Early Bergman

 

Torment (1944)        Crisis (1946)        Port of Call (1948)

Thirst (1949)        To Joy (1949)

 

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


Before The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries established him as one of the great masters of cinema, Ingmar Bergman created a series of less well known, devastating psychological character studies, marked by intricate, layered narratives, gritty environments, and haunting visuals. These early films, which show the stirrings of the genius to come, remain the hidden treasures of a European cinema on the cusp of a golden age.

 


Titles

 

 


 

Torment (1944)
In Ingmar Bergman's first produced screenplay, the dark coming-of-age drama Torment, Widgren, a boarding-school senior, is terrorized by his sadistic Latin teacher. When he falls for Bertha, a troubled local girl, he finds himself caught up even further in a web of emotional mind games.

Crisis (1946)
Urban beauty-shop proprietress Miss Jenny arrives in an idyllic rural town one morning to whisk away her eighteen-year-old daughter, Nelly, whom she abandoned as a child, from the loving woman who had raised her. Once in Stockholm, Nelly receives a crash course in adult corruption and wrenching heartbreak.

Port of Call (1948)
Berit, a suicidal young woman living in a working-class port town, unexpectedly falls for Gvsta, a sailor on leave. Haunted by a troubled past and held in a vice grip by her domineering mother, Berit begins to hope that her relationship with Gvsta might save her from her own self-destruction.

Thirst (1949)
A couple traveling across a war-ravaged Europe. A disintegrating marriage. A ballet dancer's scarred past. Her friend's psychological agony. Elliptically told in flashbacks, Thirst shows people enslaved to memory and united in isolation.

To Joy (1949)
An orchestra violinist's dreams of becoming a celebrated soloist and fears of his own mediocrity get in the way of his marriage to the patient, caring Marta. Played out to the music of Beethoven, To Joy is a heartbreaking tale of one man's inability to overcome the demons standing in the way of his happiness .

Posters

Theatrical Releases: 1944 - 1949

  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Eclipse Series One from the Criterion Collection (5-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC

 

 

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution Eclipse / Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC
Time: Respectively - 1:41:15, 1:32:51, 1:37:21, 1:24:21 and 138:57
Bitrate: Torment
Bitrate: Crisis
Bitrate: Port of Call
Bitrate: Thirst
Bitrate: To Joy
Audio Swedish (original mono) NOTE: There is some German in Thirst.
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Eclipse / Criterion Collection

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios - 1.33 

Edition Details:

  •  one page (for each film) of liner notes in the transparent case


DVD Release Date: March 27th, 2007

5 Slim Transparent Keep Cases inside a Slipcase cardboard box
Chapters: 18 X 2, 16 X 3 = 84

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The 5 main features of this boxset are housed in individual slim transparent keep cases (see images above) they are not sold separately at this time. These NTSC editions can only be obtained in Criterion's Eclipse Series One package at present.

All five DVDs are dual-layered and are NOT pictureboxed transferred (see our full description of 'pictureboxing' in our Kind Hearts and Coronets review). Each are coded for Region 1 in the NTSC standard. The transfers are progressive and in the 1.33 aspect ratio.

The audio is in original Swedish mono and there are optional English subtitles.

Bitrates are very strong ranging from from 7.96 MPS to 8.35 MPS.

Aside from one page liner notes for each film (visible on the inner case sleeve through the transparent case cover) there are no supplements.

All 5 of these films have been previously available on DVD from Tartan in the UK. We have only compared one still below, from 'Crisis', but if that is any indication - the Eclipse image transfers are a significant improvement. We may add more to this review as we become in possession of the PAL editions. 

The sound is original mono but dialogue is clear and quite audible - I noted a couple of instances of softened pops, but overall it is good.

The screen captures below are a good representation of the image quality. Torment, Crisis and To Joy look the best although still show some very infrequent damage (see last image of Torment) - mostly in the form of light scratches or speckles. Thirst has some minor issues with flickering contrast.

I would say the Mission Statement description on the back of the boxset is very accurate: "Eclipse is a selection of lost, forgotten, or overshadowed classics in simple, affordable editions. Each series is a brief cinematheque retrospective for the adventurous home viewer." Having never seen an 'Eclipse' release I can tell you that my expectations were exceeded and I was very impressed with the package as a whole. The lack of supplements also help one realize and appreciate the, often painstakingly obtained, extras frequently included on Criterion DVDs.

To get dual-layered DVD transfer of these masterwork films so competently rendered at a purchase price of about $10 each is indeed a ridiculous bargain.

NOTE: I just looked at the Tartan R2 UK editions of To Joy, Crisis and Thirst (Three Strange Loves) on Amazon.UK. Each is selling new for £19.99 ($39 US X 3 = $117) and you can those three and two others for only $53 total at Amazon.com in this Eclipse Series One.    

Gary W. Tooze




DVD Menus



Slim Transparent Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

Screen Captures

Torment (1944) aka 'Hets ' or 'Frenzy'

Directed by Alf Sjöberg
Writing credits: Ingmar Bergman

Starring Stig Järrel, Alf Kjellin and Mai Zetterling
 

 


Slim Transparent Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

Crisis (1946) aka 'Kris'


Directed by Ingmar Bergman


Starring Wiktor Andersson, Anna-Lisa Baude and Allan Bohlin

 

 

Tartan Video (Bergman Collection) - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Eclipse (Early Bergman) - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

 

 

 


Slim Transparent Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

Port of Call (1948) aka 'Hamnstad'


Directed by Ingmar Bergman


Starring Nine-Christine Jönsson, Bengt Eklund, Mimi Nelson and Berta Hall

 

 


Slim Transparent Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

Thirst (1949) aka 'Törst ' or 'Three Strange Loves'


Directed by Ingmar Bergman


Starring Eva Henning, Birger Malmsten, Birgit Tengroth and Hasse Ekman

 

 

 


Slim Transparent Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

To Joy (1949) aka 'Till glädje'


Directed by Ingmar Bergman


Starring Maj-Britt Nilsson, Stig Olin, Birger Malmsten and John Ekman


 

 

 


 

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution Eclipse / Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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