The Touch (1971)

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rapta
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The Touch (1971)

#1 Post by rapta » Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:35 pm

Ingmar Bergman's The Touch coming to BFI Video in a Dual Format Edition on April 23rd 2018. [source]

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JSC
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Re: The Touch (1971)

#2 Post by JSC » Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:26 pm

This is pretty amazing as I think the film is underrated (despite some poor
dubbing in the opening scenes). I'll be curious to know if it's going to be
the all-English version, or the 16mm print that has circulated with both
Swedish and English on the soundtrack.

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knives
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Re: The Touch (1971)

#3 Post by knives » Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:32 pm

It would be nice to have both versions. Is there some restoration that's gone on recently?

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Re: The Touch (1971)

#4 Post by domino harvey » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:35 pm

This is not a good movie, but it's about time someone put it out

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Re: The Touch (1971)

#5 Post by Berzeli » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:14 am

knives wrote:It would be nice to have both versions. Is there some restoration that's gone on recently?
The Swedish Film Institute is restoring everything Bergman did for the centenary, according to the listing for The Touch on their list of digitally available titles it looks like it's the dual language version.

Also, it seems that Nattvardsgästerna (Winter Light) finally got restored, it just got added to the list as well.

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Re: The Touch (1971)

#6 Post by JSC » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:50 am

Specs
The Touch (DVD + Blu-ray)
Directed by Ingmar Bergman

Unavailable for decades, the BFI are proud to present Ingmar Bergman's The Touch for the first time on Blu-ray worldwide.

Karin (Bibi Andersson), a happily married mother of two, surprises herself by responding in-kind to an unforeseen profession of love from David (Elliott Gould), an archaeologist visiting Sweden, whom her doctor husband (Max von Sydow) has befriended. But love, however toxically exhilarating, is seldom simple, and deceit and David's volatile temperament take their toll.

The Touch marked the first time Bergman worked with an established Hollywood star (Gould). Originally released in a fully English language version, this presentation of The Torch is a new 2K restoration by the Swedish Film Institute from the original negatives of Bergman's preferred Swedish/English cut.

Special features

Presented in High Definition and Standard Definition
More extras TBC
Fully illustrated booklet with new writing on the film and full film credits

1971 | colour | 113 minutes | 1 x BD50, Region B | 1 x DVD9, Region 2 | Cert 15
Having only seen the English-language version, I hope the Swedish / English version rectifies
the atrocious dubbing in the opening scene.

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Re: The Touch (1971)

#7 Post by ermylaw » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:36 am

This is one of only a couple Bergman films I've not seen, so an exciting announcement for me!

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Re: The Touch (1971)

#8 Post by rapta » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:30 am

I wonder if Indicator would be interested in teaming up with BFI to interview Gould, and splitting the interview in two - half for Indicator's Little Murders and the other half for BFI's The Touch? Would be a wise step I reckon, if he's difficult to get hold of (or it may be costly to fly someone out to interview him).

Indicator actually did mention a Gould interview in the specs on the Amazon listing, but have since removed it, so maybe there's some doubt over whether they can actually get to sit down with him or not.

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Re: The Touch (1971)

#9 Post by MichaelB » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:17 am

Full specs announced:
The Touch
Directed by Ingmar Bergman
Starring Elliott Gould, Bibi Andersson and Max von Sydow, with Sheila Reid


Dual Format Edition release on 23 April 2018

The BFI is proud to present Ingmar Bergman’s The Touch for the first time on Blu-ray and DVD worldwide.

Bergman’s first film made with an established Hollywood star was originally an entirely English-language release. This presentation of the film, restored by the Swedish Film Institute from the original negative, is of Bergman’s preferred Swedish-English version. It will be released on 23 April 2018 in a Dual Format Edition, alongside the BFI’s release of Bergman’s The Magic Flute. Extras include new interviews with actors Liv Ullmann and Sheila Reid.

Happily married mother Karin (Bibi Andersson, Persona) surprises herself by responding in kind to a sudden profession of love from David (Elliott Gould, M.A.S.H), an archaeologist visiting Sweden, whom her doctor husband (Max von Sydow) has befriended. But however exhilarating, love is seldom simple and deceit – and David’s volatile temperament – take their toll.

Special features
• Presented in High Definition and Standard Definition;
Ingmar Bergman (1971, 53 mins): on-set documentary on the making of The Touch;
In Conversation with Liv Ullmann (2018, 72 mins): the actress interviewed on stage by Geoff Andrew at BFI Southbank;
Sheila Reid: The Touch (2018, 21 mins): the only British actress to appear in a Bergman film recalls working on The Touch in an exclusive interview for this release;
• Illustrated booklet with writing by Geoff Andrew and Vic Pratt, and full film credits.

Product details
RRP: £19.99/ Cat. no. BFIB1300 / Cert 15
Sweden, USA / 1971 / colour / 113 mins / English and Swedish language, with English subtitles / original aspect ratio 1.85:1 / BD50: 1080p, 24fps, PCM 1.0 mono audio (48kHz/24-bit) / DVD9: PAL, 25fps, Dolby Digital 1.0 mono audio (320kbps)

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Re: The Touch (1971)

#10 Post by JSC » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:11 am

Despite this film's general reputation I'm really excited about this. I've only
been able to see the English language version on an ancient VHS. Plus, I
think this is the only major Bergman theatrical film other than This Can't
Happen Here
which has not seen a proper release.

