766 Here Is Your Life

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
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766 Here Is Your Life

#1 Post by swo17 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:59 pm

Here Is Your Life

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This mesmerizing debut by the great Swedish director Jan Troell (The Emigrants, The New Land) is an epic bildungsroman and a multilayered representation of early twentieth-century Sweden. Based on a series of semi-autobiographical novels by Nobel Prize winner Eyvind Johnson, Here Is Your Life follows a working-class boy's development, from naive teenager to intellectually curious young adult, from logger to movie projectionist to politically engaged man of the people—all set against the backdrop of a slowly industrializing rural landscape. With its mix of modernist visual ingenuity and elegantly structured storytelling, this enchanting film—presented here in its original nearly three-hour cut—is a reminder that Troell is one of European cinema's greatest and most sensitive illuminators of the human condition.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION:

• New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New introduction by filmmaker Mike Leigh
• New conversation between director Jan Troell and film historian Peter Cowie
• New interviews with actor Eddie Axberg and producer and screenwriter Bengt Forslund
Interlude in Marshland, a 1965 short film by Troell, starring Max von Sydow
• New English subtitle translation
• PLUS: An essay by film scholar Mark Le Fanu

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Cronenfly
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:04 pm

Re: 766 Here Is Your Life

#2 Post by Cronenfly » Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:02 pm

Had never heard about this film until the newsletter clue speculation; is this in the same ballpark as Emigrants/New Land in terms of quality? Haven't seen anything by Troell, but this seems to be one of the more exciting, or at least unexpected, releases so far this year.

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Lemmy Caution
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Re: 766 Here Is Your Life

#3 Post by Lemmy Caution » Thu Apr 16, 2015 1:54 am

Great.
I've only seen Everlasting Moments which made me want to see some early Troell.

JabbaTheSlut
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Re: 766 Here Is Your Life

#4 Post by JabbaTheSlut » Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:17 am

Cronenfly wrote:Had never heard about this film until the newsletter clue speculation; is this in the same ballpark as Emigrants/New Land in terms of quality? Haven't seen anything by Troell, but this seems to be one of the more exciting, or at least unexpected, releases so far this year.
Regarded as one of best Swedish films of all time. IMHO a masterpiece. Lyrical, humanistic cinema. Amazing performances and cinematography.

WATP
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Re: 766 Here Is Your Life

#5 Post by WATP » Sat Apr 18, 2015 12:48 pm

Hope if this is successful Criterion will get round to releasing the Immigrants and the New Land.

Got them on DVD only to find out not an English subtitle to be found.

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Fred Holywell
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:45 pm

Re: 766 Here Is Your Life

#6 Post by Fred Holywell » Wed May 13, 2015 12:39 am

On Turner Classic Movies (TCM), Monday, May 18, 2:15 AM ET.

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Aunt Peg
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Re: 766 Here Is Your Life

#7 Post by Aunt Peg » Wed May 13, 2015 8:41 am

WATP wrote:Hope if this is successful Criterion will get round to releasing the Immigrants and the New Land.

Got them on DVD only to find out not an English subtitle to be found.

I second this, it would be a great time to have The Immigrants & The New World released by criterion along with Raven's End & he Aldion Riots which Olive seems to have dropped the ball on.

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swo17
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Re: 766 Here Is Your Life

#8 Post by swo17 » Wed May 13, 2015 10:56 am

Oh I get it, we're playing telephone. I too can't wait for Criterion to release The Immigrant and New Girl.

mteller
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Re: 766 Here Is Your Life

#9 Post by mteller » Wed May 13, 2015 11:01 am

Criterion is releasing Gone Girl?

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whaleallright
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Re: 766 Here Is Your Life

#10 Post by whaleallright » Wed May 13, 2015 11:45 am

n/a

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Fred Holywell
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:45 pm

Re: 766 Here Is Your Life

#11 Post by Fred Holywell » Mon May 25, 2015 10:20 pm

Finally watched HERE IS YOUR LIFE after having DVR'ed it off of TCM last week. Really enjoyed the film -- more than I expected to as I'm not a huge fan of "The Emigrants" or "The New Land" -- a very poetic coming-of-age story, well-directed by Troell, and especially well-acted by young Eddie Axberg in the lead.

The film's rich depiction of rural Swedish life and the country's early workers' movement was impressive, as were the many cameos from Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Per Oscarsson and others. Troell's widescreen photography on some striking locations in the north was beautiful, and the production design was detailed and convincing. The movie's long at nearly three hours, but I wouldn't have minded it being longer; there's certainly enough story for it.

The first half-hour was, admittedly, a bit slow-going for me, with an extended segment in a logging camp that didn't quite grab. And there was a surreal dream-memory sequence, photographed in color, that I'm not sure I caught the significance of. (It almost seemed to be out of another movie.) But after that the film really moved along at a nice clip. Highly recommended.

(Curiously, the Janus print TCM ran was subtitled "Here's Your Life" rather than "Here Is Your Life." I assume that will be changed on the upcoming Criterion release.)

