Ingmar Bergman: Four Masterworks

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Overview

The death of Ingmar Bergman in 2007 served as a reminder to many film enthusiasts that despite his strong influence on several generations of filmmakers, there has never been an artist in the cinema quite like Bergman in his cool but vivid embrace of the inner emotional landscape and subtle but dramatic images, and the enduring strength of his finest work hasn't been dimmed by the passage of time. Since they opened for business in 1984, The Criterion Collection have released superb editions of several of ...
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Overview

The death of Ingmar Bergman in 2007 served as a reminder to many film enthusiasts that despite his strong influence on several generations of filmmakers, there has never been an artist in the cinema quite like Bergman in his cool but vivid embrace of the inner emotional landscape and subtle but dramatic images, and the enduring strength of his finest work hasn't been dimmed by the passage of time. Since they opened for business in 1984, The Criterion Collection have released superb editions of several of Bergman's important films for home video collectors, and Ingmar Bergman: Four Masterworks is a box set featuring four of the director's crucial titles -- Smiles Of A Summer Night, The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries and The Virgin Spring. All four films appear in the same editions as they were released individually by Criterion except for The Seventh Seal, which instead is represented in a bare-bones version without bonus features. (In January 2008, Criterion posted a message on their web site stating that the no-frills version of The Seventh Seal was included with the Four Masterworks set in error, and their standard edition would be included in future shipments.) All four movies have been transferred to disc in their original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33.1, and all look strong on disc, though The Seventh Seal isn't quite as sharp as the others and the elements for the films show light damage in spots. All four features are presented in their original Swedish with optional English subtitles, though The Virgin Spring also includes an alternate soundtrack subbed into English; the audio for all four films is mastered in Dolby Digital Mono. Smiles of a Summer Night also includes a conversation between writers Peter Cowie and Jorn Donner (the latter also a friend and colleague of Bergman) as they talk about the film and its importance in the filmmaker's body of work, as well as an introduction to the film Bergman shot for a Swedish television broadcast and the picture's original trailer. Essays by Pauline Kael and John Simon are reprinted in the accompanying booklet. Cowie also appears in the bonus materials for Wild Strawberries, providing an alternate commentary track for the picture and penning an essay included in the booklet; the disc also features a gallery of production stills, and Ingmar Bergman on Life and Work, a 90-minute television interview with Bergman (conducted by Jorn Donner) which touches on both his professional and personal lives. The Virgin Spring includes audio excerpts from an talk Bergman gave to students at the American Film Institute in 1975 that deals with both the art and the practicalities of filmmaking; also featured on the disc are new interviews with cast members Gunnel Lindblom and Birgitta Pettersson, an introduction from filmmaker Ang Lee, and a dry but informative commentary track from film historian Birgitta Steene. The booklet features an essay from Cowie, notes from screenwriter Ulla Isaksson, a letter Bergman wrote to American censors protesting the trimming of the film's rape scene for United States release, and a translation of the Medieval ballad that was the basis of the story. Despite the presence of The Seventh Seal in a less-than-definitive edition, these are four brilliant works from one of the most important filmmakers of the 20th Century, and anyone with a serious interest in the cinema should see them; if you're a cineaste who wants to own these movies, this is a fine and convenient way to fill out your Bergman collection (and all four pictures are also available individually).
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Special Features

Restored digital transfers; Audio commentaries by film scholars Peter Cowie (The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries) Birgitta Steene (The Virgin Spring); Video introduction by Bergman on Smiles of a Summer Night; Video introduction by filmmaker Ang Lee on The Virgin Spring; Ingmar Bergman on Life and Work, a 90-minute documentary by filmmaker and author Jörn Donner
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/4/2007
  • UPC: 715515027625
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Presentation: Subtitled / B&W / Pan & Scan
  • Time: 6:24:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 6,030

