Home Page  
 
 

SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • English Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • Swedish PCM Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 2 Discs
FEATURES
  • Both the television and the theatrical version
  • Video interview with Ingmar Bergman from 1986
  • Video interview with stars Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson
  • Video interview with Bergman scholar Peter Cowie comparing the two versions of Scenes from a Marriage
  • Insert featuring an essay by Phillip Lopate

Scenes from a Marriage

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Ingmar Bergman
1973 | 468 Minutes | Licensor: Svensk Filmindustri

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $49.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #229
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Release Date: September 4, 2018
Review Date: September 3, 2018

Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca

Share:

SYNOPSIS

Scenes from a Marriage chronicles the many years of love and turmoil that bind Marianne and Johan, tracking their relationship through matrimony, infidelity, divorce, and subsequent partnerships. Originally conceived by director Ingmar Bergman as a five-hour, six-part television miniseries, the film is also presented in its three-hour theatrical cut. Shot largely in intense, intimate close-ups by cinematographer Sven Nykvist and featuring flawless performances by Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson, Bergman’s emotional X-ray reveals the deep joys and pains of a complex bond.


PICTURE

The Criterion Collection upgrades their DVD edition for Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes of a Marriage to Blu-ray. The two-disc set features both the original Swedish television version along with the US theatrical version. Both are presented in the aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and come from high-definition restorations scanned from the original 16mm A/B negatives. Both are given 1080p/24hz high-definition encodes and are each presented on their own respective dual-layer disc.

There are improvements to be found over the DVD but I can’t say that the improvements lead to significant improvements on the whole. The DVD had a few problems that are only more visible now: ringing could be obvious, film grain—though rendered well for the format—contributed to a noisy image, and the television version was, for whatever reason, presented interlaced (the theatrical version was progressive). It’s obvious the same high-definition master(s) have been used for this edition but the increased resolution and space on the discs (along with the fact both presentations are now progressive) help alleviate some of these problems, if not entirely.

Both versions are grainy, and grain is better rendered here for both versions in comparison to the DVD, but even then, it doesn’t look wholly natural and it’s obvious (especially when you pause the image) the theatrical version renders it a little better. The 5-hour television version shows more obvious compression artifacts in comparison to the theatrical version, but both show mosquito noise in areas of the screen. Some other artifacts also pop out: at one point, about 1:29:50 in of the theatrical version, an odd blocking effect pops up for a flash but then disappears. This doesn’t pop up on the DVD (or on the television version here), at least that I noticed.

Outside of some shortcomings in the digital presentation the image is otherwise fine. Damage isn’t an issue (though wasn’t a big concern with the DVD) with only a few little marks and stray hairs showing up throughout both versions, and despite a rather bland colour scheme there are some decent colours that pop out. Black levels are also decent, shadow detail is adequate, and detail is strong and does look sharper than what the DVD has to offer, with better rendering of the textures in clothing or the wallpaper in the background.

So the image is a bit better but it’s not the significant upgrade I would have hoped for. Basically, it’s the same master, just better compression, even with the full television version slammed on one disc.

7/10

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.

Screen Capture
Television Version

Screen Capture
Television Version

Screen Capture
Television Version

Screen Capture
Television Version

Screen Capture
Television Version

Screen Capture
Television Version

Screen Capture
Television Version

Screen Capture
Television Version

Screen Capture
Television Version

Screen Capture
Television Version

Screen Capture
Television Version

Screen Capture
Television Version

Screen Capture
Television Version

Screen Capture
Theatrical Version

Screen Capture
Theatrical Version

Screen Capture
Theatrical Version

Screen Capture
Theatrical Version

Screen Capture
Theatrical Version

Screen Capture
Theatrical Version

Screen Capture
Theatrical Version

AUDIO

Both versions present the original Swedish mono in lossless PCM 1.0. The film has a pretty simple audio presentation and it has been delivered here as well as can be expected. Everything is fairly lowkey and flat, but it sounds clean and there are no obvious drops, pops, or cracks.

6/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Criterion’s Blu-ray edition ports all of the features over from the DVD, presenting them all on the second disc with the theatrical version (the television version takes up all of the first disc). You first get the same 15-minute interview with Ingmar Bergman recorded a few years after Scenes from a Marriage first aired on television. The director talks about the miniseries from idea to screen, and then its impact. This is then followed by a 25-minute conversation with stars Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson. Here the two talk about the show, but mostly concentrate on talking about each other and their work together, not limited to this film. And then finally Peter Cowie talks about the two versions. Most of the differences are obvious if you've seen both but he does compare some subtle little things that I did otherwise miss, even during this go with it. He also looks at the editing and pacing of each version, noting how Bergman was aware that audiences would react differently when watching it over multiple nights on television or trapped in a theater for a few hours.

The insert then again features an essay by Philip Lopate. Interestingly he prefers the television version but also thinks the theatrical version does have its own benefits, and thinks the film/series is one of Bergman’s sunniest and most hopeful “constructions”.

For what is a rather big title I was always surprised how little material there actually is here, though admittedly, after going almost 8 hours to watch both versions I wasn’t rushing for more content.

6/10

CLOSING

This new edition offers a noticeable upgrade over the DVD but the improvements are not as substantial as I would have hoped.


View packaging for this Blu-ray

Share: 



Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca