Bergman Island [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [2006]

While usually reticent to talk about himself and his work, Ingmar Bergman agreed to sit for a series of detailed interviews with journalist Marie Nyrerod in his home on Sweden's Faro Island, and they became the basis for her 2006 documentary Bergman Island. The Criterion Collection has given Bergman Island its premiere on North American DVD with two releases -- the film is included as a bonus feature with Criterion's 2009 release of The Seventh Seal, and also as a stand-alone disc. Bergman Island has been given a widescreen transfer to disc, letterboxed at the aspect ratio of 1.77:1 on conventional televisions and enhanced for 16x9 playback on widescreen monitors. The photography of the film is unusually good for a television documentary, and the materials look fine here, with the clips from Bergman's films generally looking quite good as well. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo, and the fidelity is good though something short of exceptional. The interviews are in Swedish, with optional English subtitles but no multiple language options. As a bonus, this edition also includes Bergman 101, a short overview of Bergman's body of work created and narrated by film scholar Peter Cowie (it also appears on the Seventh Seal DVD) and an essay by Nyrerod on the making of Bergman Island and its illustrious subject. Given that Bergman Island carries a $19.95 list price and the Criterion release of The Seventh Seal that includes the documentary lists at $29.95, it would seem that the latter is the better value for money, but if you already own a copy of The Seventh Seal that you see no need to replace, this edition makes it available without adding a redundant item to your collection; either way, if you're a serious fan of Ingmar Bergman and his films, this fascinating and revealing work is must viewing.
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Bergman Island [Criterion Collection] (DVD) (Black & White) (Swedish) 2006
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Special Features

  • Bergman 101, a selected video filmography tracing Ingmar
  • Bergman's Career, Narrated by Film Scholar Peter Cowie
  • Plus: An Essay by Director Marie Nyreröd


Bergman Island
Legendary filmmaker Ingmar Bergman opens his soul to filmmaker Marie Nyreröd for a three-part documentary produced for Swedish television and offering the most intimate portrait of the director since Vilgot Sjöman's 1963 film Ingmar Bergman Makes a Movie (a documentary which followed the making of Bergman's acclaimed 1962 chamber drama Winter Light). A longtime friend to her celebrated subject, Nyreröd teams with editor Kurt Bergmark to offer a three-sided meditation on Bergman that begins by examining his film career before moving on to his theatrical accomplishments and personal struggles. From his remarkable accomplishments as the artistic director for the Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm to his collaboration with faithful producer Lorens Marmstedt, every aspect of Bergman's enduring and prolific career are discussed before the pair head back to the director's Faro home for an intimate and relaxed interview. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Ingmar Bergman
    Ingmar Bergman
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