More of a son's fond tribute than a documentary
M. Bromberg | Atlanta, GA United States | 04/11/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I found this to be a loving but oddly incomplete biography of Sven Nyquist by his son, Carl-Gustav (Erland Josephson is the film's narrator). It's a shame that the great cinematographer has been silenced by his aphasia; the parade of on-camera interviews must serve as a substitute for what Nyquist cannot say for himself, and they are a great testament to the influence of his talent on several generations of actors and directors. This short film (75 minutes) is filled with many family photos and rare on-set stills. There are also clips from a haphazard array of films, strangely uncredited, and it is left a great deal on the interviews (Bergman, Ullman, Polanski and many others) to discuss his technique and the effect of light on Mr. Nyquist's work. This is obviously a son's tribute to his father, and enjoyable, but anyone looking for more film-by-film analysis should look elsewhere."
A window on one of the greatest cinematographers ever
Tom Sanders | Lansing, Mi United States | 04/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great documentary on one of the great visionaries of 20th Century cinema. Highly recommended. If you like it, don't miss the short documentary "The World of Kazuo Miyagawa" which is included on the wonderful Criterion DVD of Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon. They are both nearly required viewing for students and serious fans of cinema."
With one eye he cries
Patrik Lemberg | Tammisaari Finland | 11/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This documentary is beautiful and informative on many levels. It should entertain anyone with an interest in (fan or admirer of) Sven Nykvist, Ingmar Bergman and their movies. Nykvist's life is covered both personally and professionally; many famous directors and actors with whom Nykvist has worked [Ingmar Bergman, Liv Ullmann, Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts to name only a few] talk about his craft, while childhood friends discuss Sven's youth and family. The documentary, directed by Sven Nykvist's son Carl-Gustaf, is partly narrated by Erland Josephson, and I cannot suggest how it could have been made better, but just as in the case of Kino's DVD edition of "The Sacrifice," (which at the time of my buying it was the only available edition of the movie) "Light Keeps Me Company" has NON-OPTIONAL subtitles. They're glued on. When I try to shut them off, my DVD player informs me that they already are off. I find this disturbing as FRF's is the only available DVD edition of this documentary, and as my mother tongue is Swedish, which here is mainly the spoken language. Either way I never watch movies (Swedish or English) with subtitles; aside from their blocking out part of the picture, the translation is often, as in this case, clumsy, partly misleading, even incorrect, contains type-o's, and not always there when it should.
The full filmography of Sven Nykvist (117 films between 1943 and 1999) is a useful extra, but I don't think the trailer for the totally unrelated "Live Nude Girls" is necessary on this disc.
However, the DVD edition aside, this is a rich and wonderful documentary (which alone, I would give full points,) and I will recommend it to people who work within--or are interested in--any aspect of filmmaking."