11 items from 2014
Like many film enthusiasts, I love the Criterion Collection. I scoff at some of their selections—I won’t name names—but for the most part, I anticipate new releases with excitement and glee (June’s slate is particularly amazing). Of course, due to lack of finances, I can’t buy as many as I would like – though someday, I will own the entire collection, despite the current economy offering little to no financial opportunity for an individual with my interests and skill set, but I digress.
I do, however, have a minor beef with Criterion. While admiring most of their titles, I’d love to see more emphasis on genre stuff—especially horror. And don’t get me wrong, Criterion boasts some excellent titles—Carnival of Lost Souls, Sisters, The Vanishing, Godzilla, The Devil’s Backbone, Repulsion, plus the highly anticipated release of Scanners being not far off—but they need more. »
- Griffin Bell
Empire Wither Cate Blanchett post Blue Jasmine. After Carol it looks like The Dig is it, an archeological period piece true story based on the novel by John Preston. Directed by Oscar-winning Susanne Bier (Brothers). Yay!
THR nasty legal battle between an actress who felt coerced into nudity and Cinemax. Wasn't she aware of their nickname "Skinemax"?
Film School Rejects on Drew Goddard and Sinister Six (which groups all of Spider-Man's greatest villains together). Fsr are predicting the inevitable collapse of the superhero genre and it certainly does seem like oversaturation is arriving by 2016 or 2017 at the latest with no less three studios fast-tracking multi-film super universes to attempt to compete with Disney/Marvel's gazillion dollar franchise
- NATHANIEL R
Written and directed by Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman’s Persona is probably the great Swedish filmmaker’s most perplexing and thought-provoking work; it’s certainly his most surreal. Unusual imagery and curious narrative developments aren’t necessarily foreign to the rest of his filmography, but they have never been as frequent as they are here, nor have they been as overtly inexplicable. (Even if their meanings remain unclear, at least the dream sequences in Wild Strawberries can be clearly identified as dreams; there is no such easy rationalization here.) With so much happening in this 1966 feature, so many levels of story and visual complexity, it’s little wonder that Persona has yielded a great deal of discussion and analysis. And subsequently, it’s little wonder that the newly released Blu-ray/DVD from the Criterion Collection is accompanied by an excellent gathering of supplemental material, enhancing an already fascinating film, »
- Jeremy Carr
It's hard to believe it has already been more than three years since I first saw Ingmar Bergman's Persona. The first Bergman film I saw was The Seventh Seal back in 2007 and I was immediately hooked. I quickly followed that up with Wild Strawberries and have since come to own many of the iconic Swedish director's films, and as much as I never believed anything he directed could effect me as much as Seventh Seal, Persona is a whole new level of filmmaking. I've been asked before if a film can still be enjoyable even if you don't entirely understand it. Persona is evidence that the answer is a resounding yes. The film came about after Bergman fell ill in 1959 as he was planning on beginning work on a film with Liv Ullman and Bibi Andersson titled The Cannibals. That film never came to fruition. While recovering in the hospital, »
- Brad Brevet
Few films have ever been as dissected and analyze as Ingmar Bergman’s “Persona”, recently released on Criterion Blu-ray for the first time with new special features. It’s somewhat ironic that so many people have spent so much intellectual energy on a film that Bergman admits came to him at a point of low health almost in a dream. In fact, “Persona” somewhat becomes less interesting to me as it’s dissected, much like Lynch’s “Mulholland Dr.” or Malick’s “Tree of Life”. They are distinctly emotional, symbolic pieces and perhaps they should just be appreciated as such instead of such analysis of “what they mean.” However you choose to appreciate one of Bergman’s most influential films, you should do so with the Criterion edition from this day forward.
As for special features on this new edition, the two that are most powerful for me are »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Ingmar Bergman’s Persona is now available in a sharp and stunning Blu-ray from Criterion. This 1966 production has attained a special place in critics’ hearts over the years, and stands proudly at #17 on Sight & Sound’s prestigious greatest films list; the highest ranking earned by any Bergman product. Persona contains many of the distinct elements – and a number of the iconic images – that have come to define the late Swedish master’s oeuvre, and at the time the film was considered an artistic breakthrough, tilling new grounds of style and substance.
