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Searching For Ingmar Bergman Blu-ray Review

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“Searching For Ingmar Bergman” sheds light on the famed Swedish director.

Directed by and told from the POV of German director Margarethe von Trotta (best known for “The German Sisters”), “Searching For Ingmar Bergman” is a documentary that examines the life and work of acclaimed filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. Comprised of film clips, archival interviews with Bergman himself, and newly shot interviews with the likes of Liv Ullmann, Stig Bjorkman, Ingmar Bergman Jr., Gaby Dohm, Rita Russek, Mia Hanson-Love and many others, the documentary explores who Bergman was as a person and an artist. Among the subjects explored here include Bergman’s childhood, his own cinematic influences, the personal nature of his work, his family, the story of how he left Sweden and went to Munich, his love of music, and the strong female characters in his films. The film also explores Margarethe von Trotta’s personal connections with Bergman in terms of when she met him, how his work impacted her, and how her own work was admired by Bergman.

After the release of the Criterion Collection box set of Ingmar Bergman’s work, there has certainly been a renewed interest in the filmmaker. Now, there’s a new documentary about one of cinema’s most treasured directors that will certainly appeal to Bergman enthusiasts and those interested in learning about the life of an artist.

Over the course of the film, Margarethe von Trotta dives deep into the various personas (pun intended) of Ingmar Bergman as an artist, a father, and a husband. In fact, the exploration of his family is arguably the most revealing part of the entire film. The brutally honest interview with Ingmar’s son Daniel in particular really shows Ingmar’s struggle to separate his life as an artist and a father. Truth be told, I wish the family dynamic section was expanded upon as it was the clear highlight.

Other topics of interest here included stories from various sets, his stage work, and how Ingmar made films as “cinematic therapy” which really explains a lot given the weighty themes and subject matters of his films.

On the downside, the structure of the documentary is a bit flimsy. The idea to give it a more personal spin by Margarethe von Trotta feels underdeveloped as does the seemingly random series of interviews. One can argue that it jumps around from subject to subject in an almost disorderly fashion and they wouldn’t be out of line. Still, these flaws don’t detract from what is an enlightening look at Bergman.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? From the newly shot interviews to the film clips, this is a crisp hi-def transfer.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A perfectly adequate audio track for a documentary.

Extras:
* Trailers for “Searching For Ingmar Bergman” and other Oscilloscope titles.
* A 19 minute interview with director Margarethe von Trotta who talks about cinema, “Searching For Ingmar Bergman,” her own work, etc.
* A 41 minute panel discussion moderated by Ehsan Khroshbakht with Margarethe von Trotta, Felix Moeller, and Jan Holmberg. Topics include sections from the film, Bergman himself, filming “Searching For Ingmar Bergman,” and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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August 9, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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