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Summer Interlude aka Sommarlek [Blu-ray]
Review by Gary Tooze
Video: Criterion Collection, Spine # 613
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 28,391,099,521 bytes
Total Feature Size: 28,190,674,944 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: May 29th, 2012
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio Swedish 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
• A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Peter Cowie
Description: Touching on many of the themes that would define the rest of his legendary career—isolation, performance, the inescapability of the past—Ingmar Bergman’s tenth film was a gentle drift toward true mastery. In one of the director’s great early female roles, Maj-Britt Nilsson beguiles as an accomplished ballet dancer haunted by her tragic youthful affair with a shy, handsome student (Birger Malmsten). Her memories of the sunny, rocky shores of Stockholm’s outer archipelago mingle with scenes from her gloomy present, most of them set in the dark backstage environs of the theater where she works. A film that the director considered a creative turning point, Summer Interlude (Sommarlek) is a reverie about life and death that unites Bergman’s love of theater and cinema.
An embittered 28-year-old ballerina mysteriously receives her first love’s diary in the post, and becomes haunted by memories of an idyllic summer romance that unfortunately ended in tragedy, in this playful and moving early Bergman effort, which contains many of the themes that he would later develop on, but perhaps not quite the uncompromising eye of his best work.From Iain Stott One-line-review located HERE
Told in flashback as the memories of a ballerina approaching the end of her career, this sensitively observed story traces a teenage love affair which took place one idyllic summer on the archipelago near Stockholm. Bergman's preoccupation with the transition from youthful innocence to adult experience is already clearly marked here, as is the double movement of a journey backward into one's own past which nevertheless marks a spiritual progression. For it is through her re- living of her past that the heroine comes to embrace the tentative possibilities for her future. The translation of the title, incidentally, is incorrect and misleading. Sommarlek means Summer Games, and Bergman's concern is with the transience of playful youth.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Bergman's Summer Interlude (Sommarlek) from Criterion on Blu-ray looks quite impressive. There are some barely noticeable surface scratches but the dual-layered transfer with high bitrate produces a strong presentation. There is no intrusive contrast flickering and black levels are solid. Close-ups show some surprising detail. Grain is not overwhelming but is apparent. Overall Bergman fans will be extremely pleased at having the director's film look so exquisite in 1080P.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio remains authentic via a linear PCM mono track at 1152 kbps. Dialogue is clear and audible. Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" sounded clean if not dynamic and crisp. There are English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked like all Criterion Blu-rays to date.
Even Criterion are paring back the expense of supplements and Summer Interlude offers only a liner notes booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Peter Cowie.
May 14th, 2012
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 5000 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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