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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Everlasting Moments aka Maria Larssons eviga ögonblick [Blu-ray]

 

(Jan Troell, 2008)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Distribution: IFC Films

Video: Criterion Collection - spine # 520

 

Disc:

Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:11:24.918

Disc Size: 46,850,586,400 bytes

Feature Size: 31,671,957,504 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.93 Mbps

Chapters: 19

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 29th, 2010

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio Swedish 3532 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3532 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English, none

 

Extras:

Troell Behind the Camera, a short documentary made during production (28:06)
The True Story of Maria Larsson, a collection of photographs by Larsson, with narration by writer Agneta Ulfsäter-Troell (9:14)
Troell’s Magic Mirror, an hour-long documentary on the director’s career (1:00:47)
• Theatrical trailer (2:06)
• 20-page liner notes booklet featuring an essay by critic Armond White

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Swedish master Jan Troell, director of the beloved classics The Emigrants and The New Land, returns triumphantly with Everlasting Moments, the vivid, heartrending story of a woman liberated by art at the beginning of the twentieth century. Though poor and abused by her alcoholic husband, Maria Larsson (Maria Heiskanen, in a beautifully nuanced portrayal) finds an outlet in photography, which opens up her world for the first time. With a burnished bronze tint that evokes faded photographs, and a broad empathetic palette, Everlasting Moments—based on a true story—is a miraculous tribute to the power of image making.

 

 

The Film:

Rarely is there a film that evokes our sympathy more deeply than "Everlasting Moments." It is a great story of love and hope, told tenderly and without any great striving for effect. It begins in Sweden in 1911, and involves a woman, her daughter, her husband, a camera and the kindness of a stranger. It has been made by Jan Troell, a filmmaker whose care for these characters is instinctive.

[...]

The film reflects the great self-assurance by Jan Troell, whose work includes such masterpieces as "The Emigrants," "The New Land" and "Hamsun." All of his films are about lives striving toward greater fullness. He respects work, values and feelings. He stands apart from the frantic hunger for fashionable success. After I saw this film, I looked through a few early reviews and found critics almost startled by its humanism. Here is Todd McCarthy of Variety: "Beholding Troell's exquisite images is like having your eyes washed, the better to behold moving pictures of uncorrupted purity and clarity."

The story comes from the heart. Troell, who showed "Everlasting Moments" at Telluride 2008, adapted it from a novel by his wife Agneta, who based it on one of her own family members, Maria Larsson. Maria lived this life and took some of the photographs we see. The film is narrated by her daughter, Maja Larsson (Callin Ohrvall), and in my imagination I hear Maja telling the story to Agneta, for Jan was born in Malmo, and the dates work out that they might both have well known her. And always thought hers was a story worth telling.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE

 


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

Everlasting Moments looks excellent on Blu-ray from Criterion. The image quality varies showing light to heavier textured grain. The film's colors rely more on a sepia tone with earthy hues accentuating the time period. There is depth, impressive detail and Criterion's usually hallmark contrast. I can't image this film looking more authentic - it appears to represent Everlasting Moments with an accuracy that we can only find digitally in 1080P resolution. This Blu-ray has no flaws that I could distinguish - it is a pristinely clean as you might expect from a modern film and it supports the artistic vision and brilliant cinematography with digital exactness. It is, for all intents, perfect video.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The only track is a lossless DTS-HD Master 5.1 in Swedish at a strong 3532 kbps. While not as aggressive as an action genre film it exports some nice gentle subtitles in the separations although most of the soundtage is 'front' based. There is some less demonstrative range and depth and overall the audio is without any notable flaws. There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

 

Extras :

Troell Behind the Camera, is a 1/2 hour, 2007, documentary made during production of Everlasting Moments featuring interviews with director Jan Troell, cast and crew, and relatives of the real Maria Larsson. The True Story of Maria Larsson is a 9-minute collection of photographs by Larsson, featuring narration by her distant relative writer Agneta Ulfsäter-Troell who tells the story of Larsso's life and work as an amateur photographer. Troell’s Magic Mirror is an hour-long, 2007, documentary tracing the career of Swedish filmmaker Jan Troell, from his breakthrough duo The Emigrants and The New Land to his brief tenure in Hollywood to his recent success with Everlasting Moments. There is a 2-minute theatrical trailer and a 20-page liner notes booklet featuring credits, photos and an in-depth essay by critic Armond White.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
This is a beautiful film - one of the most impacting that I've seen this entire year. Troell is a master and Everlasting Momemts is filled with memorable scenes and images harkening back to the importance of family memories. The Criterion Blu-ray presents the film's impressiveness with a perfect A/V transfer accompanied by supportive supplements. It has a very high recommendation - I was really blown away by this viewing. Don't miss this film. 

Gary Tooze

June 9th, 2010

 

 

 


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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