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June 09, 2009


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"Marienbad", one viewing and I fell in love. I'm surprised people think it's humorless, the humor and wit in it were obvious on first viewing. That's really why the film works, otherwise it'd be painfully dour.


I almost always park my car in your garage, Glenn. The caps I've seen of these two look fantastic, and every Criterion Blu-ray grainstorm so far has been pretty great.

D Cairns

"and I should here point out that the first and third of the images here are from Marienbad, and the second is from Seal" -- not sure that's true. Everything else certainly is though.

Tony Dayoub

I'm so excited... I'm watching my copy of The Seventh Seal this morning!!!

Dr. Lappe

We mere mortals must wait until 16 June and 23 June before such pleasure can be realized.


I'm sure Jeff has nearly ended my column on Elsewhere each time I've defended the Third Man and other grainstorm transfers. I'm getting to Marienbad tomorrow morning. I've considered printing Grain Monk shirts. Interested in going in 50/50? :)

Account Deleted

Nice to see 'Bergman Island' included, and also available as an individual release. A must see.


I saw The Seventh Seal again the other night on TCM. Not as revelatory as a Blu-Ray perhaps, but still a potent reminder that the movie is brilliant--beautiful, terrifying, occasionally funny and ultimately cathartic. The apparent downgrading of Bergman's reputation puzzles me. Maybe the Blu-Rays will help fix that.


I can't wait to finally be able to watch "Marienbad", and may, in fact, buy it sight unseen (I'm already a big Bergman fan).

Speaking of Blu-Ray in general: I don't have a player because it's all still too expensive, but the store near my apartment where I buy most of my DVDs has lately been having something of a Blu-Ray blow-out sale. Is this evidence that the Blu-Ray people had better change their marketing/pricing strategies but quick if they don't want to go the way of HD-DVD?

Jeff McM

"not sure that's true. Everything else certainly is though."



And in other news, the official Criterion website just posted Joe Swanberg's Top 10 from the label.

When I saw the inclusion of "The Harder They Come", for a second I thought Glenn's commenters here had humorously compiled the list themselves.


Yeah, I noticed Swanberg's top ten, as well. Not doing much to dispell any bad opinions about him, I have to say.

Glenn Kenny

FYI, we are examining the boundless joy of Swanberg's Criterion Top Ten over at the somehow more appropriate We have a wiener" thread..."

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@Campaspe: "The apparent downgrading of Bergman's reputation puzzles me." - Woah. Stop everything. Who and where? If Bergman had made only The Seventh Seal he'd be a master. The fact he made around 10 or 12 masterpieces makes him a grand master. Bergman's reputation is declining? Between this and the critical reception to JJ Abrams' Star Trek I swear it feels like i'm living in a parallel universe sometimes.

Michael Adams

Bergman's death was greeted by several negative assessments over in Kehrland and elsewhere in BlogWorld.


Markj and Michael Adams: there was also this rather notorious piece, from Jonathan Rosenbaum, in the NY Times. I admire Rosenbaum but naturally I didn't agree with this essay:



Now, what to do with our single-disc Criterion Seventh Seal DVDs before the two-disc re-issue is out? Sell them? Give them to a friend? I'm taking the first option, and putting it towards the new Blu-ray.

And there's so much dark humour in much of Bergman's work, I don't know where he got the reputation for being all-around deadly serious.

Smiles Of A Summer Night might be my favourite...romantic comedy...ever.

Account Deleted

Campaspe: Thanks for the link to the Rosenbaum piece. It reminds me of some of the sniffy commentary that was around when Kubrick passed. I take solace in the fact that 100 years from now people will still be talking about Bergman, and Rosenbaum will have been long forgotten.

JC: 'Smiles' is a comic gem. And 'Fanny and Alexander' may be one of the warmest, most beautiful films ever made - another contradiction to Bergman's gloomy midnight sun reputation.


To be fair, I can understand why some of Bergman's tendencies would annoy/alienate/flat-out piss off even a well-educated audience. I find his more Freudian pictures to be particularly hard to take sometimes, if I'm being honest. No filmmaker bats 100% and when the greats land on their face...

Part of it is, I think, pretty much everything he came up with was promptly stolen by lesser filmmakers and the horse is still being beaten even though it's just a stain on the ground now. It's a rare filmmaker who can survive that with his reputation completely intact for later audiences.

Cinevidia Home Theater Systems

I have never seen these movies but I now will deffinitel check them out on Blu-ray. Thanks

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