(Tartan 50th Anniversary Blu-ray title - BOTTOM)

(aka "The Seventh Seal" )

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/bergman.htm
Sweden 1957

After a decade of battling in the Crusades, a knight challenges Death to a fateful game of chess. More than forty years after its initial release, Ingmar Bergman’s stunning allegory of man’s apocalyptic search for meaning remains a textbook on the art of filmmaking and an essential building block in any collection.

***

The late twentieth century’s defining anxiety – nuclear catastrophe –inspired film masterworks in a variety of genres, from noir (‘Kiss Me Deadly’) to essay (‘Hiroshima, Mon Amour’), faux documentary (‘The War Game’) to horror (‘Godzilla’). But it found possibly its greatest cinematic expression in Ingmar Bergman’s doom-laden medieval allegory, a film that re-imagines a previous period of existential angst and primal fear: the plague-ridden thirteenth century. ‘The Seventh Seal’ has the courage to give fear a face. You could say of its most famous image – returned crusader Max von Sydow’s desperate chess game with Death (Bengt Ekerot), shot in superb high-Gothic relief by cinematographer Gunnar Fischer in homage to an image Bergman remembered from a childhood church visit – that it has lost none of its power to impress. But, it seems to me, 50 years of relentless quotation and parody have taken some toll, as they have on the climactic improvised ‘dance of death’.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 16th, 1957 - Sweden

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Tartan (50th Anniversary Blu-ray) - Region FREE vs. Tartan - Region 0 - PAL vs. SF Film - Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC vs.  Criterion (Janus Collection and 'Four Masterworks' boxset) - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Rob Dunkley and Gary W. Tooze and Ole Kofoed for the Screen Caps!

1) Tartan (50th Anniversary Blu-ray) - Region FREE TOP LEFT

2) Criterion (Janus Collection + 'Four Masterworks' boxset) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP RIGHT

3) Tartan - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM LEFT

4) SF Film - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM MIDDLE

5) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Tartan (50th Anniversary Blu-ray)

Region FREE

Criterion
Region 1 - NTSC
DVD Box Covers

 

 

Distribution

Tartan

Region 0 - PAL

SF Film
Region 2 - PAL
Criterion
Region 0 - NTSC
Distribution

Tartan (50th Anniversary Blu-ray)

Region FREE

Criterion
Region 1 - NTSC

Tartan

Region 0 - PAL

SF Film
Region 2 - PAL
Criterion
Region 0 - NTSC

(click titles for DVDBeaver reviews)

The Criterion is also available in The Essential Art House - 50 Years of Janus Films - a 50-disc celebration of international films collected under the auspices of the groundbreaking theatrical distributor. It contains Alexander Nevsky (1938), Ashes And Diamonds (1958), L'avventura (1960), Ballad Of A Soldier (1959), Beauty And The Beast (1946), Black Orpheus (1959), Brief Encounter (1945), The Fallen Idol (1948), Fires On The Plain (1959), Fists In The Pocket (1965), Floating Weeds (1959), Forbidden Games (1952), The 400 Blows (1959), Grand Illusion (1937), Häxan (1922), Ikiru (1952), The Importance Of Being Earnest (1952), Ivan The Terrible, Part II (1958), Le Jour Se Lève (1939), Jules And Jim (1962), Kind Hearts And Coronets (1949), Knife In The Water (1962), The Lady Vanishes (1938), The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (1943), Loves Of A Blonde (1965), M (1931), M. Hulot's Holiday (1953), Miss Julie (1951), Pandora's Box (1929), Pépé Le Moko (1937), Il Posto (1961), Pygmalion (1938), Rashomon (1950), Richard III (1955), The Rules Of The Game (1939), Seven Samurai (1954), The Seventh Seal (1957), The Spirit Of The Beehive (1973), La Strada (1954), Summertime (1955), The Third Man (1949), The 39 Steps (1935), Ugetsu (1953), Umberto D. (1952), The Virgin Spring (1960), Viridiana (1961), The Wages Of Fear (1953), The White Sheik (1952), Wild Strawberries (1957), Three Documentaries By Saul J. Turell plus the hardcover, full color 240-page book.

Runtime 1:36:32 1:36:18 1:32:18 (4% PAL speedup) 1:32:18 (4% PAL speedup) 1:36:57
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 17-19 mb/s
REGION FREE

Single layered

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.35 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.24 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.72 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.70 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Tartan 50th Anniversary SD (not reviewed here but in the Blu-ray package)

Bitrate:

Criterion from Janus Box and "Four Masterworks"

Bitrate:

Tartan

 

Bitrate:

 

SF Film

 

Bitrate:

 

Criterion

 

Audio Swedish Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono and English mono DUB Swedish Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono. Swedish Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono.

