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directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg
Norway 1997

 

  Disgraced Swedish detective Jonas Engström (Stellan Skarsgård) travels to northern Norway to solve a brutal murder in Insomnia. Unable to sleep through the night of the midnight sun, Engström quickly loses his grip on the case and his mind. Erik Skjoldbjærg’s debut feature is a deft amalgam of psychological thriller, morality play, and police procedural.

Gary W. Tooze

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Theatrical Release: September 7th, 1997 - Toronto Film Festival

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DVD Review: Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 47 - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:35:54
Video 1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.15 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate:

Audio Norwegian / Swedish (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion / Home Vision

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• Norwegian trailer and TV spot, both with optional English subtitles
• 6 page liner-notes 


DVD Release Date: July 27th, 1999

Keep Case
Chapters: 21

 

 

Comments:

A relatively early Criterion disc (their first anamorphic!) whose image, like all Criterion releases, is HD sourced. I understand that the film was shot in a very similar manner to this DVD appearance - heavily contrasted areas with apparent saturation. It is very dark at times and also the sun's brightness is a factor of the narrative. Bottom line: It was meant to look like this. I suspect if it was done by Criterion today, it might be a shade sharper, but they would keep the bright/dark contrast level at its original high level.

Audio is the original 2.0 track and the subtitles (one of Criterions hallmarks)  are perfect - a white font with black border can be seen with any background. Extras are only a a trailer and TV Spot and some liner notes. I enjoyed the more recent Al Pacino/Robin Williams version, but this original has a wonderful haunting claustrophobic sense to it that is more indicative of the story's text. Quite unforgettable. Stellan Skarsgård is excellent. out of   

 Gary W. Tooze

 





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Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 47 - Region 0 - NTSC



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