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The Ingmar Bergman Trilogy (Through a Glass Darkly / Winter Light / The Silence) (The Criterion Collection)
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Through a Glass Darkly concerns a psychologically fragile woman, Karin (Harriet Andersson), who seeks recovery from a nervous breakdown while on a remote-island vacation with her family. Unfortunately, her father (Gunnar Björnstrand), a successful writer, regards her with clinical detachment, her husband (Max Von Sydow), a doctor, feels unavailing in the effort to treat her, and her brother (Lars Passgard) is wrapped up in his own quest for sexual fulfillment. Karin's descent into further loneliness and delusion exacerbates the heretofore unspoken alienation at the heart of this entire family, and drives the characters to brood over the existence of God (or, in Karin's case, imagine that God is the chilling spider hidden behind an attic door). Through a Glass Darkly is a heartbreaking, powerful work of art.
Winter Light reunites Björnstrand, this time playing a pastor suffering a crisis of faith while ministering to a shrinking congregation, and Von Sydow as a parishioner lost to acute anxiety over the possibility of a nuclear holocaust. Neither man can help or heal the other, or even inspire renewed confidence in practiced rituals and older, more certain views of the world. Set on a chilly, Sunday afternoon, Winter Light's heavy stillness, lack of music, preference for intense close-ups and distancing long shots, and barren setting all lead us inescapably into the core of a profound silence, an echo chamber in which love can't grow and religion rings hollow.
The Silence is the most abstract entry in the trilogy, a somewhat eerie story of two sisters, Esther (Ingrid Thulin) and Anna (Gunnel Lindblom), and the latter's son (Jörgen Lindström), all traveling by train to Sweden but forced to stay in a foreign country when Esther's chronic bronchial problems require her to rest. A stifling atmosphere, a desolate hotel, encounters with a troupe of carnival dwarves, Anna's anchoring illness, and an empty sexual encounter for Esther underscore the unnerving feeling that God has abandoned these characters to dubious salvation in their own connection. A highly memorable film. --Tom Keogh
- Includes the following films:
- Through a Glass Darkly, 1961 (91 minutes)
- Winter Light, 1962 (80 minutes)
- The Silence, 1963 (95 minutes)
- Ingmar Bergman Makes a Movie, 1963 (146 minutes) - a 5-part documentary produced by Swedish television detailing the making of Winter Light
- New high-definition digital transfer of all films with restored image and sound
- New video discussions with Bergman biographer Peter Cowie
- Essays by film scholars
- Poster gallery & trailers
Top Customer Reviews
It may be more fashionable now for film followers to say they prefer Bresson, Fassbinder, or von Trier--Bergman was so highly praised in the 1960s that it's almost chic to deride him these days--but "The Trilogy," particularly the second and third film in the set, remain unparalleled achievements. "Winter Light" and "The Silence" are breathtakingly dramatic, and, despite what you might have heard, not at all contingent upon an interest in Christian theology.
One of my close friends is a Muslim-raised atheist from Iran, and when I brought up "Winter Light" to him a month or so ago he said: "My God! That's one of the most intense films I've ever seen! You can't breath while you're watching it, it's so powerful!" He's right. And despite initial fears that this DVD edition would just reissue the previously released censored versions of these films, Criterion has happily gone back to Sweden and re-mastered the director's own, original cuts of each for this boxed set.
If you decide that you can only be bothered to own only the twenty best movies ever produced on DVDs, this set should count as one of the twenty. Von Trier, Kubrick, Dryer, Bresson, Kiarostami, Kurosawa, Ozu, Fassbinder, Renoir... None of them ever hit the heights Bergman achieved with "The Trilogy."
For the uninitiated, the trilogy is heavy stuff. If you haven't seen any Bergman, you might want to start with the Criterion DVD of Wild Strawberries and go on from there. As for myself, I'm always amazed at the consistency of Bergman's vision, the depth of the performances here, the beauty of the writing and complete mastery of light and sound. The cinematographic compositions, especially in Through a Glass Darkly and The Silence, are frequently awe-inspiring.
The fourth DVD is entitled Ingmar Bergman Makes a Movie. It is a five-part documentary filmed by Vilgot Sjöman for Swedish television and it details the making of Winter Light, from beginning to end. Roughly 50% is made up of interviews with Bergman where he discusses the themes of the film, the challenges of bringing a completed script to the screen, his relationship and working methods with his cast and crew, and his reaction to critics (presumably Swedish) upon the film's premiere. The other 50% of the documentary shows Bergman and crew at work scouting locations, building the sets, selecting costumes for Ingrid Thulin and Gunnar Björnstrand, blocking, rehearsing and shooting an early scene in the film, later editing another scene, mixing the sound, then screening the finished product. It is an invaluable document for Bergman lovers and film students and I'm happy to have it in my collection.Read more ›
In __Through a Glass Darkly__, a vacationing family is forced to deal with its own disintegration. The daughter, Karin, played masterfully by Harriet Anderson, battles schizophrenia and attempts in vein to stay in touch with consensual reality, while her father David, played by the stoic Gunner Bjornstrand finds himself unable to resist the urge to use her illness as a means to drive his artistic and intellectual work as a novelist. Max von Sydow plays Karin's loving and simple husband, while her brother, Minus, played by Lars Pasgard, comes to represent the anxieties and insecurities of the family's next generation. This is a difficult film to watch. Emotionally, it is overwhelming (though Bergman never strays too far from his characteristic subtlety).
The next offering in the trilogy is __Winterlight__.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this for my boyfriend who is Swedish and obsessed with Ingmar Bergman...it's a pretty great boxset, it looks good aesthetically and it has some fun extras. Read morePublished 2 months ago by B. Washington
In my opinion, Ingmar Bergman's early 1960's trilogy - "Såsom i en spegel," "Nattvardsgästerna," & "Tystnaden" - contains his very best work. Read morePublished 6 months ago by ADI
A world in which God does not exist, as the characters in this brilliant trilogy explore or do not explore the meaning of God and his ultimate silence, nonexistence. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Daniel G. Madigan
Item was exactly as presented by seller and I would happily use them again.Published 16 months ago by Tim Constant
This film trilogy by Ingmar Bergman is more then just touching, moving and powerful. It is deeply intelligent movie making. Each film has its own story to tell or show. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a great set, these 3 movies all have similar themes. My personal favorite is "through a glass darkly"...harriet andersons performance is haunting but brilliant. Read morePublished on January 18, 2013 by res8g
I have more than 20 of Bergman's films and purchased this trilogy because I wanted a better quality copy of "Through a Glass Darkly. Read morePublished on December 20, 2012 by RWoodB
Huge Ingmar Bergman fan - and I happen to be Swedish - so what's not to like? All three movies are touching and creepily intimate.Published on December 12, 2012 by Fredrik Scheike
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