Swedish Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono.

Swedish Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono.

Subtitles English or None. English or None. English or None. Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish for the hearing impaired or None (No English subtitles!). English or None.
Features Release Information:
Studio: Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
 - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Includes the SD 50th Anniversary edition

• Original Trailer (2:36).
• Karin's Face (1984) - 13:42
• Onset Footage (1958) - 14:11

DVD Release Date: December 3rd, 2007
Blu-ray case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Two page liner notes by Peter Cowie.
 

NOTE: This boxset does contains the Janus 'bare-bones' version of The Seventh Seal (VOB files from 2006) plus the stand alone versions of Criterion's Wild Strawberries - spine # 139, The Virgin Spring - spine # 321and Smiles of  Summer Night, - spine # 237.
 

DVD Release Date: Re-issue: December 10th, 2007
4 Keep Cases inside a cardboard box

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer/Advertisement for Tartan's 'The Ingmar Bergman Collection' (2:53).
• Stills Gallery.
• Bergman on 'The Seventh Seal - static pages of transcript and questions to Ingmar Bergman ( from 'Images - My Life In Film').
• Ronald Bergan's Film Notes - 7 Static pages.
• Filmographies of Bergman etc.

DVD Release Date: Sept 24th, 2001
Transparent Keep Case

Chapters 20
 

Release Information:
Studio: SF Film

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Introduction by Bergman (3:10).

 

DVD Release Date: January 6th, 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by noted film historian Peter Cowie.
• Theatrical trailer with optional English subtitle..
• An annotated, illustrated Bergman filmography, featuring excerpts from Wild Strawberries and The Magician with commentary.
• Improved English subtitles.
• Restoration demonstration.

 

DVD Release Date: Re-issue: October 29th, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 28

 

Comments:
ADDITION: Tartan 50th Anniversary Blu-ray June 08': Since the 50th Anniversary SD edition actually comes in the package with the Blu-ray we thought we'd replace those captures with new ones ripped directly from the 1080 disc. You may click on them to see full (but cropped to save bandwidth) resolution. We've also added new captures to the individual Blu-ray REVIEW HERE.

I'm hoping the screen grabs tell the story in the image. The Blu-ray is far in advance of any SD edition which ALL look boosted beside it. It's really no contest at all.

The Tartan Blu-ray offers an English audio DUB (in 2.0 channel mono) and some extras. We now have Bergman's 14 minute short Karin's Face (Karins ansikte) from 1984 with optional English subtitles. It is a film based on the pictures from Ingmar Bergman's personal photo album, especially the pictures of his mother Karin. This might be enticing for completists. Also we have 14 minutes of narrated 'Onset Footage" from the filming of The Seventh Seal. Interesting to see Ingmar as a young filmmaker.

The Blu-ray is the ultimate way to see this film in your home theater. If you'd like more information (more captures) please see the individual Blu-ray REVIEW HERE.

***

ADDITION: Criterion 'Four Masterworks'. December 07':  The Criterion boxset "Ingmar Bergman - Four Masterworks" contains the Janus 'bare-bones' version of The Seventh Seal (VOB files from 2006) plus the stand alone versions of Criterion's Wild Strawberries - spine # 139, The Virgin Spring - spine # 321and Smiles of  Summer Night, - spine # 237. This appear to be the identical versions stated with no new transfers.

NOTE: This appears to be an error on the part of Criterion - from their blog here 'It's been one of those weeks. First we learned we'd made a mastering error on our Mala Noche edition. Then the first run of the new collectors' set Ingmar Bergman: Four Masterworks shipped with the wrong disc—the Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films edition of The Seventh Seal—in the Criterion special edition package.'

Image-wise: The Criterion is brighter with far less artifacts but the darker Tartan may be more faithful showing some more detail with a few more speckles and grain. I think this may depend on which you prefer - although the Criterion appears cleaner it seems obvious that they have done some digital restoration in an attempt to improve things visually. It may very well be that this is as far as the image of The Seventh Seal can go on SD DVD - and why I was looking forward to the Tartan Blu-ray (REVIEWED HERE) I watched one after the other and thought they both looked fine and both gave a great presentation of the film. I *think* I preferred the Criterion subtitle font - but that's about as picky as I can get.

I do have one bone to pick about the "Ingmar Bergman - Four Masterworks". The Janus version is inside the original Criterion keep case (the edition with the Cowie commentary) - labeled spine # 11. However this is incorrect. This is not the Criterion disc known as spine # 11 - it is bare-bones with no supplements at all aside from 2 pages of liner notes. Other than that this collection is a good price if you don't own all (or just 1 or even 2) of the included editions. I don't recommend buying it solely for the improved The Seventh Seal video transfer.

