412 Sawdust and Tinsel

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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Tommaso
Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 10:09 am

#26 Post by Tommaso » Fri Dec 21, 2007 5:53 am

sevenarts wrote: This film may be about characters who are involved in theatrical pursuits, but much of the film strikes me as realist in its basic techniques.
I guess that my irritation stemmed from your calling much of the film neorealist, which for me is a very special 'philosophy' of realism going along with all those tenets about location shooting, amateur actors, low-class life, social problems etc. and special prescriptions of DOs and DON'Ts by Zavattini on top of it. In a more general sense, the film of course is 'realist', but realism is such a broad and largely undefinable term that you can use it to describe almost anything. I'd call "Summer with Monica" neo-realist perhaps.
sevenarts wrote: Bergman was always interested in the theater, and this film is no exception, but in this case a lot of the film looks at the realm of the theater from a realist perspective. The great bulk of the film is very much down to earth, grounded in the everyday realities of these characters, who happened to be involved in the circus and the theater.
Sure, but think of that extraordinary sequence when Grönberg and Andersson first walk down the town streets in order to go to the theatre, and in which they both consciously put on a theatrical mask of respectability, with Harriet swaggering her ass et al. On one level this is realistic (these are normal people behaving theatrically to achieve a certain goal), on the other hand the sequence makes clear that there is always theatre, in the sense of people always putting on 'performances'. When Grönberg goes to meet his ex-wife, Andersson also performs a 'theatrical act' to make him stay with her. This of course happens in real life all the time, but it is still a 'performance'. My whole idea is that Bergman in this film highlights such moments consciously, with the dream sequence preparing us for this inseparability of acting and life, and of life and dream. The film for me is less concerned with telling a story, but is in a way a meditation on the relation between these three things: life, theatre and dream(s). And as such, it works perfectly for me. This also explains the long monologues and speeches, with Bergman addressing the subject from various angles and viewpoints over and over again.
sevenarts wrote:I definitely wouldn't argue too strenuously with anyone who likes the film, though. It's not bad by any means, and there's a lot that I did like in it, although the whole was somewhat less than the sum of its parts for me.
Yes, let's be happy to disagree :-)
I only hope that nobody will be discouraged to buy the disc, as I'm still worried about the relative silence here. When "Sawdust" was first announced (by Tartan) I had the feeling that many people here and elsewhere were eagerly waiting for it, and that the film had quite a reputation as an early masterpiece that however only a handful of people ever had the chance to see before. And now the CC release seems to have passed almost unnoticed, while I was expecting - given the number of Bergmanites here - "Sawdust" to be one of the strongest contenders for CC disc of the year. But it seems to be otherwise.

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mfunk9786
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#27 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Sep 17, 2008 11:19 am

Aside from this film having one of my favorite titles of all time, I finally got around to watching it, and found it to be a great little picture. Definitely unsettling right off the bat, but a minor classic in my eyes.

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HerrSchreck
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:46 am

#28 Post by HerrSchreck » Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:08 pm

I was a little underwhelmed by this title-- I thought the photography absolutely breathtaking (actually reminded me of Tarkovsky a bit here & there, particularly Ivan's Childhood), and found the music verging on sublime at times, but I felt the sum total lacked a sense of unity and cohesion. I'm not entirely sure why, but the thing just couldn't pull me into it's universe in the way Bergman's films usually do. I don't know whether or not it has something to do with the fact that all of the protagonists are soiled, and therefore, with no conventional sympathetic route into the narrative, I felt stranded. I'd hate to think that'd be a reason, since I love nasty, black films with fully guilty characters-- typically this is not a problem for me.

I think perhaps the problem is one of style. I think Bergman's bitterness lacks the art and insight of his later masterpieces.

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ccfixx
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Re: 412 Sawdust and Tinsel

#29 Post by ccfixx » Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:19 pm

After recently watching this film, I was wondering if anyone more familiar with the stage and Bergman could tell me the origin of the piece that Frans is speaking at the rehearsal when Anne shows up after she and Albert quarrel over him going to see his wife and children. Was this an original piece written by Bergman for the film, or is it from another stage play that I'm just unaware of at this time?
In truth I am but a poor jester in this farce of dark shadows. Her deceitful heart, her frailty, even her taunting indifference, turn my world upside down every day and every hour. I ask myself, "Art thou Count Badrincourt of Chamballe, or the most miserable of wretches?" Therefore, dagger, leap from thy hiding place and find a place where thou canst slake thy thirst. How gladly I greet thee, sweet mistress, and press thee to my breast. Let us celebrate our night of love here in this quiet part, where first my cruel goddess did grant me her favor. [stabs himself with dagger] Farewell, O world. Farewell, my sovereign lady. May thy tears water my poor grave. I die...
Thanks,
CC

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ambrose
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Re: 412 Sawdust and Tinsel

#30 Post by ambrose » Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:15 pm

ccfixx wrote:I was wondering if anyone more familiar with the stage and Bergman could tell me the origin of the piece that Frans is speaking at the rehearsal when Anne shows up after she and Albert quarrel over him going to see his wife and children. Was this an original piece written by Bergman for the film, or is it from another stage play that I'm just unaware of at this time?
It could be an extract from To Damascus. Also known as The road To Damascus.

