Everlasting Moments (2008)

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Released 1-Dec-2010

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Filmographies-Crew-Troell's Magic Mirror
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2008
Running Time 112:00 (Case: 131)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jan Troell
Studio
Distributor
Icon Entertainment Starring Maria Heiskanen
Mikael Persbrandt
Jesper Christensen
Callin Öhrvall
Nellie Almgren
Birte Heribertsson
Ghita Nørby
Amanda Ooms
Emil Jensen
Case ?
RPI $34.95 Music Matti Bye


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Swedish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     There is a moment early in Swedish Director Jan Troell’s Everlasting Moments that makes it blindingly clear that Maria Larsson has a photographers eye. Walking back from tossing the chamber pot contents into an outdoor drain (the film is set at the turn of the last century) she sees icicles slowly thawing on the edge of the gutters. It is a telling moment. Around her there is the drudgery of her existence and the tough working people but for her there are small, profound moments to be observed - you only have to look.

     Everlasting Moments is a 2008 film from septuagenarian Troell. He is the right man for the job. This film, set in the era of radical change beginning before the Great War, needs a director with a toe in the classical era (Troell's first feature was filmed in 1966) and an understanding of life that only comes through long experience. The film is based on the true story of Larsson (expertly played by Maria Heiskanen). A Finn living in Sweden she is already something of an outsider and her home life is tough and draining. She has (at the beginning of the film) 4 children and a husband who likes a drink or two, sometimes three. In fact Sigfrid Larsson (Mikhael Persbrandt) is a rolling drunk, sometimes violently so but the film strays away from presenting him as a one-dimensional character. He is also a loving husband and caring father and, when the shipyards are not on strike, a hard working man. The Larsson’s' are doing it tough and when Maria finds the camera she won in a lottery tucked away in a cupboard her first thought is to take it to a camera shop and pawn it. The shop owner (Jesper Christensen) sees something in Maria that most don't and embarks on a slow process of encouraging her to use the camera to record the life around her. When he sees her photographs he is sure of it - she has "the eye".

     There is another scene that firmly places us not just in an era but in a society. After a drunken episode Maria is struck and slams her face on a door. Determined to leave Sigfrid she takes the family to her father's house only to be told that she made an unbreakable vow "to death do you part" and that her duty is to stand by her man, irrespective of the obvious signs of violence on her face. It is not only chilling in its depiction of the harsh realities of life at the time but also makes her story that much more compelling and inspiring. It is not a "big" drama but it is moving and casts this personal story against a background of social change.

     Everlasting Moments was Sweden’s submission to the 2009 Academy Awards. It failed to make the final cut of nominees but it did secure a Golden Globe nomination and a host of Swedish film awards. It belongs to the great tradition of Scandinavian cinema and anyone who loves their Bergman will find that this film provides great rewards. Purchasers of this Region 4 release should be warned that the film on this DVD is the Australian theatrical cut which is over 20 minutes shorter than the international cut. As detailed below fans of the film who want to experience the longer version will have to buy it offshore. Not having seen it I cannot comment on the omissions. In defence of the shorter version, however, I have noted that reviews of the longer release occasionally complain that the film is a little too padded. Perhaps the film works better in its shorter format but it would have been nice to have seamless branching or both versions on a double DVD.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Everlasting Moments was shot on film and presented at the cinema at a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. That ratio has been preserved or the DVD release. It is 16x9 enhanced. The film has a beautiful look. Jointly shot by the director and cinematographer Mischa Gavrjusjov, it is as close to photographic as possible with a sepia tone throughout. The image has deliberate grain. The colours are cool toned though stable and the flesh tones are accurately rendered.

     The composition is beautiful. Take the scene where Maria and family have to step aside for a moving tram. The night, snow, lights from the headlights and glow from inside the tram combine to form a series of beautiful images, each one of which could be hung on the wall. It is not intended to be the sharpest of images though. The DVD transfer reflects the look of the film at the cinema.

     There are subtitles which are clear and easy to read.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The sound for Everlasting Moments is Swedish Dolby Digital 5.1 running at 448Kb/s. Although most of the film is dialogue centred there are some scenes such as the crowd scenes where the ambient noise benefits from the surround sound. Otherwise the dialogue seems clear and the audio sync is fine.

     The original score is by Matti Bye. It is a sensitive and moving accompaniment.

     There are no technical problems with the sound.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     There is one lengthy extra with this DVD:

Troell´s Magic Mirror

     This lengthy feature allows director Jan Troell to describe moments from his long career including the time spent in America. Not surprisingly he speaks with loving reverence for the camera and the important role it has for him as a director interested in the mood and aesthetic of the image as much as (perhaps more so) than the actors.

Theatrical Trailer

     Just what it says on the box.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The film is available in Region 1 as part of the Criterion Collection and, as usual, it is to this that true fans of the film should turn. It is also on Blu-ray as part of the Criterion Collection. The Criterion DVD Blu-ray contains two extra short featurettes.

     There is also a Dutch DVD version.

Summary

     Everlasting Moments is a stately drama that looks and feels like it was made by a man with one foot in the past and another in the present. It is a small but moving drama and deserves a place in the collection of any drama lover. Take your choice as to whether you want the full version or the stripped down release.

     The DVD release looks and sounds wonderful - very stylized in its tones - but fully consistent with the director’s vision.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Friday, December 17, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDCambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output
DisplaySony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer SC-LX 81 7.1
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 7.1

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