07/22/2014  
The Railway Man on Early Digital Aug 1 on DVD/Blu-ray Aug 12Gangster on DVD & VOD Jul 22Spartacus: The Complete Collection on Blu-ray, Digital HD, DVD Sep 16Awkward: Season 3 on DVD Aug 5Worm on DVD Aug 12Breathe In on Blu-ray and DVD Aug 12The Amazing Spider-Man 2 on Digital HD Aug 5, on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray & DVD Aug 19

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

The Railway Man on Early Digital Aug 1 on DVD/Blu-ray A...
Philip Seymour Hoffman didn't want "trust fund kids" ...
True Detective Has Solid TCA Awards Show Off The Back o...
Pharrell, Kylie, Maroon 5 And A Bunch Of Newcommers Ann...
Box Office Charts From Box Office Mojo Jul 17 - 19...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

The Criterion Collection presents
Cries And Whispers (Viskningar och rop) (1972)

"Come what may, this is happiness...here for a moment I can experience perfection."
- Agnes (Harriet Andersson)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: July 13, 2001

Stars: Harriet Andersson, Kari Sylwan, Ingrid Thulin, Liv Ullmann
Other Stars: Anders Ek, Inga Gill, Erland Josephson, Henning Moritzen, Georg ‰rlin, Lena Bergman, Lars-Owe Carlberg, Malin Gj–rup, Greta Johansson, Karin Johansson, Ann-Christin LobrÂten, B–rje Lundh, Rosanna Mariano, Monika Priede, Linn Ullmann, Ingrid von Rosen
Director: Ingmar Bergman

Manufacturer: DVDL
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 01h:31m:18s
Release Date: June 19, 2001
UPC: 037429156322
Genre: drama


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A A-B+A- B

DVD Review

Cries And Whispers joins The Seventh Seal, The Magic Flute and Autumn Sonata in the Criterion Collection, as they bring us the fourth installment in their series of films from Swedish director, Ingmar Bergman. Bergman's trademark are works which explore the inner workings of the human psyche, exposing the mental framework within which his characters live their lives, their beliefs, their fears and their relationships with each other and their eventual mortality. His are not pictures of intense action; the intensity comes from the depths with which Bergman is able to explore the solitudes inherent in human beings, their fragile coexistence with the world around them, and the results when some of the bonds which form stabilizing factors begin to break or are tested.

Bergman's second English language film, Cries and Whispers, examines the relationship between three sisters and the family maid, as they gather at the family estate for the last days of one sister's life. Agnes (Harriet Andersson), dying of cancer, awakes to find her sister Maria (Liv Ullmann, whose daughter with Bergman also appears in this film) asleep on the chair where she has been keeping vigil through the night. Along with her other sister Karin (Ingrid Thulin), and her maid Anna (Kari Sylwan), these remaining days have kept her in the company of those she loves.

As we meet each of the women in this story, we are brought into their own thoughts and remembrances, and given a glimpse of some of the events which have brought them to this juncture in life, and defined their characters. Maria is an outgoing and self centered young woman, though her inherent beauty and emotional subsistence are both fleeting and shallow. Her older sibling Karin is bitter, reserved and isolated, harboring resentment from the past against those in her family. Agnes, though now suffering the excruciating pain and humility that comes from her condition, recounts her youth. Agnes appreciates the presence of her family, and especially her loyal servant Anna, who is dedicated to making her as comfortable and happy as possible through this time, while trying to remain strong in her own right under the pressure of the inevitable demise of one she holds extremely dear. As we journey through the minds of these women, we see the strengths and flaws in their being, and explore the fabric of love that ties the family together, yet also keeps it apart. Long stretches of silence, and a constant referral to the passage of time count down the hours to the death that they have all come to witness and reconcile with. It is a touching drama reaching into the inner depths of human emotion, and contemplating the imminent mortality that awaits us all.

