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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Sawdust and Tinsel')

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/bergman.htm
Sweden
1953

 

Acknowledging the influence of Dupont's Variety - one of the keystones of German expressionism, in which marriage was seen as a perilous high-wire act - Bergman here employs the circus as a metaphor for the humiliating hoops through which men and women are put by their sexual dreams and desires. Heavily masochistic in its anguished account of the futile attempts of an ageing circus owner (Grönberg) and his steely young mistress (Andersson) to escape the dreary limitations of their mutually destructive involvement, it isn't exactly prepossessing in theme. But visually it is a treat, with Bergman's richly baroque compositions and persistent use of deep focus brilliantly exploiting the circus and theatre settings. And the performances are first-rate.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

***

Ingmar Bergman presents the battle of the sexes as a ramshackle, grotesque carnival in Sawdust and Tinsel, one of the late master's most vivid early works. The story of the charged relationship between a turn-of-the-century traveling circus owner (Ake Grönberg) and his performer girlfriend (Harriet Andersson), the film features dreamlike detours and twisted psychosexual power plays that presage the director's Smiles of a Summer Night and The Seventh Seal, works that would soon change the landscape of art cinema forever.

***

A major early feature by Ingmar Bergman, also known as The Naked Night (though the Swedish title apparently means "The Clown's Night"). This 1953 film is perhaps the most German expressionist of Bergman's 50s works, as redolent of sexual cruelty and angst as Variety and The Blue Angel, but no less impressive for all that. The aging owner of a small traveling circus who left his wife for a young performer in his troupe tries to regain his lost family. Visually splendid, but you may find the masochistic plot pretty unpleasant.

Excerpt from Jonathan Rosenbaum's review at the Chciago Reader located HERE.

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 14th, 1953

The Criterion Blu-ray of Sawdust and Tinsel coming out December 18th, 2018 will most likely be the exact same transfer as in their Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema 100th Anniversary 30 Blu-ray Boxset (reviewed, as a work in-progress, HERE)

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Reviews                                                                       More Reviews                                                                 DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Sandrew Metronome - Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for Sandrew DVD captures!

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT
2) Sandrew Metronome - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

3) Criterion (Ingmar Bergman's Cinema) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

Box Cover

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 412 - Region 1 - NTSC

Sandrew Metronome

Region 2 - PAL

Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Criterion (Ingmar Bergman's Cinema) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:32:24  1:32:12 (4% PAL speedup) 1:32:24.580 1:33:11.002
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.15 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 
1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.80 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,292,386,739 bytes

Feature: 22,018,707,456 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-rays

Disc One: 48,933,647,162 bytes

Feature: 26,786,482,176 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.04 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:  Criterion

Bitrate:  Sandrew

Bitrate:  AE 'Classic Berman' Blu-ray

Bitrate:  Criterion Blu-ray

Audio Swedish (Dolby Digital Mono)  Swedish (Dolby Digital) LPCM Audio Swedish 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

LPCM Audio Swedish 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None English, Finnish, Danish, Swedish, None English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary by Bergman scholar Peter Cowie
•  Video introduction by Bergman from 2003
• Liner Notes booklet with a new essay by critic John Simon and an appreciation by filmmaker Catherine Breillat

DVD Release Date: November 20th, 2007

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 22

Release Information:
Studio: Sandrew Metronome

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: June 4th, 2008
Keepcase

Chapters 19

 

Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios - 1.33 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,292,386,739 bytes

Feature: 22,018,707,456 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

  •  on Dreams disc: 'Women and Bergman' (28:42 in 1080i)

  • • on So Close to Life: 'Men and Bergman' (52:09 in 1080i)


Blu-ray Release Date: June 7th, 2012

Chapters: 12 (

Release Information:
Studio:
Criterion

 

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-rays

Disc One: 48,933,647,162 bytes

Feature: 26,786,482,176 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.04 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• shares the Blu-ray Disc with The Rite

 

• Audio commentary by Bergman scholar Peter Cowie
•  Video introduction by Bergman from 2003 (3:17)


Blu-ray Release Date: November 20th, 2018

Custom Blu-ray Case

Chapters 21

 

 

Comments:

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

The Criterion Blu-ray of Sawdust and Tinsel is part of their Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema 100th Anniversary 30 Blu-ray Boxset (reviewed, as a work in-progress, HERE). It shares this Blu-ray with The Rite.