NOTE: Criterion will replace this disc if you are so inclined: "Please don't send the whole package, just the actual Essential Art House Seventh Seal disc in an envelope. Send your disc to the Criterion Collection, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY, 10003, and mark it "Attn: Jon Mulvaney."'

****

On the SF ADDITION (February 2004) - SF Films Region 2- PAL:

The SF Films seems to be the same transfer as the Tartan... in fact they look quite identical, but the SF is less cropped than the Tartan. The Criterion (and its much higher bitrate) is still brighter and less cropped than both. Contrast is best of the Criterion although I think there has been digital manipulation on all to slight degrees. I think the sharpness is negligibly close on all editions. I am perturbed by the cropping still. I like Criterion's Extras with the Cowie commentary. We still suggest the Criterion. We forgot to mention the SF doesn't have English subs, so many will discount it immediately.


In both versions I see examples of contrast boosting and dampening, and although I think Criterion is more the culprit, but their image is sharper in most instances. I can see visible edge enhancement in the Tartan (see last capture). The Tartan version is slightly cropped. The Extras go strongly in Criterions favor with the Cowie commentary. The Criterion is superior in every category, but I do like the Tartan menus'. Go for the Criterion again.

 - Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus

(Tartan (50th Anniversary Blu-ray) - Region FREE - LEFT vs. Criterion (Janus Collection + 'Four Masterworks' boxset) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)

 

 
 
 



(Tartan - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. SF Film - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)
 

 


 

Subtitle Sample

(Criterion - TOP, 50th Anniversary SD - MIDDLE vs. Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 

 

(Tartan (50th Anniversary Blu-ray) - Region FREE - TOP vs. Criterion (Janus Collection + 'Four Masterworks' boxset) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Tartan (50th Anniversary Blu-ray) - Region FREE - TOP

2) Criterion (Janus Collection + 'Four Masterworks' boxset) - Region 1- NTSC - SECOND

3) Tartan - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) SF Film - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 

 

 

 


1) Tartan (50th Anniversary Blu-ray) - Region FREE - TOP

2) Criterion (Janus Collection + 'Four Masterworks' boxset) - Region 1- NTSC - SECOND

3) Tartan - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) SF Film - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 

 

 


 

1) Tartan (50th Anniversary Blu-ray) - Region FREE - TOP

2) Criterion (Janus Collection + 'Four Masterworks' boxset) - Region 1- NTSC - SECOND

3) Tartan - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) SF Film - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 

 

 


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Distribution

Tartan (50th Anniversary Blu-ray)

Region 0 - PAL

Criterion
Region 1 - NTSC
DVD Box Covers

 

 

Distribution

Tartan

Region 0 - PAL

SF Film
Region 2 - PAL
Criterion
Region 0 - NTSC

(click titles for DVDBeaver reviews)

Criterion (without any extras) also available in The Essential Art House - 50 Years of Janus Films - a 50-disc celebration of international films collected under the auspices of the groundbreaking theatrical distributor. It contains Alexander Nevsky (1938), Ashes And Diamonds (1958), L'avventura (1960), Ballad Of A Soldier (1959), Beauty And The Beast (1946), Black Orpheus (1959), Brief Encounter (1945), The Fallen Idol (1948), Fires On The Plain (1959), Fists In The Pocket (1965), Floating Weeds (1959), Forbidden Games (1952), The 400 Blows (1959), Grand Illusion (1937), Häxan (1922), Ikiru (1952), The Importance Of Being Earnest (1952), Ivan The Terrible, Part II (1958), Le Jour Se Lève (1939), Jules And Jim (1962), Kind Hearts And Coronets (1949), Knife In The Water (1962), The Lady Vanishes (1938), The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (1943), Loves Of A Blonde (1965), M (1931), M. Hulot's Holiday (1953), Miss Julie (1951), Pandora's Box (1929), Pépé Le Moko (1937), Il Posto (1961), Pygmalion (1938), Rashomon (1950), Richard III (1955), The Rules Of The Game (1939), Seven Samurai (1954), The Seventh Seal (1957), The Spirit Of The Beehive (1973), La Strada (1954), Summertime (1955), The Third Man (1949), The 39 Steps (1935), Ugetsu (1953), Umberto D. (1952), The Virgin Spring (1960), Viridiana (1961), The Wages Of Fear (1953), The White Sheik (1952), Wild Strawberries (1957), Three Documentaries By Saul J. Turell plus the hardcover, full color 240-page book.

 



 

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