Criterion Review: Unboxing INGMAR BERGMAN’S CINEMA

A look at the release honoring the director’s 100th birthday

Sometimes it’s hard to truly appreciate the contribution of a filmmaker to cinema. You can recall films and moments, but to take in the scale of a long career brimming with achievement is harder to grasp. Well, Criterion have paid tribute to the Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman on what would have been his 100th birthday, with an imposing, monolithic release that serves as a hefty and yet elegant reminder of his work. 39 films were selected from his prolific body of work, restored and arranged within this release as a film festival, organized around various themes and moments within his life and career. All this is supported by a host of extra features and a handsomely produced book to give further insights to his craft.

We’ll be delving into the release over the next month or so to give more detailed coverage, but for now, take a look at what is undoubtedly one of Criterion’s finest releases.

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.

Special Features

  • Thirty-nine films, including eighteen never before released by Criterion
  • Digital restorations of the films, including a new 4K restoration of The Seventh Seal and new 2K restorations of Crisis, Persona, Fanny and Alexander, and many others, with uncompressed monaural and stereo soundtracks
  • Eleven introductions by director Ingmar Bergman
  • Six audio commentaries
  • Over five hours of interviews with Bergman
  • Interviews with Bergman’s collaborators, including actors Bibi Andersson, Harriet Andersson, Ingrid Bergman, Erland Josephson, Gunnel Lindblom, Liv Ullmann, and Max von Sydow and cinematographer Sven Nykvist
  • Daniel and Karin’s Face, two rarely seen documentary shorts by Bergman
  • Documentaries about the making of Autumn Sonata, Fanny and Alexander, The Magic Flute, The Serpent’s Egg, The Touch, and Winter Light
  • Extensive programs about Bergman’s life and work, including Bergman Island, . . . But Film Is My Mistress, Laterna Magica, Liv & Ingmar, and others
  • Behind-the-scenes footage, video essays, trailers, stills galleries, and more
  • PLUS: A lavishly illustrated 248-page book, featuring essays on the films by critics, scholars, and authors including Cowie, Alexander Chee, Molly Haskell, Karan Mahajan, Fernanda Solórzano, and many others, along with selections from remarks and texts by Bergman himself

Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema is available now from Criterion

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