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Re: The Touch (1971)

#11 Post by charal » Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:56 pm

Has anyone actually seen the Swedish version? What I’m curious to know is whether the scenes between Von Sydow and Andersson were filmed in both English and Swedish: one for the US/UK market and the other for Europe. If so, then the absurd notion of a Swedish married couple speaking in English to each other (which the actors obviously do in the versions I have seen) will be rectified.

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Re: The Touch (1971)

#12 Post by Scott Nye » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:18 am

I saw the Swedish/English version last fall, and yeah, all the scenes involving exclusively Swedish actors were done in Swedish.

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Re: The Touch (1971)

#13 Post by charal » Sat May 05, 2018 10:32 pm

Interesting to see a scene deleted from the all-English version in this Swedish cut. It comes about half-way in the film, between the nude scene with Von Sydow and Andersson and the farewell scene outside the church. In this ‘deleted’ scene Andersson reads a poem out to Gould.

The opening credits are from the English version which seems strange since this BFI version is the official Swedish release.

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Re: The Touch (1971)

#14 Post by JSC » Wed May 16, 2018 11:32 am

Watched this yesterday and was very impressed. The dual-language soundtrack
really improves the experience. Also interesting to see this film in the context of
his previous three films: a change of pace after the experimentation of Hour of the Wolf,
Shame, and The Passion of Anna.

Acting, cinematography, and direction are all first rate, but the film's flaws seem to reside
in the mechanics of the story. The opening scene (which I found touching) does not
have much dramatic resonance with the rest of the story. Also Elliot Gould's sudden
appearance after meeting Bibi Andersson at the hospital seems somewhat contrived.
This could also be said for some other plot points.

These things aside, I still recommend it.

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Re: The Touch (1971)

#15 Post by domino harvey » Sat May 26, 2018 10:21 pm

Revisiting this did not yield a new appreciation from me, as this remains one of Bergman's absolute worst films, even with an extra fifteen minutes or so added in from the previously circulating copy. There are many, many problems here, but chief among them has to be Gould's perf-- no actor in anything Bergman ever did gave a worse performance than this, though Bergman shoulders some of this blame by letting him get away with it / possibly directing him to do what he does here. No one comes out of this all that well save von Sydow, but his character is so inert and uninteresting in his passivity that it hardly matters (and haven't we already seen von Sydow play this same role in Through a Glass, Darkly?). The handheld camera work is a mess, the music lousy (that reoccurring "morning" theme is the stuff of elevator nightmares), and the script weak bordering on inept. At least now the BFI has enabled everyone without access to back channels to (re)discover this is as bad as its reputation holds.

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Re: The Touch (1971)

#16 Post by charal » Sun May 27, 2018 12:14 am

Harsh criticism but justified. I don't dislike the film but I find it hard to place on a level with Bergman's usual works which are generally excellent. Gould's character does come across as being rather immature and at times annoying but he exists within the context of the overall screenplay which is at the root of the film's overall problem. A problem of credibilty within the context of an intended (?) naturalistic story of infidelity. So what is missing here? Why is this not 'good' Bergman? Is it the lack of symbolism or dream sequences? Is it the American angle? Is Bergman taking himself to seriously? Even a flawed film like FACE TO FACE is more acceptable despite being a parody of a Bergman film (oddly enough by Bergman himself). Is THE TOUCH better than SERPENT'S EGG? THE TOUCH is the first Bergman film I saw so I have a soft spot for it. Compared to SHAME or SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE it pales considerably.

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Re: The Touch (1971)

#17 Post by domino harvey » Sun May 27, 2018 12:56 am

I think it's missing a sense of causality in the opening scenes-- zero chemistry or other reasonable impetuses for Bibi Andersson and Gould to even start their affair. Awkward editing that disorients in a distracting fashion. Laughable choices like Gould screaming in German when raping Andersson followed later in the film by a heartfelt discussion of the Holocaust-- like, holy shit. Gould's character is just repulsive and juvenile and that could still potentially work in a different film but not in congress with everything else here.

I haven't revisited Serpent's Egg recently enough to trust my memory on it being the worst Bergman film (which I believed for years up until supplanting it with All These Women after revisiting last year-- and now this movie may be neck and neck with that one)

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Re: The Touch (1971)

#18 Post by dda1996a » Sun May 27, 2018 11:12 am

I still haven't seen that many Bergmans, and while I liked most of what I've seen (and still have problems when he goes for psycho-sexual self-hating and mutilation like in the back half of Scenes from a Marriage and Cries and Whispers) I found Serpent's Egg an interesting mess. I would definitely not consider it on part with his best (even considering the few I've seen) it's still interesting film. Rarely feels like a Bergman film but it's milieu and it's post-apocalyptic feel made it an interesting watch for me.

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Re: The Touch (1971)

#19 Post by furbicide » Thu May 31, 2018 9:36 am

*Sigh* I was totally going to buy this, but this thread effectively talked me out of it – mostly because it reminded me of how much I actually disliked the film when I first watched it! I think time + scarcity was starting to give it a rose-coloured sheen. Thanks for smashing my illusions, Domino. :P

(It’s still not quite as bad as This Can’t Happen Here or A Ship for India, though, I wager!)

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