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Ingmar Bergman: Four Masterworks

Genres: Foreign, Drama, Criterion Collection, Sweden, Foreign Drama, Swedish Cinema, Boxed Sets, 50s

Cast: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Bjornstrand, Ingrid Thulin

Director: Ingmar Bergman

Synopsis: The late Swedish master filmmaker Ingmar Bergman rose to international stardom in the 1950s. Here, together in one box set, are four of his most cherished, unforgettable masterpieces.

SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT (108 minutes): After fifteen films and mostly local acclaim, the 1956 prize-winning comedy Smiles of a Summer Night at last brought an international audience for director Ingmar Bergman. Set in turn-of-the-century Sweden, the film follows four women and four men as they attempt to juggle the laws of attraction amid their daily bourgeois lives. When a weekend in the country brings them all face-to-face, the women ally to force the men's hands in their matters of the heart, exposing their pretensions and insecurities.

THE SEVENTH SEAL (96 minutes): After a decade of battling in the Crusades, a knight challenges Death to a fateful game of chess. More than forty years after its initial release, Bergman's stunning allegory of man's apocalyptic search for meaning remains a textbook on the art of filmmaking and an essential building block in any collection.

WILD STRAWBERRIES (91 minutes): The film that catapulted Bergman to the forefront of world cinema is the director's richest, most humane work. Traveling to receive an honorary degree, Professor Isak Borg (masterfully played by veteran Swedish director Victor Sjostrom), is forced to face his past, come to terms with his faults, and accept the inevitability of his approaching death. Through flashbacks and fantasies, dreams and nightmares, Wild Strawberries captures a startling voyage of self-discovery and renewed belief in mankind.

THE VIRGIN SPRING (89 minutes): Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Bergman's The Virgin Spring is a harrowing tale of faith revenge, and savagery in medieval Sweden. Starring frequent Bergman collaborator and screen icon Max von Sydow, the film is both beautiful and cruel in its depiction of a world teetering between paganism and Christianity, and of one father's need to avenge the death of a child.

Language: Swedish

Country of Origin: Sweden

Production Year: 1955

Awards:

  • 1955: Nominee, Oscar, Best Costume Design, Academy
  • 1955: Nominee, Oscar, Best Screenplay, Academy
  • 1955: Winner, Oscar, Best Foreign Language Film, Academy

Ingmar Bergman: Four Masterworks
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