It is also coming out individually on, Criterion Blu-ray, December 18th, 2018 HERE, and we will compare to see if it is the same transfer although we don't know if it will, also, share the disc with The Rite. Stay tuned.

This 1080P Criterion transfer has a higher bitrate and shows more information in the frame than the Artificial Eye Blu-ray, (part of their Classic Bergman 5 BD set reviewed HERE) but can tend to look softer and have less texture than its UK counterpart. It looks fine in-motion and more demonstratively shows the intentionally bleached scene as 'bleached'. It has the same extras as the their 2007 DVD (Cowie commentary, Bergman intro) and has uncompressed linear PCM (24-bit) mono audio in Swedish. 

***

ADDITION: Sandrew Metronome - February 2010: The Scandinavian release is contrast boosted and appears to be slightly horizontally stretched. It, surprisingly, offers optional English subtitles - albeit a different translation (see sample below). There are no supplements and it obviously suffers from PAL speedup - so, for all factors considered, we still recommend the Criterion edition.  

****

ON THE CRITERION: The Criterion transfer is pictureboxed (see our full description of 'pictureboxing' in our Kind Hearts and Coronets review). NOTE The Criterion captures below have been put in their own table to indicate the amount of the pictureboxing (note the black border circumventing the edge). Where this may benefit systems that produce overscan (ex. production made cathode ray tubes) - it detracts from systems that do not requite it (ex. HTPC).

NOTE: This is reported as featuring five minutes of material not included in previous U.S. editions.

The dual-layered, progressive transfer offers Criterion's high standard of image, sound, subtitle and supplement quality. The screen captures below give a good representation of the excellent contrast. Some will note the intense 'bleached' look of the flashback sequence early in the film. It can actually remove detail from the background but we assume it was an intentional technique and is discussed in the commentary. Overall it looks very good - improving as the film progresses. Fine digital noise appears as good grain. Audio is clean, clear an consistent. Optional English subtitles support the dialogue.  

Supplements include another brilliant commentary from Peter Cowie. It is as informative and professional as we have come to expect. Many details are covered and some of the essence of the narrative is explored. In a short introduction by Bergman (from 2003) he discusses a negative review of the film that he recalls by heart - 'I refuse to make an ocular inspection of Mr. Bergman's latest vomit'. Bergman thought he had made his best film to that point but admits being very sensitive to the chilly reception that Sawdust and Tinsel received. There are also some liner notes with a new essay by critic John Simon and an appreciation by filmmaker Catherine Breillat.

This is a great film although it contains uncomfortable moments. Bergman fans will rejoice and although there is a Tartan edition in the UK that is presently significantly more expensive (and a French as well I believe - only French subs) - this surely improves upon it in every facet. Recommended!  

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus

 

Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC


 

Sandrew Metronome - Region 2 - PAL

 

 

Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

Criterion (Ingmar Bergman's Cinema) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Sandrew Metronome - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

3) Criterion (Ingmar Bergman's Cinema) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


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

 

Screen Captures

 

Flashback sequence ('bleached look?')

 

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Sandrew Metronome - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

3) Criterion (Ingmar Bergman's Cinema) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Sandrew Metronome - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

3) Criterion (Ingmar Bergman's Cinema) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Sandrew Metronome - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

3) Criterion (Ingmar Bergman's Cinema) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Sandrew Metronome - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

3) Criterion (Ingmar Bergman's Cinema) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Sandrew Metronome - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

3) Criterion (Ingmar Bergman's Cinema) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Criterion (Ingmar Bergman's Cinema) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Captures

 


Box Cover

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 412 - Region 1 - NTSC

Sandrew Metronome

Region 2 - PAL

Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Criterion (Ingmar Bergman's Cinema) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 
The Criterion Blu-ray of Sawdust and Tinsel coming out December 18th, 2018 will most likely be the exact same transfer as in their Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema 100th Anniversary 30 Blu-ray Boxset (reviewed, as a work in-progress, HERE)

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray




 

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