Insomnia

( 2 )

Overview

In keeping with its setting in the land of the midnight sun, Insomnia is bathed in perpetual sunlight. Luckily, the widescreen anamorphic transfer keeps all the varying degrees of whiteness in balance with no apparent bleaching of images. A key scene in the film occurs in fog, an element which has proven to be a troublesome area for many transfers, but here no pixel breakup is apparent. The film is presented in its original Norwegian and Swedish, with newly created optional English subtitles. Supplemental ...
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DVD (Wide Screen / Dolby 5.1 / Stereo)
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Overview

In keeping with its setting in the land of the midnight sun, Insomnia is bathed in perpetual sunlight. Luckily, the widescreen anamorphic transfer keeps all the varying degrees of whiteness in balance with no apparent bleaching of images. A key scene in the film occurs in fog, an element which has proven to be a troublesome area for many transfers, but here no pixel breakup is apparent. The film is presented in its original Norwegian and Swedish, with newly created optional English subtitles. Supplemental features include a theatrical trailer, TV spot, and color bars. The informative booklet notes are written by Peter Cowie, a noted expert on Scandinavian film. It would have been nice had Cowie offered a scholarly audio commentary track such as those found on other Criterion releases such as The Seven Samurai and Peeping Tom. All in all, though, this is a crisp digital transfer worth viewing.
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Special Features

Widescreen digital transfer enhanced for widescreen televisions; Improved English subtitles; Norwegian trailer and TV spot, both with optional English subtitles; Optimal image quality, RSDL dual-layer edition
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
Most viewers are likely to discover this film after seeing its 2002 American remake, and it's possible to make a case for the more recent version as the superior one. After all, it elaborates on the characters, expands the action without sacrificing pace, and makes some strategic changes in the geometry of the relationships that enhance the central dilemma of the investigating detective: his cover-up of his own crime. But this version of Insomnia stands nicely on its own as a terse and satisfying combination of procedural and psychological study, with a very specific time and place setting playing an important supporting role. Engstrom (Stellan Skarsgård) is a professional thrown in with people he considers his inferiors, and the communication gap is emphasized by making Engstrom a Swede on assignment in northern Norway, where he has trouble making people literally understand him. The local female cop (played by Gisken Armand) is more assertive than was Hilary Swank's wide-eyed (if resourceful) acolyte in the remake. The difference between the two films can best be summed up by the acting approaches of its leads: Skarsgård underplays his character's angst, especially after his misdeed and the elaborate ruse he concocts to conceal it, while Al Pacino paints his man's difficulties with broader strokes. "I'm so fed up with reviving dead people," Engstrom says, neatly summing up how a homicide detective might burn out on his job. Though not given the shady recent past his counterpart has in the remake, it's not hard to imagine that Engstrom is a cop who's used to cutting corners to bring in his man. This version also makes Engstrom a less ingratiating man when the flowering of his relationship with the hotel desk clerk turns sour, a scene that the remake chose to make into a respite rather than another means of ratcheting up the tension. The killer, Jon Holt (Bjørn Floberg), is given less screen time than his remake counterpart (played by Robin Williams), and it's a signal of this film's close-to-the-vest style that this version gives him a sparsely furnished apartment, unlike the cluttered series of rooms in the remake. Even without having the more elaborate finale of the remake for comparison, it's possible to criticize the staging of the ultimate showdown between Engstrom and Holt as being a little too off-hand, but that's a rare misstep in this fine film.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/13/1999
  • UPC: 037429138229
  • Original Release: 1997
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Dolby 5.1 / Stereo
  • Sound: Dolby Digital, stereo
  • Time: 1:37:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Stellan Skarsgård Jonas Engstrom
Gisken Armand Hilde Hagen
Maria Bonnevie Ane
Bjørn Floberg Jon Holt
Sverre Anker Ousdal Erik vik
Technical Credits
Erik Skjoldbjærg Director, Screenwriter
Tomas Backstrom Producer
Eli Bo Production Designer
Petter Borgli Producer
Runa Fonne Costumes/Costume Designer
Nikolaj Frobenius Screenwriter
Geir Jenssen Score Composer
Randall Meyers Sound/Sound Designer
Hakon Overas Editor
Veslemoy Fosse Ree Makeup
Tom Remlov Producer
Erling Thurmann-Andersen Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Side #1
0. Chapters
1. Opening Credits [2:03]
2. Even The Best Make Mistakes [4:50]
3. Dolce & Gabbana [4:11]
4. he Midnight Sun [3:03]
5. Tanja's Backpack [8:35]
6. Interrogation [5:45]
7. Eulogy For Erik [3:29]
8. Reenactment [3:04]
9. Dead Brother [:01]
10. The Garage Dump [4:38]
11. Jon Holt, Mystery Writer [5:55]
12. Missing Pages [3:28]
13. The Hunter And The Hunted [2:29]
14. Eilert And Froya [8:45]
15. Father-Daughter Relationship [1:49]
16. Kittens [4:04]
17. The Smoking Gun [4:29]
18. ."..Who You Team Up With" [2:44]
19. Search Warrant [2:50]
20. Swept Away [6:01]
21. Ane's Gift/End Credits [7:08]
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Menu

Side #1
   Play Movie
   Subtitles
      Subtitles On
      Subtitles Off
   Theatrical Trailer
   TV Spot
   Color Bars
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
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    Posted July 26, 2011

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