Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Saga of Gosta Berling|
Actors: Lars Hanson, Sven Scholander, Ellen Hartman-Cederström, Mona Mårtenson, Torsten Hammarén
Director: Mauritz Stiller
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Special Interests
Studio: Kino International Release Date: 06/06/2006 Run time: 184 minutes
Attention this is a new major DVD release
Y. Ioannides | Paris, France | 05/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is a shame that amazon has put no further information on this DVD. It is also a pity that we see reviews from customers which actually refer to the previous release (in a short butchered version of the film with no musical score) on VHS. Just to make things clear. This is major new DVD release of a restored version of this wonderful film (184 minutes) accompagnied by a new musical score. The film was restored by the Swedish Film Institute and was presented last September for Garbo's centennial in Stockholm. In addition to the film, there are extras as well including extracts from Garbo's first film "Luffar Peter", the advertisements she did at the Department store PUB in Stockholm, archive films and others. For more information on this DVD edition you can see at the web site of Kino video which is releasing the DVD. In addition to this film they are also releasing more great swedish films of that period including some Stiller films like Erotikon or Sir Arnes treasure. This is certainly a release not to be missed."
Sweden's Great Silent Epic As It Was Meant To Be Seen..
Chip Kaufmann | Asheville, N.C. United States | 06/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THE SAGA OF GOSTA BERLING has been available on VHS for many years but never like this. Previous versions were cut-rate low budget affairs that were missing over half the film's running time and were often presented without any kind of musical accompaniment. European silent films in particular have suffered in the U.S. where, because of the limited appeal and general unavailability of the material, any version was better than no version. While this is true to a certain extent it is also true that a great deal of harm was done as it gave most people the wrong impression of many of these silent classics by making them appear crude and primitive. Over the last decade that misconception is being corrected as quality releases from companies like Kino International and Milestone Films help to rectify the situation. Movies like METROPOLIS and NOSFERATU, to cite two well known titles, can be seen more or less the way they were intended. Such is now the case with GOSTA BERLING which turns out to be a monumental epic on par with films like BIRTH OF A NATION and NAPOLEON.
The storyline, as has been noted before, is like a Swedish version of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Contrary to the way the film is advertised, it is not a vehicle for Greta Garbo. Her part is important and it got her noticed but she is only one of several characters who inhabit this large scale canvas. At 184 minutes GOSTA is very long and at times hard to follow because of the numerous storylines but if you stick with it you'll find yourself inevitably drawn in and the last third of the film is a powerful emotional ride that is almost impossible to turn away from. Bravos to the Swedish Film Institute for the restoration work which is truly remarkable and to Kino International for making this masterwork available the way it was meant to be seen.
Special mention should be made of the outstanding new score by Matti Bye that accompanies the film. It enhances the various moods of the many characters and keeps you drawn to the story as it unfolds. Sweden was one of the major players during the silent era and GOSTA BERLING would mark the zenith of Swedish cinema for nearly 30 years as most of the talent involved with the film would migrate to Hollywood where superstardom awaited Garbo, several good parts awaited Lars Hanson, and the end of his career awaited director Mauritz Stiller who would die in 1928 after returning to Sweden. This is part of a three film tribute along with SIR ARNE'S TREASURE and the romantic comedy EROTIKON devoted to the great but forgotten Swedish director. It's a must have for any silent film aficionado or for anyone who loves an epic romance. Think of it as a silent film treatment of GONE WITH THE WIND or DOCTOR ZHIVAGO."
BUYERS BEWARE: Note the Lack of Info Provided!
Savvy Kaye | WeHo, CA: near GG's various CA prior homes! | 09/12/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"An avid fan of GG, I was disappointed in discovering I would need to provide my own background music for the viewing of this picture. This lack of sound was not mentioned by Amazon. A silent silent is a bit too silent! I would have preferred some sort of archival recording attached, ideally one that was used for any historical screening of the film (the older the recording of the eldest screening, the better!)Also, as a die-hard collector, I was disappointed that Amazon did not include the length of play time for this picture. A necessary bit of information if more than one version of releases exist! And in this case, there are many historically significant versions!!! (Unfortunately for this collector, this version is not the director's cut!)Thirdly, for lack of another star, the original subtitles for this version often need more modern subtitles to explain the dialogue/story. Either some are overexposed or not well contrasted and most are illegible!Instead of giving this review the lowest possible (which apparently is not available anyway!), I give it one FULL star to Amazon for even having ANY copy of such film available for purchase, and one full star for artistic and historical significance: both the grandiose vision of "Moje"'s direction (however, unfortunately an extremely choppy version to his original epic-length version) and then most especially for GG's acting work - the recording of this film goddess' prepubescent acting is worth viewing, regardless of any technical conditions or mishaps.Cheers for reading this! I hope this review was helpful for you.Happy Collecting, SK"
Introducing Greta Garbo...
D. James | Melbourne, Australia | 04/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Here's the film that introduced the most successful female star in cinematic history to the world and began the remarkable yet short-lived Svengali-like professional relationship between Garbo and Mauritz Stiller ('Moje' to Greta).
At over three hours long (!), it is an early Swedish silent equivalent of Pride and Prejudice, very much a costume melodrama of the Expressionist era.
Some might say it was an overly ambitious effort on Stiller's part in that he attempted to tell too much of a story in the already epic three hours of footage used; however fans of silent cinema and of the inimitable Garbo will find this one well worth the journey.
Print quality for this release is naturally outstanding (considering its age) after Svenskfilmindustri's restoration job.
Of exceptional interest to Garbo fans are some of the extra features included on the disc. The rare and compelling footage of Greta dining on the rooftop restaurant of the PUB Department Store in Stockholm (where she worked selling hats) for a promotional film, of Garbo and several other young actresses taking tea in a garden (from some or other short film of the day) and also of the lady leaving Sweden on her return to the states after her first holiday back there.
All in all this release is an absolute gem."