13 items from 2015
Whenever I sit down to review an Ingmar Begman movie I tend to bounce over to IMDb just to see how many of his films I've seen. Obviously when you're talking about Bergman we all pretty much start with the well known classics (The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, etc.) and then slowly begin to explore his lesser known films. Well, having now finally seen Cries & Whispers, what very well may be the last of his well known classics I had left to see (except for "Scenes from a Marriage"), I feel there are only lesser known corners of his oeuvre for me to explore. However, with over 65 films credited to him as a director on IMDb it would seem I've still only scratched the surface as I've only 14 of his films under my belt. Criterion's new Blu-ray release of Cries and Whispers is an upgrade from their 2001 DVD release, arriving »
- Brad Brevet
For me, it was a week without a movie in the theater and I actually didn't even realize it until I started typing this sentence. I did, however, watch a few at home including Don Hertzfeldt's new short film World of Tomorrow (read my review here) and the new Criterion edition of Ingmar Bergman's Cries and Whispers, which was my first time seeing it and I will be reviewing it this coming week. Oh, and I did watch the first three episodes of this new season of "Game of Thrones" and plan on watching the fourth today... hopefully. This coming week I will be seeing Unfriended and I will also be moderating a Q&A with Ex Machina writer/director Alex Garland, which, if you didn't listen to my interview with him yet, what's taking you so longc I also have an endless list of screeners to watch including Good Kill, »
- Brad Brevet
The arthouse of the 1970s was transfixed by the marriage of sex and death and its crowning figure hailed from Sweden. More than 40 years later, "Cries and Whispers," on Criterion Blu-ray this week, feels like Ingmar Bergman's gloomiest, and most glorious, creation. Three sisters (Liv Ullman, Ingrid Thulin, Harriet Andersson) mope about a manor house as one (Andersson) lies on her deathbed, coming and going through dark corridors as they brood over the awful inevitability of dying, and the gossamer nature of faith. In 1972, B-movie king Roger Corman paid $75,000 for the film's Us rights, taking it all the way to the Oscars with five nominations including Best Picture. This arch chamber drama, perhaps Bergman's angriest film, won for longterm Bergman collaborator Sven Nykvist's crimson-colored imagery. "Cries and Whispers" did impressively at the box office. It offered the crucial ingredient of foreign film appeal: a shocking scene of aberrant sexual violence. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Criterion repackages one of its earlier Ingmar Bergman inclusions this month, restoring his brilliant, enigmatic 1972 masterpiece Cries and Whispers for Blu-ray release. Financed with Bergman’s own money, the auteur had difficulty securing an American distributor, eventually finding an unlikely champion in Roger Corman, of all people, who had recently established his own releasing company, New World, and was in search of prestige titles to build artistic merit.
Rushed to theatrical release to qualify for Academy Awards consideration, it would secure five nominations, including for Best Picture and Director, winning Best Cinematography for Sven Nyqvist, before going on to be selected to play out of competition at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival (awarded the Vulcain Prize of the Technical Artist). In Bergman’s illustrious filmography, it’s unnecessary (and incredibly difficult) to endow any one title as his best from a body of work that sports a myriad of celebrated examples spanning seven decades. »
- Nicholas Bell
Interstellar I enjoyed Interstellar the one time I saw it, but I just don't have that urge to see it again, which make me a little sad. I'm not in a camp that looks at it as confusing or upset about the sound design, I felt it was straight-forward enough and while a little bloated, a fun ride and one I'm happy I saw in IMAX as I don't think seeing it on the small screen will do it nearly the same justice. That said, for the fans, it is here to own and you can watch it as many times as you like, complete with a ton of special features. One of which is included directly below and you can watch about 90 minutes worth right here. yt id="rNkYNfAXzx4" width="370"
The Imitation Game I was surprised when I visited Amazon this morning to find that of all the new releases this weekend, »
- Brad Brevet
“Cries And Sisters”
One of the late, great Ingmar Bergman’s skills as a filmmaker was to write and direct memorable roles for women. He was one of the few directors, such as Ford or Altman or Allen, who repeatedly relied on a “stock company” of actors throughout his career. While there were many wonderful male actors who worked for Bergman (Max von Sydow, Erland Josephson, Gunnar Björnstrand), we generally remember the women—Liv Ullmann, Harriet Andersson, Ingrid Thulin, Eva Dahlbeck, Bibi Andersson, among many—for baring their souls on screen in Bergman’s challenging, difficult works that always elevated the art of film to breathtaking levels.
Cries and Whispers is an excellent example of the power of the female actor. It’s essentially a four-woman chamber piece, taking place in the late 1800s in Sweden, about three sisters and a servant, their relationships to each other, »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Ingmar Bergman leaves his mark the way a nightmare leaves a scar. His films haunt you, they're hard. You confront the difficulty, it mends, and you're stronger for it. He maintained a strict intimacy in his work environment. His cast and crew rarely succeeded more than 30 closely knit members, and even fewer remained while shooting. With this light ensemble he produced classics in surplus that explored grand ideas with minimal means. But when I say classic, I don't mean the way people consider Forrest Gump one. I mean a hard classic, the kind that filmmakers pay their inspirational dues, and critics and historian's sob over with glee.
They're what you'd consider a "Capital-g Great Film", which means the experience can prove grueling for those lacking the trained appetite. And for those initiated, prepared to combat the attrition, there's that hard-earned reward to bask in later. What distinguished films like Persona, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Aaron Hunt)
By winning the Best Cinematography Oscar for a second year in a row, "Birdman" director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki has joined a truly elite club whose ranks haven't been breached in nearly two decades. Only four other cinematographers have won the prize in two consecutive years. The last time it happened was in 1994 and 1995, when John Toll won for Edward Zwick's "Legends of the Fall" and Mel Gibson's "Braveheart" respectively. Before that you have to go all the way back to the late '40s, when Winton Hoch won in 1948 (Victor Fleming's "Joan of Arc" with Ingrid Bergman) and 1949 (John Ford's western "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon"). Both victories came in the color category, as the Academy awarded prizes separately for black-and-white and color photography from 1939 to 1956. Leon Shamroy also won back-to-back color cinematography Oscars, for Henry King's 1944 Woodrow Wilson biopic "Wilson" and John M. Stahl »
- Kristopher Tapley
The latest in his series of video essays for the Criterion Collection brings :: kogonada face to face with Ingmar Bergman — more precisely, to the Swedish auteur’s use of mirrors in relation to women. Set to a reading of Sylvia Plath’s Mirror (“I am important to her/she comes and goes” nicely encapsulates Persona, at the very least), this short montage considers the meditative reflections — and interior revelations — across several of Bergman’s films. Watch above, and stay tuned for a longer :: kogonada/Bergman essay, set to accompany the Cries and Whispers release. »
- Sarah Salovaara
Editor's Note: RogerEbert.com is proud to reprint Roger Ebert's 1978 entry from the Encyclopedia Britannica publication "The Great Ideas Today," part of "The Great Books of the Western World." Reprinted with permission from The Great Ideas Today ©1978 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
It's a measure of how completely the Internet has transformed communication that I need to explain, for the benefit of some younger readers, what encyclopedias were: bound editions summing up all available knowledge, delivered to one's home in handsome bound editions. The "Great Books" series zeroed in on books about history, poetry, natural science, math and other fields of study; the "Great Ideas" series was meant to tie all the ideas together, and that was the mission given to Roger when he undertook this piece about film.
Given the venue he was writing for, it's probably wisest to look at Roger's long, wide-ranging piece as a snapshot of the »
- Roger Ebert
By Anjelica Oswald
Of the five foreign-language films nominated this year, Poland’s Ida is the only film to receive an Oscar nomination in another category. The black-and-white film is nominated for best cinematography.
Eighteen foreign-language films have received nominations for their cinematography and four have won. Only six of the 18 films were also nominated for best foreign-language film; however, three of the six won for their cinematography.
The first foreign-language film to earn both a best foreign-language film nomination and a cinematography nomination was Sweden’s Fanny & Alexander in 1984. The film won both awards, as well as best art direction and costume design. Writer-director Ingmar Bergman was also nominated for best director and original screenplay.
Ten years later, Hong Kong’s Farewell My Concubine received both nominations as well. It lost the foreign-language race to Spain’s Belle Epoque and lost the cinematography award to Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, »
- Anjelica Oswald
Everyone knows Woody Allen. At least, everyone thinks they know Woody Allen. His plumage is easily identifiable: horn-rimmed glasses, baggy suit, wispy hair, kvetching demeanor, ironic sense of humor, acute fear of death. As is his habitat: New York City, though recently he has flown as far afield as London, Barcelona, and Paris. His likes are well known: Bergman, Dostoevsky, New Orleans jazz. So too his dislikes: spiders, cars, nature, Wagner records, the entire city of Los Angeles. Whether or not these traits represent the true Allen, who’s to say? It is impossible to tell, with Allen, where cinema ends and life begins, an obfuscation he readily encourages. In the late nineteen-seventies, disillusioned with the comedic success he’d found making such films as Sleeper (1973), Love and Death (1975), and Annie Hall (1977), he turned for darker territory with Stardust Memories (1980), a film in which, none too surprisingly, he plays a »
- Graham Daseler
Robert Redford movies: TCM shows 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,' 'The Sting' They don't make movie stars like they used to, back in the days of Louis B. Mayer, Jack Warner, and Harry Cohn. That's what nostalgists have been bitching about for the last four or five decades; never mind the fact that movie stars have remained as big as ever despite the demise of the old studio system and the spectacular rise of television more than sixty years ago. This month of January 2015, Turner Classic Movies will be honoring one such post-studio era superstar: Robert Redford. Beginning this Monday evening, January 6, TCM will be presenting 15 Robert Redford movies. Tonight's entries include Redford's two biggest blockbusters, both directed by George Roy Hill and co-starring Paul Newman: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, which turned Redford, already in his early 30s, into a major film star to rival Rudolph Valentino, »
- Andre Soares
13 items from 2015
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