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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words aka "Jag är Ingrid" [Blu-ray]

 

(Stig Björkman, 2015)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Mantaray Film

Video: Criterion Collection Spine #828

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:54:16.850

Disc Size: 45,045,518,059 bytes

Feature Size: 32,212,205,568 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.33 Mbps

Chapters: 15

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: August 16th, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio Swedish 3302 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3302 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English, none

 

Extras:
New interview with Björkman (18:35)
Selection of 8 mm home movies shot by Bergman in the 1930s (7:07)
Two deleted scenes, showing Bergman’s daughters reading an essay she wrote at age seventeen (2:54) and an interview with film historian and Bergman scholar Rosario Tronnolone (8:45)
Extended versions of scenes featuring interviews with actors Sigourney Weaver and Liv Ullmann and Bergman’s daughter Isabella Rossellini and with the three Rossellini siblings (14:01 + 5:48)
Clip from the 1932 film Landskamp, featuring Bergman in her first screen role (0:34)
Outtakes from Bergman’s 1936 film On the Sunny Side (4:02)
Music video for Eva Dahlgren’s song “The Movie About Us,” which is included on the film’s soundtrack (4:42)
Trailer (1:35)
PLUS: An essay by film scholar Jeanine Basinger

 

Bitrate:

 

 

 

Description: Whether headlining films in Sweden, Italy, or Hollywood, Ingrid Bergman always pierced the screen with a singular soulfulness. With this new documentary, made on the occasion of the one hundredth anniversary of Bergman’s birth, director Stig Björkman allows us unprecedented access to her world, culling from the most personal of archival materials—letters, diary entries, photographs, and 8 mm and 16 mm footage Bergman herself shot—and following her from youth to tumultuous married life and motherhood. Intimate and artful, this lovingly assembled portrait, narrated by actor Alicia Vikander, provides luminous insight into the life and career of an undiminished legend.

 

 

The Film:

Ingrid Bergman, whose personal life could seem more electrifying than her movies, had the kind of towering self-possession that is a requisite for immortal stars, but also for modern women. Toward the end of her life, when her daughter Isabella Rossellini asked why she had kept so many letters, diaries, photos and other mementos, Bergman responded with consummate movie-star sang-froid: “I always knew I was going to be famous.” (She died in 1982 at 67.) Ms. Rossellini shared this anecdote in The New Yorker in 1989, in a Talk of the Town item in which she described her mother’s trove — letters from Alfred Hitchcock and Ernest Hemingway included — and its meaning.

Bergman’s voluminous personal archives have been a valuable resource for assorted popular biographies and academic studies, enriching the historical record of her films, family and loves. As its title indicates, “Ingrid Bergman — In Her Own Words” tells yet another version of that life, through its subject’s words and pictures, embellishing them with written and on-camera reminiscences from both intimates and acquaintances. Ms. Rossellini appears, as does her twin, Ingrid, and their older brother, Roberto. They’re joined by their half sister, Pia Lindstrom, and a few others, including the academic Jeanine Basinger and two actresses with whom Bergman performed, Liv Ullmann (in “Autumn Sonata”) and Sigourney Weaver (in the play “The Constant Wife”).

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

Some stars shine on, even after they wink out. Ingrid Bergman is such a figure; gone these 34 years – she’d have turned 100 last summer – her presence on the screen remains so vital, it’s hard to imagine she’s already part of cinema’s ancient history.

Her countryman Stig Björkman, a film critic as well as a filmmaker, has crafted a beautiful portrait of the artist’s life. Though the credits list two other co-writers, the bulk of the material flows from Bergman’s own hand, culled from her numerous diaries and letters, and often illustrated with her home movies.

We meet her as a child, already documenting her life and anxious to be someone more than she is. Having found success in films in her native Sweden, she came to America at the invitation of David O. Selznick to star in Intermezzo, a 1939 English-language remake of her 1936 Swedish film. A screen test shows the 24-year-old glancing at the camera and then away, alternately innocent and smouldering.

Excerpt from the National Post located HERE

 

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

Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words looks excellent on Blu-ray from Criterion and is cited as a "supervised by director Stig Björkman".  Since this documentary is filled with vintage clips, 16 + 8mm home movies and stills - the image quality varies depending ion the elements available but the transfer is dual-layered with a very high bitrate and I doubt it can look much better. Some of the visuals are striking - rich, and impressive, often older stills. This Blu-ray, provides an impressive presentation of a wonderful documentary.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Criterion use a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 3302 kbps in the original Swedish (optionally subtitled) with some sequences in English. Predictably, there aren't a lot of separations but the narration and dialogue are consistent and clean. My Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' disc.

 

Extras :

Criterion add many extras including a new, 18-minute, interview with Björkman, a selection of 8 mm home movies shot by Bergman in the 1930s, two deleted scenes, showing Bergman’s daughters reading an essay she wrote at age seventeen (2:54) and an interview with film historian and Bergman scholar Rosario Tronnolone (8:45) as well as extended versions of scenes featuring interviews with actors Sigourney Weaver and Liv Ullmann and Bergman’s daughter Isabella Rossellini and with the three Rossellini siblings. There is a brief clip from the 1932 film Landskamp, featuring Bergman in her first screen role and 4-minutes of Outtakes from Bergman’s 1936 film On the Sunny Side. We get a music video for Eva Dahlgren’s song “The Movie About Us,” which is included on the film’s soundtrack and a trailer. The package has a liner notes booklet with an essay by film scholar Jeanine Basinger.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words is a marvelous documentary about one of the most-beloved world cinema stars of all time.  This was a real treat to watch and enjoy. This Blu-ray package is an easy recommendation. There is quite a lot here for the Ingrid Bergman fans or just film aficionadas in general. You won't be disappointed!

Gary Tooze

July 10th, 2016


 

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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