Swedish as a second language…ever to hit our home theater libraries on Blu.

  22. t1g3r5fan

    What I'd like to know is who's going to invest a lot of time in reviewing this treasure trove of a box set when the time comes?

    Yeah, if they want reviewers to actually watch everything in the set, they should be sending out review copies now so they can finish by the November release date. :laugh:

  23. t1g3r5fan

    What I'd like to know is who's going to invest a lot of time in reviewing this treasure trove of a box set when the time comes?

    All of us…as we usually do with each and every post.;)

  24. I tend to be a little too much of a bargain hunter for my own good, but I had to stop myself on this one and just lock in the current deal. I guess Amazon must have seen the DD price mentioned above, since now it's under $200. I'd much rather go with them than DD.

  25. David Norman

    Odd, I've never gotten anything other than a preauth/temp charge from Deep Discount on orders using a CC.

    People don't always know the difference, and if it's a debit card, the money still typically comes out, at least until the authorization expires, which is usually 10 business days.

  26. JohnRice

    I tend to be a little too much of a bargain hunter for my own good, but I had to stop myself on this one and just lock in the current deal. I guess Amazon must have seen the DD price mentioned above, since now it's under $200. I'd much rather go with them than DD.

    $135-150 at BN seems too easy for this one. $200 is nice for 3 months prerelease I guess, but barring the unthinkable of no BN sale or BN going belly up pre-Holiday season it's just harder to even consider any other choice. It seems pretty inconceivable it will sell out before the sale goes live in early November. Given Amazon's increasingly poor shipping quality techniques, it's not even a good excuse to blame ALLIANCE/BN shipping safety — or better possibly reserving a copy in store for release week pickup.

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