Though his screenplays for Smultronst”llet (Wild Strawberries - 1957) and SÂsom i en spegel (Through A Glass Darkly - 1961) had received recognition from the Academy, he was nominated for Best Director for Cries And Whispers which also became one of few foreign films ever nominated for Best Picture, though it ultimately lost both awards to George Roy Hill's The Sting. However, cinematographer Sven Nykvist did win the Oscar® for his striking camera work in this film, which contrasts light and dark almost as a metaphor for life and death. The color palate relies heavily on red, which dominate the interiors used exclusively throughout the picture, but the color also serves as the segue between each woman's individual introspection sequences. We see closeups of household objects, lifeless, then are shown closeups of the characters, also lifeless in their own ways. As we examine the features of each, we read into their faces the events in their past that have shaped them. One sequence features the family physician (Erland Josephson), who after examining her dying sister, studying the character developed in Maria's face, describing each line, and identifying the origins of these features, and how they have contributed to her being. It is a scene of self-examination that each of the characters will undergo through the course of the film, both physically and mentally. Cries And Whispers is a rich character study, balancing the realistic portrayal of a woman in the clutches of death with the dream-like state weaving past and present.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Rationo
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Image quality is generally very good throughout the picture, with only minimal use of edge enhancement. The color pallette is very warm, and transfers well, though I felt reds tended a bit too much towards orange at times, which I will qualify by saying not having seen the film before, I don't know whether this is correct or not. There is some minor solarizing in the rendering of the reds which form the segues. Detail is very good, despite the film's somewhat soft appearance. Contrast looks spot on, and the low level details from the predominantly natural lighting used in the film are not lost. This is a sumptuously visual film, and these minor issues aside, it stands up well. The aspect ratio looks a lot closer to 1.78:1 than the package's indicated 1.66:1.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoSwedish, Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The Swedish audio track is clear and distortion free, with no signs of hiss. The soundtrack features long stretches of silence, broken only by clock ticking or chimes, and this detail is well presented. The English dub track has a similar quality, again reproducing the ambient nature of the sound design without unwanted hiss or distortion. Aside from differences in the voices, the background for these tracks seems a very close match.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 18 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Documentaries
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extra Extras:
  1. Ingmar Bergman: Reflections on Life, Death and Love with Erland Josephson interview
Extras Review: Once again Criterion has proven, at least to me, that the value of supplements to a film comes not in their number, but in their substance. Cries And Whispers featuresIngmar Bergman: Reflections on Life, Death and Love with Erland Josephson, a single 51-minute interview with director Ingmar Bergman and his longtime friend and colleague, Erland Josephson. Conducted by Malou von Sivers in 1999 for TV4 International Sweden, this insight into the lives and thoughts of these two gentlemen is a priceless addition to this disc, as they reflect on their relationships, families and their very different views on death. The discussion is candid, and not at all what I had expected from this pieceówe have the words of men who have lived long and adventurous lives, yet are not afraid of discussing their failures or their heartbreaks. This feature has elevated my grading to recommended with its inclusion.

Criterion has also included the dubbed English version of the film, and an essay by Peter Cowley on the production is included in the overleaf.

Extras Grade: B

 

Final Comments

With Cries And Whispers, Ingmar Bergman brings us a powerful film on our relationship with death, as seen through the eyes of four women. Each has their own way of dealing with the situation, and this exploration of human emotion and family bonding is presented in a somewhat surreal atmosphere, framed in lush cinematography. The pacing is slow, dialogue minimal, yet the film carries its message through exquisite visuals. Criterion's supplemental material is once again fitting for the film, and elevates this release to their usual higher standard. Recommended.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

drama, television, tca awards, breaking bad, true detective, matther mcconaughey, hbo, music, itunes festival 2014, september, pharrell williams, kylie minogue, maroon 5, david guetta, sam smith, blondie, beck, kasabian, movie, philip seymour hoffman, february death, cooper, tallulah, willa, mimi odonnell, james cahill jr., david friedman, box office, movies, action, app, james garner, maverick, the rockford files, devine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood, 8 simple rules, the children's hour, doris day, reality, marvel comics, thor, femail, god of thunder, mjolmir, super hero, horror, johnny winter, blues guitar player, zurich switzerland, johnny winter album, willie dixon, walter horton, sex tape, the purge: anarchy, planes: fire & rescue, dawn of the planet of the apes, documentary, soccer, world cup, germany, argentina, mario goetze, dancing with the stars, abc, cheryl burke, botox, no eating disorder, no plastic surgery, simian flu, matt reeves, rick jaffa, amada silver, mark bomback, andy serkis, jason clark, keri russell, kodi smit-mcphee and gary oldman, daytime talk, the view, rosie o'donnell. whoopi goldberg, elisabeth hasselbeck, emmy nominations, game of thrones, house of cards, celebrity, good morning america, ellen degeneres, women's wear daily, e.d., portia di rossi, on-line retail, mystery, gone girl, ben affleck, neil patrick harris, tyler perry, october 3

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too
Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact