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Everlasting Moments (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

4.2 out of 5 stars 267 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Swedish master Jan Troell, director of the beloved classics The Emigrants and The New Land, returns triumphantly with Everlasting Moments, the vivid, heartrending story of a woman liberated by art at the beginning of the twentieth century. Though poor and abused by her alcoholic husband, Maria Larsson (Maria Heiskanen, in a beautifully nuanced portrayal) finds an outlet in photography, which opens up her world for the first time. With a burnished bronze tint that evokes faded photographs, and a broad empathetic palette, Everlasting Momentsbased on a true storyis a miraculous tribute to the power of image making.


Fitting for a movie about a woman who finds a new life through photography, Everlasting Moments features stunning images: A streetcar looming out of a wall of fog; the shadow of a zeppelin gliding across a courtyard; a family bouncing around a bedroom, all wearing Charlie Chaplin mustaches. This rich, emotionally powerful film begins in 1907 in a Swedish port, where Maria Larsson (Maria Heiskanen) struggles to raise her four children with little help from her boozing, womanizing husband Sigfrid (Mikael Persbrandt). By accident, she rediscovers a camera that she'd won in a lottery; through its lens she reinvents her confined, unhappy world as a place of warmth, hope, and spiritual transcendence--and begins a furtive, yearning romance with an older photographer who gives her supplies from his studio. Everlasting Moments covers decades of Maria's life, capturing not only her character but the character of the times in which she lived--an era of social unrest, world war, and personal upheaval. Yet despite this dense story, the movie feels relaxed and unfolds with the easy command of writer/director Jan Troell, whose films have won dozens of awards around the world, though he is little-known in the U.S. With any luck, Everlasting Moments will bring him some much-due recognition. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital transfer
  • DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Jan Troell's Magic Mirror, an hour-long documentary about Troell's life
  • Short documentary on the making of Everlasting Moments featuring interviews
  • Documentary featuring photographs by the real Maria Larsson with narration
  • Theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Armond White

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Maria Heiskanen, Mikael Persbrandt, Jesper Christensen, Callin Öhrvall, Nellie Almgren
    • Directors: Jan Troell
    • Writers: Jan Troell, Agneta Ulfsäter-Troell, Maja Öman, Niklas Rådström
    • Producers: Bella Seward, Christer Nilson, Christof Groos
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: Swedish
    • Subtitles: English
    • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
      Not Rated
    • Studio: Criterion
    • DVD Release Date: June 29, 2010
    • Run Time: 131 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (267 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B003E0YU0Y
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,265 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Everlasting Moments (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 9, 2009
    Format: DVD
    EVERLASTING MOMENTS ('Maria Larssons eviga ögonblick') is a quiet, gentle masterpiece of filmmaking. The screenplay by Niklas Rådström, based on a story by Agneta Ulfsäter-Troell and director Jan Troell, is so free of the expected extended dialogues that accompany films of this nature that it allows the magic of the period piece set in early 20th century Sweden to rely on the beauty of the cinematography by Mischa Gavrjusjov and Jan Troell and the subtle and simple film score by Matti Bye (with a little help from Massenet!). Filmed in the color scheme suggestive of the distinguished Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi, never straying far from sepia tones that ignite the solitude and light of the Nordic countries, this film could probably be successful as a silent movie - that is how powerful the production is.

    We are told in the voice over introduction that Maria Larsson (the exceptional Finnish actress Maria Heiskanen) won a camera in a lottery and the only way she would share the strange prize would be if her boyfriend Sigfrid (Mikael Persbrandt) would marry her. The couple marries and begins a large family: Maria takes in sewing and Sigfrid works at the docks - and drinks to excess. Maria's world becomes progressively unhappy and though she continues to have children she longs for a life free of the influence of Sigfrid's alcoholism and womanizing. She finds her hidden camera and thinking to pawn it for money to support her children she seeks the advice of an older photographer Sebastian Pedersen (Jesper Christensen) who convinces her to discover the magic of photography as a means of expression and makes it possible for Maria to keep her camera and learn the art of photography.
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    4 Comments 48 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: Blu-ray
    I'm losing count of the number of foreign films I've discovered that I would like to show to friends. Unfortunately, the vast majority would not subject themselves to a subtitled film, so this review will have to be my outlet. Maybe it will persuade one person, somewhere, to watch this wonderful film?

    I first saw Everlasting Moments on cable about two years ago. Although I admired it, I felt that it dragged a little at times and I awarded it 3.5/5. I don't know whether my tastes have matured significantly since that time, but I was captivated by last night's viewing on Criterion Blu-ray.

    The story tells the true story of Maria Larsson (Heiskanen), who is distantly related to members of director Jan Troell's family. It opens in the first decade of the 1900s and ends in the early 1920s. The story is narrated by Maria's daughter, Maja, and the story is based on her real memoirs.

    What can you expect from Everlasting Moments?

    The story shows life in Sweden approximately 100 years ago. It's a brutally honest portrayal of poverty and hardship, and how Maria found an escape from that gritty existence through her photography. We are told at the outset that Maria won a camera in a lottery. The ticket was purchased by Sigfrid Larsson (Persbrandt), and he thought the camera should be his because he bought Maria the ticket. She told him that he would have to marry her if he wanted to share it, so he did.

    Sigfrid is a complicated character. We discover that he is an alcoholic, and that he also has a weakness when it comes to other women. He appears to love Maria, but he's a violent man when under the influence of drink, causing all manner of problems for Maria and their children.
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    ***This review contains spoilers***

    I have an old photograph of my mother when she was five years old walking down the Boardwalk in Atlantic City in 1930 with my grandparents and I often wonder what their lives were like at that moment in time. Jan Troell's "Everlasting Moments" attempts to do just that as he brings old family photographs to life in his sweeping family saga set in Sweden at the turn of the century.

    Everlasting Moments begins in the Swedish port city of Malmo in 1907. It's a true story based on the reminiscences of Maja Larrson who is the film's narrator. She takes us back to when she was a child and we're introduced to her parents Maria and Sigfrid (Siggie) Larrson. Siggie is a dock worker who also happens to be an alcoholic. Maria (wonderfully played by Maria Heiskanen) is his long-suffering wife. Although Siggie belongs to the Temperance Society he is continually relapsing and most of the tension in the film's first half revolves around the harrowing scenes of domestic violence in which Siggie uses his wife as a veritable punching bag.

    Maria is under tremendous pressure, not only from the heartache of having to deal with her often drunk and philandering husband but also raising a brood of precocious children. One day Maria rediscovers an expensive camera that she and her husband had won in a lottery at the time they got married. She decides to take a picture of her children without her husband knowing about it and brings it to a local photography shop and meets the kindly shop owner, Sebastian Pedersen. Pederson is a bit older than Maria but they soon form a lasting friendship. Pedersen eventually shows Maria how to use the camera and develop pictures.
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