The Criterion Collection
review by Zach B.
Running Time: 83 minutes
Directed by: Marie Nyrerod
Retail Price: $19.95
Features: Bergman 101
Specs: 1.77:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, Swedish Stereo, English Subtitles,
Chapter Selection (11 Chapters)
Released: June 16th,
Island" is presented in 1.77:1 anamorphic widescreen. Transfered from
what seems to be the original video source, the movie looks downright
sharp. Fleshtones are accurate, while color saturation is bold and
vibrant without going overboard. Detail is also excellent — there's
lots to take in from the exteriors on Fåro, and even in Bergman's home.
The only real flaws are edge halos and some noise. It's not great, but
not too much of a distraction either.
Island" features a Dolby Stereo track, in the film's language of
Swedish. There's not too much to say about this track, other than all
the sound elements blend fine. Dialogue sounds clear and crisp, while
some haunting piano melodies and sound effects from the island of Fåro
add a little ambiance. I did not hear any kinds of distortions or
defects on the track, either. Simple, and fitting for the
English subtitles are included.
The sole supplement is Bergman 101.
This is a roughly 35 minute biography, written and narrated by film
scholar Peter Cowie. It is very well done, as Cowie — mainly using
photographic stills and some Bergman film clips — delves into the
filmmaker's childhood, films and career as a whole. Thematics and
symbolisms that define Bergman films are also touched upon. The whole
piece is entertaining, incredibly informative and breezy — there is a
lot to gain in such a short amount of time. While I think this
biography is best for those less familiar with the director's work,
Bergman aficionados are sure to enjoy it as well (a refresher never
hurts). A must watch.
Also included is a sweetly stated essay by the film's director Marie Nyrerod.
Island" is a must see documentary for film scholars and Bergman
fanatics alike. The film is quite revealing, and though was shot
several years before the filmmaker's death, it makes for an insightful
conclusion to a remarkable life and career. Given that this is a simply
shot documentary, the film looks and sounds fine — while the Bergman
101 video filmography is a real treat. Certainly worth a rental, if not
an outright buy for Bergman fans.