Cast & Crew

Technical Credits
Ingmar Bergman Director
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Smiles of a Summer Night
1. Opening Credits [1:44]
2. Fredrik Egerman [3:18]
3. Family Gathering [3:34]
4. Afternoon Nap [2:15]
5. Desirée's Performance [3:39]
6. Father to Son [3:29]
7. Goodnight to Anne [5:14]
8. Backstage Reunion [7:18]
9. Moonlight Promenade [1:13]
10. Old Memories Awakened [6:45]
11. "Will There Be a War?" [6:29]
12. Mrs. Armfeldt's Wisdom [:02]
13. Meet the Malcolms [5:04]
14. From Petra With Love [2:40]
15. Woman of the House [4:22]
16. Charlotte Pays a Visit [4:09]
17. Weekend Gathering [5:51]
18. Smoking and Scheming [6:15]
19. Strange Brew [2:17]
20. A Little Night Music [7:28]
21. Special Delivery [3:13]
22. Summer Night Smiles [5:50]
23. For Jesters and Fools [4:28]
24. Russian Roulette [:45]
25. For Eighteen False Smiles [6:47]
26. "Does It Hurt?" [1:29]
27. "I Promise" [1:55]
28. Color Bars [1:31]
1. "Changed It All Overnight" [3:29]
2. Berman and Comedy [6:10]
3. Around the Table [3:23]
4. Upstairs/Downstairs Situation [2:26]
5. The Prize at Cannes [1:17]
Disc #2 -- The Seventh Seal
1. Logos/Opening Credits [1:14]
2. On the Beach [7:01]
3. Jof's Vision [7:54]
4. At the Church [11:07]
5. The Deserted Village [5:01]
6. The Seduction of Skat [4:05]
7. The Procession of Flagellants [6:28]
8. Torture at the Tavern [5:45]
9. Strawberries and Milk at Dusk [9:48]
10. "Love Is the Blackest of All Plagues" [3:46]
11. "The Deadest Actor I've Ever Seen" [7:31]
12. The Burning of the Witch [8:50]
13. "Mate at the Next Move" [7:21]
14. The Last Supper [7:59]
15. The Dance of Death [2:25]
16. Color Bars [:01]
Disc #3 -- Wild Strawberries
1. Isak Borg [2:34]
2. Opening Credits [1:13]
3. A Weird Dream [4:33]
4. Change of Plans [5:03]
5. A Revealing Ride [4:33]
6. Wild Strawberries [6:57]
7. Family Meal [3:31]
8. Tears & Song [2:51]
9. Sara, Anders & Viktor [3:08]
10. Hysteria & Catholicism [5:53]
11. Old Friends [2:51]
12. Philosophy & Lunch [3:01]
13. Visiting Mother [7:24]
14. Looking in the Mirror [5:24]
15. Examination [6:38]
16. Loneliness [5:30]
17. Evald & Marianne [4:13]
18. Marianne's Decision [3:14]
19. At Evald's [2:03]
20. The Ceremony [2:26]
21. No Intimacies [3:53]
22. Father & Son [2:03]
23. Childhood Memories [2:20]
24. Color Bars [:19]
1. Conception [2:34]
2. Sjöström [1:13]
3. Gergman & Dreams [4:33]
4. Isak Borg [5:03]
5. Marianne/Bergman's Family [4:33]
6. Andersson/Childhood Memories [6:57]
7. Bergman's Actors [3:31]
8. Religion [2:51]
9. Sundquist & Bjelvenstam [3:08]
10. Revenge/Strindberg [5:53]
11. Von Sydow [2:51]
12. Poignant Moments/Locations [3:01]
13. Wifstrand/Comedy [7:24]
14. The Mirror [5:24]
15. Role Reversal & Ridicule [6:38]
16. Guilt [5:30]
17. Björnstrand [4:13]
18. Fears & Sympathy [3:14]
19. Homecoming [2:03]
20. Bergman on Sjöström [2:26]
21. End of Isak's Journey [3:53]
22. Reconciliations [2:03]
23. Acceptance [2:20]
24. Color Bars [:19]
1. Fame & Anonymity [6:32]
2. "Who Am I?" [8:25]
3. "Dialogue With Childhood" [7:24]
4. Work & Chaos [6:25]
5. Swedish Society [2:48]
6. Persecution & Illness [9:09]
7. Writing [14:11]
8. The Demons [6:32]
9. Living With Grief [15:27]
10. "A Comfortable Chair" [13:37]
Disc #4 -- The Virgin Spring
1. Ingeri [3:49]
2. Prayers and Morning Chores [5:47]
3. A Malicious Gesture [1:58]
4. Spoiled Karin [6:26]
5. Traveling to Church [4:32]
6. Karin and Ingeri [4:06]
7. The Old Man in the Woods [4:17]
8. Three Goatherds [3:30]
9. Princess Karin [2:13]
10. Tragedy [7:01]
11. Keeping Watch [1:43]
12. Hospitality [7:58]
13. Frightening Words [4:31]
14. Märeta Worries [5:09]
15. The Truth/Ingeri's Confession [4:50]
16. Preparations [3:53]
17. Töre's Revenge [9:14]
18. Journey to the Site [3:21]
19. Töre's Vow [2:38]
20. The Virgin Spring [2:28]
21. Color Bars [:00]
1. Paganism and Christianity [3:49]
2. Ingeri [5:47]
3. Adapting the Ballad [1:58]
4. A Psychological Framework [6:26]
5. Family Dynamics/Cinematography [4:32]
6. Believability [4:06]
7. Religious Practices [4:17]
8. Dalecarlia [3:30]
9. Personal Reasons [2:13]
10. The Power of the Rape Scene [7:01]
11. The Boy [1:43]
12. Critique [7:58]
13. The Child Sees/Close-Ups [4:31]
14. Film and Theater [5:09]
15. Ritual and Influence [4:50]
16. Purification and Influence [3:53]
17. Reception/Classical Period [9:14]
18. Atonement [3:21]
19. Anachronism/The Miracle [2:38]
20. Communicaton and Participation [2:28]
21. Color Bars [:00]
1. Working With Actors [10:40]
2. Dreams and Music [8:49]
3. Budgets/Beginnings/Rushes [7:11]
4. The Camera [5:25]
5. Theater and Film [4:37]
6. Something to Say [3:40]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Smiles of a Summer Night
   Play the Movie
   Chapters
   Ingmar Bergman Introduction
      Play
   Peter Cowie and Jörn Donner
      Play
      Index
      Bios
   Swedish Trailer
   Subtitles
      English - On
      English - Off
Disc #2 -- The Seventh Seal
   Play
   Chapters
   Subtitles
      English: On
      English: Off
Disc #3 -- Wild Strawberries
   Play the Movie
   Chapters
   Commentary
      Play
      Index
   Subtitles
      English: On
      English: Off
   Ingmar Bergman on Life and Work
      Play
      Index
   Stills Gallery
Disc #4 -- The Virgin Spring
   Introduction by Ang Lee
      Play
   Play the Movie
   Chapters
   Commentary
      Off
      On
      Index
   Gunnel Lindblom and Birgitta Pettersson
      Play
   Ingmar Bergman at AFI
      Play
   Audio Options
      Original Swedish Soundtrack
      Commentary
      English Dubbed Soundtrack
   Subtitles
      English: On
      English: Off
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