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Lemmy Caution
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Sawdust and Tinsel

#31 Post by Lemmy Caution » Thu Aug 04, 2016 2:01 am

I finally watched this, not knowing anything about it or when it was made.
Interesting film. Some really fine set pieces.

Plenty of the tight close-ups on faces, especially unusual faces, reminded me strongly of later Fellini.
I was a little surprised how much all of the characters betray and humiliate each other.
At times the script is a little too on-the-nose in relaying the themes (the theater production is entitled The Betrayal; the fight in the circus ring boldly underscores the blending of private and theatrical lives throughout the film). But credit to Bergman, it still works really well.

I have a few minor questions:
1) Why did the clown's wife cavort with the soldiers?
For the small money they gave? Out of boredom? Or because she was sort of tarty anyway? Some combo thereof?

2) Why did Albert shoot the bear?
Just lashing out at the most defenseless, in another show of Albert's impotence?
And just what did the bear represent anyway?

3) Hasse Ekman, who plays the foppish Frans, had a long career as a director.
Which of his films would people recommend?

mteller
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Re: Sawdust and Tinsel

#32 Post by mteller » Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:15 am

Lemmy Caution wrote:3) Hasse Ekman, who plays the foppish Frans, had a long career as a director.
Which of his films would people recommend?
So far I've only seen Girl With Hyacinths, but I strongly recommend it. Superb noir-ish work with great performances, cinematography and score.

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Rayon Vert
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Re: Sawdust and Tinsel

#33 Post by Rayon Vert » Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:38 am

Lemmy Caution wrote:I was a little surprised how much all of the characters betray and humiliate each other.
It's definitely up front and center in Sawdust, but humiliation is a theme that runs throughout Bergman's films. A book I found really insightful and helpful to fully appreciate Bergman's moral and metaphysical concerns and their arc in his narratives is Jesse Kalin's The FIlms of Ingmar Bergman, where he lays out the role of shame and humiliation in a 6-part "geography of the soul".

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Lachino
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Re: Sawdust and Tinsel

#34 Post by Lachino » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:24 am

Lemmy Caution wrote:

2) Why did Albert shoot the bear?
Just lashing out at the most defenseless, in another show of Albert's impotence?
And just what did the bear represent anyway?
It's been a few years but I take the bear in its cage to pretty straightforwardly represent that frustrated masculinity Albert is made to feel in himself through the course of the film. Shooting the bear is both the one act he accomplishes in the film and a kind of displaced suicide. It wouldn't be Bergman if emotions didn't bend inwards I suppose, but Albert's sufferings seems legitimate and in terms of narrative closure I think it works well. I want to see it again though, I have a lot of fondness for these early "minor" Bergman films.

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Lemmy Caution
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Dorothy

#35 Post by Lemmy Caution » Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:54 am

I was somewhat surprised when late in the film the clown's wife referred to the bear as "Dorothy" -- at least in the English translation. I meant to go back and listen to the Swedish, but forgot. It was a moment that made the bear seem gentle and vulnerable, and to some extent one of the troupe ...

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swo17
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Re: 412 Sawdust and Tinsel

#36 Post by swo17 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:35 pm


Rupert Pupkin
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Re: 412 Sawdust and Tinsel

#37 Post by Rupert Pupkin » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:24 am

I'm trying to find out if the stand-alone/single Blu-Ray "Sawdust And Tinsel" is the exact same transfer/restoration than the Bergman Criterion book set... :-k

Since it's not the case with all the Blu-Ray single releases ("Autumn Sonata or "Cries And Whispers")...

is it the same restoration/transfer like the single release "The Virgin Spring" ?

thanks in advance for this clarification. I've checked blu-ray.com review or dvdbeaver but it's not clearly said.

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tenia
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Re: 412 Sawdust and Tinsel

#38 Post by tenia » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:34 am

It is the same restoration.
The encode is not the same (average video bitrae is 35 842 kbps for the solo release vs 34 044 kbps for the boxset version), but I doubt there is any visible difference. Extras are the same too. The menu is obviously different.

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andyli
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:46 pm

Re: 412 Sawdust and Tinsel

#39 Post by andyli » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:37 am

Since it's released AFTER the box set, it will certainly use the newer transfer. A different encode is possible since it will not share disc space with a second feature.

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