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The Silence
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.37:1 Standard
  • English Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • Swedish PCM Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Exploring the film: Video discussion with Ingmar Bergman biographer Peter Cowie
  • Poster gallery for the trilogy films
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Introduction by Ingmar Bergman
  • Illustrated audio interview with cinematographer Sven Nykvist, recorded in 1981

The Silence

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Ingmar Bergman
1963 | 96 Minutes | Licensor: Svensk Filmindustri

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $0.00 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #211
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Release Date: June 4, 2019
Review Date: June 6, 2019

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SYNOPSIS

Two sistersóthe sickly, intellectual Ester (Ingrid Thulin) and the sensual, pragmatic Anna (Gunnel Lindblom)ótravel by train with Annaís young son, Johan (JŲrgen LindstrŲm), to a foreign country that appears to be on the brink of war. Attempting to cope with their alien surroundings, each sister is left to her own vices while they vie for Johanís affection, and in so doing sabotage what little remains of their relationship. Regarded as one of the most sexually provocative films of its day, Ingmar Bergmanís The Silence offers a disturbing vision of emotional isolation in a suffocating spiritual void.


PICTURE

The third film in Ingmar Bergmanís film trilogy, The Silence (available exclusively in Criterionís A Film Trilogy by Ingmar Bergman box set) is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.37:1 on this dual-layer disc. The 1080p/24hz high-definition master comes from a new 2K restoration scanned from a 35mm interpositive.

The Silence finishes this set off on a wonderful note, providing yet another gorgeous, film-like presentation. Itís a sharp looking image with a high level of detail in just about every shot, only a handful of exterior shots looking a bit softer around the edges. The film has a lot of darker sequences and the shadows really look spectacular during these moments, details never getting lost. Contrast looks good and grayscale smoothly transitions, lending more to that photographic look, and black levels are inky and rich.

The previous DVD looked good (and I would say it probably offered the best-looking image in that set), but it was open to improvement and this edition is up to that task. On top of the improved detail and better compression this restoration also cleans up all of the previous blemishes and issues that remained in the source: everything, even some slight flicker, has been corrected. Itís a great looking picture.

9/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

Like the DVD the Blu-ray again offers the original Swedish track and an alternate English-dub track, the former presented in linear PCM 1.0 mono and the latter in Dolby Digital 1.0 mono. The English track sounds to be a direct port of the one found on the DVD: itís fine for an English-dub, but itís flat and tinny, with a noticeable edge to it. It sounds old and it also doesnít sound like much restoration has been done.

The Swedish track is the better one, sounding to have gone through more of a restoration process. Itís cleaner and the dialogue has decent depth and fidelity present, and background noise isnít as noticeable. It still shows its age but itís clean and easy to hear.

6/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Criterion ports just about everything over from the previous box set, even adding some new features, though most of those new features are found on the first disc in the set. The only new feature found on this disc is a short introduction with Ingmar Bergman, recorded in 2003 by Marie NyerŲd, where the filmmaker talks about the film and some of the controversies around it. This is expanded upon in more significant detail by Peter Cowie in his 11-minute interview, ported over from the DVD. On top of going over the various cuts made to the film around the world (though incredibly it played in the U.S. with very few cuts), as well as how these controversies led to a solid box office take, Cowie also talks about how the film differs technically compared to all of Bergmanís film up to that point, singling out a few different moments.

The disc also ports over the small poster gallery found on the DVD, showing off a handful of posters for the films (more for The Silence, which has a couple of really good ones), and then the U.S. theatrical trailer. The essay by Leo Braudy found in the DVDís insert does not get carried over at all.

Sadly the slimmest selection of supplements in the set, this film probably receiving the least amount of coverage.

4/10

CLOSING

Ends up offering the most disappointing collection of extras in the set, but the audio/video presentation is superb, offering a noteworthy upgrade over the previous DVD.




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