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Bergman struck an interest in me beginning in my early twenties, which i am assuming is a natural age range to begin that kind of cinematic journey. I am so happy to finally see almost every Bergman film not only on a nice Blue Ray format, but to also with a neat cool looking box and an extensive booklet. What is great about this is for like 160.00 (the price has been knocked down drastically it used to be almost three hundred), you receive so many films. I began to collect the Criterion Bergman films many years ago, so i have a lot of them, but then again there are many that i could only find on VHS until now. I have to admit, i am actually happy to not have to drag out my VHS copies of The Rite (a favorite of mine) or Life of the Marionettes. My VHS copy of Life of the Marionettes flashes for like 10 minutes in a strobe effect. Also, i relied on VHS copies of Winter Light and Cries and Whispers. I am slightly disappointed not to have Face to Face, which is no big deal because i have a nice copy from Kino Lorber. I disagree with a certain reviewer who said that copy is bad. First of all, not only is that copy great, but it has one of the coolest intro menu screens ever created. I consider FACE TO Face a major Bergman work and possibly Liv Ullmans best dramatic performance. There was a few surprises for me in store, because i had never saw the Magic Flute, which i loved. I do not dislike all of Bergman's comedic ventures, but do agree with Woody Allen that the comedy format is not his best medium. He seems to either get it totally or not all all when he delves into that medium. The Magic Flute finds Bergman totally in tune with a style of humor that appears to be objective, because it is set up to appeal to not only many kinds of people, but different age groups as well. Bergman usually fails at the comedy format in my opinion. This is evident in All these Woman or whatever that one is called- it escapes me right now. Even when Bergman missed, which is not often, it is still enjoyable. Even though All These Women fails as a comedy, it does showcase Gunnar Björnstrand doing comedy. This is significant because it showcases a talent he was supposedly very good at. There is an earlier film included with him and one of Bergmans early common female leads which is funny. I am not a big fan of some of his most popular films like Wild Strawberries- instead preferring the later works like Persona The Rite and Scenes from a Marriage. It is interesting to note that most of the cool looking Bergman films were more of a collaboration with his iconic cinematographer. Bergman was more of a playwright- look up his plays versus his films- its a massive body of work. I was happy to be able to finally see the full five hour TV version of Fanny and Alexander. When it comes to Swedish television in the sixties and seventies, you always want to try to watch the tv version. That is comical, because if you compare that dynamic to American television (i am referring to before HBO), the us reputation there is second rate. In Sweden however a made for tv movie means a top notch production. So with this box set you not only receive the full version of Fanny and Alexander but also one of my all time favorite films ever- Scenes from a Marriage. I am not super crazy about the early films which most had been available in a Criterion Eclipse series collection prior to this box set. Bergman himself did not feel he made a fully great film until Sawdust and Tinsel anyway which is significant to note. On of the early film i like a lot and have been a fan of is the Brink of Life film. I has all of the iconic regular cast members. Another one of my favorites and a super important film in general is The Virgin Spring. This is a great example of an underrated film in that the Max Von Sydow performance is the best of his career. You always hear about the Seventh Seal (which looks great on this Blue Ray edition as well) though i feel The Virgin Spring should be the first one mentioned in film history talks. I was super happy to fuin After The Rehersal which is from the eighties and a true gem. This is a must have and essential. I had never seen this and categorize it in the same light as Persona and Hour of the Wolf. If you like Erland Josephson then this is a must see. This is in my top ten of his films with my only complaint being it is short- more like a one act play. I had sort of forgotten about Cries and Whispers, not because i dislike it but because i found it difficult subject matter for me. This is because there are some core themes that hit home. After watching this new restored blue ray version i have a whole new affection for it. It has been about seven years or so since i watched it and i am happy to say i can now watch it as often as the other Bergman films i love. I have come to terms not with the intense death themes which do not bother me that much but with the family themes. This new transfer looks a world different than my old vhs copy. There is a scene where Harriet Anderson is going through the agony stages before she passes with the vhs copy looking super dark. I remember thinking that the room seemed too depressing and way too dark to be believable. I was right because with this new transfer, i can see that the room is much lighter and totally livable, leading me to conclude i was watching a bad realizing of the intended visual display as intended by Bergman. This also has The Magician, which is another transitional film for Bergman. I remember purchasing Scenes from a Marriage along with The Magician at a Barns and Noble in the single Criterion formats years ago and almost paying what this whole set costs. To summarize i am very happy with this set and recommend it.
Lo que intente explicar en esta reseña no va a hacer justicia con esta maravilla que han hecho la gente de Criterion.. Empecemos por el precio. Vale 300€. No es barato. Pero es que es espectacular y creo que vale cada euro que me he gastado (de hecho, hasta lo veo barato). Son 30 blu-rays empaquetados maravillosamente como en un libro, sin caerse de su sitio y con multitud de extras.. Obviamente no he visto todos los discos (necesitaría... años), pero sí he visto "El séptimo sello", "Persona", "El manantial de la doncella", "Gritos y susurros" y "Sonata de otoño".. y obviamente la calidad de la imagen es maravillosa y el sonido correcto.. En cada disco, lo que más me ha llamado la atención, quizá lo más exclusivo son los extras.. muchos.. y es que uno puede tener acceso a varias películas del cineasta sueco, pero los extras de Criterion ya es más complicado, y son también una joyita... El metraje de los extras es generalmente más largo que la película en sí.. entre documentales, entrevistas, entrevistas radiofónicas, comentarios a la película.. Veremos a Ang Lee o a Woody Allen hablar de pelis de Bergman .. En definitiva... una maravilla que cuando pase unos años, será pieza de coleccionista y no costará 300€ (pues ya estará descatalogado) sino 3000€.. Además del "libro" con los blu-rays incrustados... Viene otro libro (en tapa blanda) bestial... una enciclopedia sobre las películas de Bergman.. Obviamente no me lo he leído, pero sí lo he ojeado (y hojeado) mientras veía la peli correspondiente y casi nada más por el libro (que será imposible conseguirlo aislado del pack o en español) vale el dinero del pack entero... Y todo ello en un "estuche" de cartón duro, con un fotograma de "Persona" por una cara (preciosísimo) y por la otra una foto de Bergman..
El GRAN HANDICAP.... QUE NO ESTÁ EN ESPAÑOL, CLARO.. Todas las películas están en sueco, y alguna en inglés y todas con los subtítulos sólo en inglés... Yo no sé sueco, claro, pero me defiendo en inglés y las he visto en sueco , subtituladas en inglés y no he tenido ningún problema... Pero claro, si uno no maneja ni el inglés ni el sueco.. pues a pesar de eso recomiendo comprarlo y apuntarse ya a la Escuela Oficial de Idiomas.. pues las pelis de Bergman deberían estar al alcance de todo el mundo.. o alguien sabe alguna película que diseccione mejor la vida en pareja/matrimonial que "Secretos de un matrimonio" por poner un ejemplo?
Soy fan de Criterion pero esto supera por mucho cualquiera de sus ediciones. Vale totalmente lo que cuesta. Subtítulos en inglés solamente. Algunas como El Séptimo Sello tienen una pista de audio, opcional, en inglés. El arte del paquete es hermoso y los transfer de film a BluRay realizados con todo el cuidado; algunos inclusive son los negativos originales de cámara por lo que vemos las películas como deberían verse. Magnifico.
Contains 39 of Bergman’s 49 films. Mainly omitting some very early films from the 40s and 50s. Has Summer with Monika and Smiles of a Summer’s Night. Of note it has the later From the Life of the Marionettes. Plenty of extras. All films restored. Comes with huge helpful paperback book. I will say that the book should have been made hardcover.
Absolutely perfect package of all the major as well as minor Bergman films on Blu Ray. I was surprised how large and heavy the packaging was, but this is meant to be the equivalent of a good hardcover book.
The early films are a good gauge for future greatness and are not really essential viewing, though it is nice to see them in the collection. The additions of some out of print films like “After the Rehearsal” and “From the Life of the Marionettes” are also a nice touch. Honestly, the only thing missing is “Face to Face.” Minor quibble, though. This was my Covid lockdown gift and worth every penny. Buy before it’s out of print!
I am sitting here with this box-set on my table, absolutely blown away. I don't think I've ever received a product that has so impressed me. Even after reading many reviews of this box-set, I am stunned, surprised and delighted. Criterion has always produced excellent blu-rays (I own about 15, including two Bergmans, and they're all fantastic), but this time...they've outdone themselves. This has got to be the crown jewel in the Criterion collection, and to own it for a mere $150.00 is rather incredible. The packaging is superb: good materials, great overall design, clever way of arranging the blu-ray discs (none of them had fallen out when I opened the container, as has happened to some other people). The book is great, the quality of something you'd actually buy in a bookstore, versus the more normal (but still excellent) small booklets that Criterion usually includes with their blu-rays. The transfers themselves are impeccably done, and the extras, as you'd expect, are a joy to watch. At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, this is a special moment in the history of cinema – to have practically the whole life's work of one of the greatest movie directors, in such a beautiful box-set, and at such a reasonable price. If you're even slightly tempted, I'd recommend you just buy it!
This is the most beautifully designed, produced, manufactured and printed video collection of any kind I have ever seen - and I've seen a lot being an avid collector of classic films. It has a large, extremely high quality 247 page book with sewn binding, loaded with large, ultra fine photographs from all the films, a large binder with slip holders for all the Blu-ray discs each labeled with all pertinent information, entire chapters for each film and and so much additional info and graphics it is an absolutely invaluable resource for the work of the greatest of all filmmakers. Criterion Collection have outdone themselves with this magnificent set that establishes a new standard for the highest quality in video releases of classic films. There is an entire lifetime of work of a true genius presented in pristine form and richly documented in this fabulous collection.