After posting my weekly This Week on DVD and Blu-ray article I got to thinking it had been a while since I added a new title from Criterion to the database with Kurosawa’s Ran (5/12) being the most recent Blu-ray added to the release calender. Typically I get a press release announcing all the new Criterion titles once a month, but I have noticed they get added to the Criterion website a day or two in advance so I took a trip on over and lo-and-behold there was a surprise in store for me.
On June 16 Criterion will be releasing a brand new 2-Disc DVD and Blu-ray edition of Ingmar Bergman’s classic The Seventh Seal, a film I absolutely love and while I own it as part of my Janus collection, those discs don’t come with any special features.
I have seen the original Criterion Seventh Seal release, but it didn’t have nearly the number of features the new release comes with. As a matter of fact the only feature on the previous release, if I remember correctly, was the commentary by Peter Cowie, which is good, but just look at what else is coming!
- New, restored high-definition digital transfer (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
- Introduction by Ingmar Bergman, recorded in 2003
- Audio commentary by Bergman expert Peter Cowie
- A new afterword to the commentary by Cowie
- Bergman Island (2006), an 83-minute documentary on Bergman by Marie NyrerÃ¶d, featuring in-depth and revealing interviews vwith the director
- Archival audio interview with Max von Sydow
- A 1998 tribute to Bergman by filmmaker Woody Allen
- Theatrical trailer
- Bergman 101, a selected video filmography tracing Bergmanâ€™s career, narrated by Cowie
- Optional English-dubbed soundtrack
- New and improved English subtitle translation
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Gary Giddins
On top of this they have also announced a two-disc edition of Last Year at Marienbad from Alain Resnais for release on June 23 and Louis Malle’s My Dinner with AndrÃ©. You will also be able to buy Bergman Island separately if you choose not to buy The Seventh Seal, but if you did that you would be insane, this is a film to own, especially with everything mentioned above.
Add this to the upcoming Blu-ray releases of Ran and Wages of Fear and you have three must own Criterion Blu-ray releases coming in the next three months, not to mention my upcoming reviews of The Last Metro and The 400 Blows from Francois Truffaut.