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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Ormens ägg" or "Das Schlangenei")

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/bergman.htm
USA / West Germany 1977

 

Ingmar Bergman comes very close to camp in this 1977 study of life (or lack thereof) in the decaying Berlin of the 20s--how else to take exchanges like "Go to hell!" "Where do you think we are?" David Carradine and Liv Ullmann suffer mightily and at length, but the unmitigated anguish has no shape or substance, apart from pointing out that Nazis and their progenitors were not nice people. To that extent, it's simply exploitative.

Excerpt of Dave Kehr's Chicago Reader  comments located here

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 26th, 1977 - Sweden

Reviews                                                     More Reviews                                                DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

MGM -  Region 1 - NTSC vs. Criterion (Ingmar Bergman's Cinema) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Criterion - Region FREE Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

   

 

 

 

   

also coming to Blu-ray from Arrow in December 2018:

 

Distribution MGM  Region 1 - NTSC Criterion (Ingmar Bergman's Cinema) - Region FREE- Blu-ray
Runtime 1:59:12  1:59:48.306  
Video 1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.38 mb/s 
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc One: 49,138,103,012 bytes

Feature: 22,808,266,752 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.85 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

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

Bitrate:

 

 

Bitrate: Blu-ray

 

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)  LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None English, none
Features

Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.66:1

Edition Details:

  • Original English audio
  • Commentary by David Carradine
  • "Away from Home" featurette (19:32)
  • "German Expressionism" featurette (5:35)
  • Photo gallery (47 in click-thru slideshow)
  • Original theatrical trailer (widescreen, unrestored 3:18)

DVD Release Date: February 10th, 2004
Keep Case
Chapters: 24

Release Information:
Studio:
Criterion

 

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc One: 49,138,103,012 bytes

Feature: 22,808,266,752 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.85 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• shares the Blu-ray Disc with The Touch

 

Away From Home (15:48)


Blu-ray Release Date: November 20th, 2018

Custom Blu-ray Case

Chapters 22

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Criterion Blu-ray of The Serpent's Egg is part of their Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema 100th Anniversary 30 Blu-ray Boxset (reviewed, as a work in-progress, HERE). The Serpent's Egg shares this Blu-ray with The Touch. See comparative captures, a listing of technical details, extras etc., on this page.

NOTE: Yes, as has been leaked, we can now confirm that this Blu-ray set is Region FREE!

"The Serpent's Egg" comes to us from a new 2017 transfer from a 35mm duplicate of the negative.

Though not as impressive a transfer as some other films in this gargantuan set, it is still a welcome addition to Blu-ray. The film shares a disc with Bergman's "The Touch" and has a moderate bitrate. The immediate thing you will notice regarding this transfer is the different color grading when compared to the older SD DVD version. The Blu-ray tones down the warm reds, allowing for a paler look, especially when it comes to skin tones. The overall palette of the film could be described as mustard-relish-brown (hot-dog?). Detail is still an improvement over the DVD. If this palette was the intended look (which I'm guessing it was) then this Blu-ray is an improvement over the DVD. Contrast is healthy though could show a more varied range of blacks. This is most likely due to the fact that this must have been the best print available to Criterion. There is a fair amount of heavy grain in the picture, giving the film a certain texture although it enhances the presentation's lack of depth.

As with the other releases here, the film has a linear PCM Swedish track. There are optional English subtitles on this Region-Free
Blu-ray.

The sole extra here is a 16-minute featurette "Away From Home". This piece features excerpts from a 2004 program on "The Serpent's Egg" and has interviews with actors David Carradine and Liv Ullmann and film historian Marc Gervais.

Bergman's dark political thriller "The Serpent's Egg" gets a nice release here as part of Criterion's massive
Blu-ray collection of Bergman films. Unless a better print is found (original negative?) of this release, this is the best the film has looked to date.

Colin Zavitz

***

ON THE DVD: It should be noted here the events that have transpired in regards to the MGM Boxset - originally scheduled for release on February 10th, 2004. Two of the 5 films, Shame and Hour of the Wolf, were not originally set in their proper aspect ratio of 1.37:1, but altered to 1.66:1. The Internet community banded together to voice their displeasure at this bastardization, and MGM have showed they were listening and are making amends by delaying the Boxset citing problems with "two of the films". More information can be found HERE. I am unsure if the other three films in the Boxset will be available individually, but I was fortunate enough to get my hands on this copy prior to the MGM announcement.

Although The Serpent's Egg DVD shows some good film grain, I don't think its quite as sharp as The Passion of Anna. This non-anamorphic image is acceptable, but not stellar. I found no instances of dirt or debris and the aspect ratio appears to be maintained. I am slightly concerned, as with Passion, in the redness of the skin tones which again appears to be present. Contrast is good and there is no visible signs of digital manipulation. There are some plentiful, if weak at times, Extras with two short featurettes, a commentary, a trailer and a photo gallery. out of   

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus

 

Criterion - Region FREE Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample - Criterion - Region FREE Blu-ray

 

 

Screen Captures

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

Box Covers

   

 

 

 

   

also coming to Blu-ray from Arrow in December 2018:

 

Distribution MGM  Region 1 - NTSC Criterion (Ingmar Bergman's Cinema) - Region FREE- Blu-ray


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Gary Tooze