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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

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)

Runtime: 1:36:09.764

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



English, None



• 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.



The Man:

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.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

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.
















Audio :

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.


Extras :

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.



I was quickly reminded of Summer With Monika - that I watched very recently perhaps because of the impressive exterior shots - rock terrain and water.  I liked Summer Interlude and will definitely be watching it again. I found it is a beautiful and poignant film experience. We give the Criterion Blu-ray an essential recommendation to Bergman fans but I can see appeal to a broader range of world cinema devotees as well. 

Gary Tooze

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.

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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