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Fred Holywell
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Re: 766 Here Is Your Life

#12 Post by Fred Holywell » Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:47 pm

I just came across an article about HERE IS YOUR LIFE on TCM's Movie Morlocks website, "HERE’S YOUR LIFE: Innocence Lost and Found." According to the writer, Jan Troell actually prefers the shorter international version of the movie to the longer one Criterion is issuing -- at least that's what the director claimed at a Telluride Film Festival appearance back in 2008.
The print, provided by the Swedish Film Institute (Svenska Filminstitutet), was the original version shown on Swedish television and not the edited version prepared for international release. Troell said, in his introduction, that he preferred the latter version, but I can’t imagine cutting a single frame of this poetic, totally original coming-of-age drama that now looks like a showcase of who’s who in Swedish cinema circa 1966.
The international version of HIYL opened in the U.S. in 1968 and runs 110 minutes. I'm guessing it's the same cut that played the festival circuit in 1967, winning the best feature film prize at that year's Chicago Film Festival. It would have been nice if Criterion had been able to release this version along with the full-length 169 minute one, especially as it appears to be Troell's preferred cut.

Jakamarak
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Re: 766 Here Is Your Life

#13 Post by Jakamarak » Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:11 pm

I recently DVR'd this on TCM. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it -- and doubly surprised how fast the 2 hours and 45 minutes flew by. Very engaging. Wonderful performances. Beautiful filmmaking (although I wasn't sold on the color sequence.) Unfortunately, the recording ran out before the movie did. Looks like the run time is three or four minutes over the allotted time.

From where it ran out, I cannot imagine how they'll wrap it up in only a few minutes. Guess I have to get this one now.

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Fred Holywell
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Re: 766 Here Is Your Life

#14 Post by Fred Holywell » Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:57 pm

Jakamarak wrote:From where it ran out, I cannot imagine how they'll wrap it up in only a few minutes. Guess I have to get this one now.
Yeah, I understand the TCM showing ran over by a few minutes, something that doesn't happen as much as it used to on the channel, but must have made a lot of viewers angry. Fortunately, I extended the recording time on my DVR in the event that happened, so I can tell you how the movie wrapped up.

(The "spoiler alert" is for those who don't want to know how HERE IS YOUR LIFE ends, though it really shouldn't affect your enjoyment of the film if you do.)
SpoilerShow
The move actually wraps up pretty quickly from the point where the TCM showing cut off:

Olivia, the woman confronting Olof in the projection booth, stops crying, calms down and leaves on her own. Olof then turns to the movie screen and watches a newsreel of the November 1918 Armistice celebrations. There's a brief cutaway to a color sequence of a bird flying. Then Olof goes into the hat shop and selects a fedora.

Next, Olof's in his foster mother's home, preparing to leave for the south. He puts on his new hat and she wraps his scarf around his head to protect him from frostbite. Then Olof's outside in a frigid snowscape, walking on the train tracks. He puts his suitcase down and looks toward the horizon for the train, then lights a pipe.

The camera now pulls back as Olof picks up his bag and resumes walking along the tracks. Then the camera pulls up and back, farther and farther -- above the trees and into the sky -- until Olof is just a small speck in the snowy landscape. Fade to black.

Finally, there's an extended credit sequence with many still-frames from the film and the names of the actors in those scenes.
I agree with you that HIYL is very engaging, though I didn't much care for that main color sequence, either. (See my May 25th post.) IMO, it could have been easily removed without adversely affecting the movie -- and probably was for the international version.
Last edited by Fred Holywell on Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jakamarak
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Re: 766 Here Is Your Life

#15 Post by Jakamarak » Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:40 am

Fred Holywell -

Thanks for your post(s). It seems like a lot is covered in those last few minutes, but that isn't surprising given the film is unusually fast paced.
SpoilerShow
I should have guessed the earlier color sequence would have some sort of payoff in the final moments. It sounds like it doesn't quite justify it, however. And I agree that the film doesn't need it at all. Perhaps something in one of the special features will shed some light on it.

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FrauBlucher
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Re: 766 Here Is Your Life

#16 Post by FrauBlucher » Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:19 pm


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movielocke
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Re: 766 Here Is Your Life

#17 Post by movielocke » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:16 pm

Like Marketa Lazarova or Lonesome, Here is Your Life is a film that immediately made me sit up and say, "How the fuck have I never even heard of this unbelievably great masterpiece?"

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Professor Wagstaff
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Re: 766 Here Is Your Life

#18 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:21 am

I haven't had the chance to watch the copy I bought in the B&N sale, but the fact it inspired yet another contrarian review from Mike D'Angelo made it seem worth checking out.

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knives
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Re: 766 Here Is Your Life

#19 Post by knives » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:34 pm

The von Sydow cameo here is one of the most bizarre yet successful things I've seen of late. Actually that describes the film very well. It makes a lot of young filmmaker mistakes by trying to be too arty when simplicity would work best (I kind of liked the colour sequences but agree the film would be better without them). Yet a lot of that simplicity is there and can be very evocative like when the lead about a half hour in is walking through the empty halls of what I think was a church steeple. It's a very basic scene done in the film's realistic style yet has the strange captivation of Stalker at its most poetically surreal.

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