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Ingmar Bergman's Cinema, 7: Scenes from a Marriage (Television Version)
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • Swedish PCM Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • None

Ingmar Bergman's Cinema, 7: Scenes from a Marriage (Television Version)

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Ingmar Bergman
1973 | 299 Minutes | Licensor: Svensk Filmindustri

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $299.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Release Date: November 20, 2018
Review Date: August 22, 2019

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SYNOPSIS

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 Cinema traces themes and images across Bergman’s career, blazing trails through the master’s unequaled body of work for longtime fans and newcomers alike.


PICTURE

The seventh dual-layer disc in Criterion’s box set Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema presents the full television version of Scenes from a Marriage, presented in the aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Criterion is using the same high-definition restoration used for both of their previous individual DVD and Blu-ray editions, which was scanned from the original 16mm A/B negatives.

Since the content of this disc is the same as the content found on the first disc of the individual Blu-ray edition (outside of the menu change) it’s no surprise that the picture here looks exactly the same as what is found on that edition. It’s a grainy film, and this aspect is more apparent on the Blu-ray than it was on the DVD (noise reduction was obviously applied on the DVD as I’m sure it would have been a compression nightmare otherwise), which is both good and bad. Good in that details are better than in comparison to the DVD, bad in that this is an older master for a 5-hour movie compressed on to one disc, so the grain comes off incredibly noisy, never natural.

Outside of that other aspects of the presentation look good: the film’s colours are a bit bland but they’re rendered well, black levels are deep and do okay with shadow detail (a few shots look crushed), and restoration has been thorough and damage is rarely a concern.

It still looks fine but it could benefit from maybe being spread over two discs on top of receiving a new scan.

7/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

The film comes with Swedish monaural soundtrack delivered in lossless 1.0 PCM. The film is of course very talkative and doesn’t have much else outside of the occasional piece of music. But it all sounds sharp and clear, if a flat. There are no serious concerns around damage and the track is very clean.

6/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Special features are spread throughout the set, but some discs don’t feature anything. This disc doesn’t offer any special features, though in fairness the special features around Scenes from a Marriage show up on the next disc in the set (which also features the theatrical version of the film along with the sequel Saraband). The 247-page book that accompanies the set also features an essay around Scenes from a Marriage and Saraband written by Philip Lopate, constructed together from the essay he originally wrote for Criterion’s DVD edition of Scenes from a Marriage in 2003 and another essay he wrote around both films in 2004.

1/10

CLOSING

Reusing the same high-definition restoration used for the original 2003 DVD and then compressing all 5-hours onto one disc doesn’t do the film any real favours, but it’s still an acceptable presentation, just open to a lot of improvement.




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Purchase From:
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