In fact, Persona deals with universal themes that had deeply fascinated Bergman ever since his transition from interpreter to auteur in the early 1950s. The silence of God, and man’s floundering follies in response, is a major conceptual catalyst, surging through Persona’s bleak gray skies like a web of jangled nerves. What makes the film unique is »
- David Anderson
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week
"The Great Beauty" (Criterion)
What's It About? A blast from the past sends man-about-town Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo) reeling and reminiscing about his life and loves in Rome. The 65-year-old writer (of a sort) has had quite a life so far, but has he grown to take the richness of life and Rome for granted?
Why We're In: Even if you're not hip to Italian cinema and Sorrentino's influences, you'll still enjoy this Oscar-winning film.
Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week
"The King of Comedy" (30th Anniversary Edition)
What's It About? Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro) is desperate to become famous. Once he meets talk show host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis), he's sure his dreams of fame and fortune are coming true. All he has to do is convince Langford to have him on his show, and then Rupert will be the real king of comedy. »
- Jenni Miller
Persona (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray/DVD) I have watched all of Criterion's new Blu-ray for Ingmar Bergman's absolute classic, Persona, and will have a more in-depth look at the film tomorrow, but for now let me just say I consider this an essential title for film fans interested in collecting the best cinema has had to offer over the course of its rich history. I only saw Persona for the first time a little over three years ago and was absolutely floored. It's one of those films you don't need to "get" to understand, which I know is confusing. Put, hopefully, more simply, this is a film that's meant to confuse and confound, but it does it in such a way that you never feel you're missing something. Yet, by the end you'll be left enthralled by the images you've witnessed, the story (or lack thereof) you've witnessed, the performances, »
- Brad Brevet
While you can't really tell based on the fact I have been posting articles the last few days as well as a podcast on Friday, but I'm on a mini-vacation and as such I only ended up watching one movie this week... Divergent... and we all know how that turned out. I did receive Blu-ray screeners of Criterion's upcoming release of Ingmar Bergman's Persona as well as The Wolf of Wall Street and Anchorman 2, one of which I hope to watch by the end of the day Sunday, but with the Ncaa Tournament taking place it's hard to find time for a movie, though sometimes it's nice to take a break. That said, come April I'm going to start hitting it hard. That includes multiple "Best Movies" posts a month and a big attempt at beefing up my Letterboxd list. So this week I leave the floor to you. »
- Brad Brevet
The Criterion Collection
A Mystery of Faces
Much has already been written about Ingmar Bergman’s 1966 head-scratcher, Persona—it’s been analyzed, dissected, reconstructed, and debated, and it still remains a cinematic enigma, and a brilliant one at that. Of all of the Swedish master’s challenging works, Persona is undoubtedly the most complex, audacious, radical, and experimental film Bergman ever made. It’s also been widely parodied and imitated. Its influence on other filmmakers, and on pop culture itself, cannot be taken lightly.
Persona, which means “mask” in Latin, is all about artifice. Bergman makes no pretentions that what the audience is viewing is make-believe—it is an invented drama about personalities hiding behind “masks,” if you will, performed for a camera that translates the images onto celluloid. In fact, Bergman begins Persona with an extraordinary prologue consisting of »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Mixing awe and irreverence, “Trespassing Bergman” informatively and entertainingly explores the home, life, films and legacy of legendary Swedish auteur Ingmar Bergman with the help of other world-cinema heavyweights. Calling on filmmakers including Michael Haneke, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, John Landis, Lars von Trier, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Claire Denis, Wes Craven, Takeshi Kitano Ang Lee and Zhang Yimou to discuss the impact that films such as “Summer With Monika,” “The Seventh Seal,” “Persona” and “Fanny and Alexander” had on their lives and careers, this cinephile’s delight will be catnip to global fests, broadcasters and distribs.
Jane Magnusson and Hynek Pallas’ docu combines previously unseen behind-the-scenes footage from the making of Bergman’s films, well-chosen clips and a chronology of his career with candid conversations with other filmmakers, some shot at Bergman’s remote Faro Island home and others at locations around the world. A playful tone is established early »
- Alissa Simon
11 items from 2014
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