Bergman’s ‘The Seventh Seal’ is Coming to Criterion Blu-ray and Two-Disc DVD

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 Nyreröd, 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 Bergman’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 André. 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.

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