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My Life as a Dog (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

Anton Glanzelius , Tomas von Bromssen , Lasse Hallstrom    PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 42.99
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Product Description

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Simultaneously elegiac and raw, this uneven--but unforgettable--tearjerker tells the story of Ingemar, a 12-year-old working-class Swedish boy sent to live with his childless aunt and uncle in a country village when his mother falls ill. Beginning with several representations of the most savage, unsentimental domestic intensity imaginable (interplay between a sick parent and loving child has never looked anywhere near as explosive), My Life as a Dog wisely doesn't attempt to maintain that level of danger; rather, the change in locale to rural Sweden is accompanied by a slackening of pace and a whimsical breeziness. Nevertheless, the tragic condition of Ingemar's mother (and later, the indeterminate fate of Sickan, his beloved dog, consigned to a kennel) hovers over the narrative with a gripping portentousness. At times, director Lasse Hallström misplaces the rhythm, and the film threatens to degenerate into a series of rustic vignettes; luckily, Ingemar's relationship with Gunnar, the jocular yet somewhat sinister uncle who essentially adopts him, carries a fascinating charge. In Swedish, with subtitles. This was later rewritten, whether intentionally or not, by Spike Lee, who changed the gender of the child, set the story in New York City, added a 1970s soul soundtrack, and called it Crooklyn. --Miles Bethany

Product Description

My Life as a Dog (Mitt liv som hund) tells the story of Ingemar, a twelve-year-old from a working-class family sent to live with his uncle in a country village when his mother falls ill. There, the boy finds both refuge from his misfortunes and unexpected adventure with the help of the town’s warmhearted eccentrics. Featuring an incredibly mature and unaffected performance from the young Anton Glanzelius, this is a beloved and bittersweet evocation of the struggles and joys of childhood from Oscar-nominated director Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules).

DIRECTOR-APPROVED BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES • High-definition digital transfer, approved by director Lasse Hallström, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack • Shall We Go to My or Your Place or Each Go Home Alone? (1973), a fifty-two-minute film by Hallström • Video interview with Hallström from 2003 • Original theatrical trailer • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Michael Atkinson and an appreciation by the late author Kurt Vonnegut


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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant, beautiful film -- nice DVD too March 14 2003
By NutMac
Format:DVD
I caught My Life as a Dog on PBS many years ago. To those who have not seen this film, it's a bittersweet tear jerker told from a boy's point of view (somewhat similar to Christmas Story), filled with many super funny scenes, dramas, and surprises.
Directory Lasse Hallström has gone to make a number of popular films in Hollywood (Cider House Rules, Chocolat, Shipping News, What's Eating Gilbert Grape), but I think this Swedish precursor is his superior work. His signature beautiful images (by cinematographer Jörgen Persson), filled with quirky yet fully defined supporting characters, and filled with heartwarming scenes.
Criterion's DVD is superior to all previous video presentations, remastered in high definition and presented in widescreen anamorphic video and original mono Swedish sound with faithful English subtitle. The images look a bit grainy, but I think very faithful to director's intention (who has supervised and approved the transfer) and completely satisfying.
The DVD is short of special features (just interview with Hallström, his early short TV feature "Shall With Go to My or Your Place or Each Go Home Alne", and trailer). Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DVD quality is worst I've seen - get the video Aug. 2 1999
By A Customer
Format:DVD
One of my favorite flicks of all time (after seeing it on video), but the DVD quality couldn't be worse! Real poor, amateurish conversion. Desperately needs a redo. Give it to Criterion Collection and let them do it RIGHT!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars excellent movie but extremely poor DVD qualaity! May 29 1999
Format:DVD
Don't get me wrong. I love this movie when I saw it the first time. And I still do.
However, the DVD version is extremely poor quality. The sound does not synchronize with the action (in both English and Swedish version). And the English subtitle is often too fast to see. The subtitle also fails to synchronize with the action. The sound is usually 5-10 seconds late. It is painful to watch the DVD version. It ruins the movie!
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4.0 out of 5 stars My Life As a Dog- Criterion Feb. 16 2004
Format:DVD
My life As a Dog is one of my favorite movies ever. The only changes I have noticed in the subtitles on the Criterion edition are that the line, "keep a tight rope," was changed to "keep up the tension," and that "bubbles" on the glass were changed to "blisters." There are no subtitles for "Shall We Go to Your Place, or My Place, or Each Go Home Alone?" Which I found to be a detractor. The trailer and main menu are satisfying, but the only really great part to the disc is the movie, the rest is filler.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Criterion version came out March 11, 2003 March 12 2003
Format:DVD
Any review of this DVD before that time is not worth evaluating. They may refer to the older DVD but they have nothing to do with the new Criterion. The Criterion is a far superior release in every way. The transfer is very nice, with warm colors and vibrant tones, albeit a tad soft at times. Audio is DD mono but serves it's purpose well. Extras include a 1973 film by the Director a new interview with him, a short essay by Kurt Vonnegut and the original trailer. Adults may want to screen this movie before letting their children view it as there are scenes with nudity and a few sexual situations. Then again if your kids watch foreign films then they are probably more mature than most! The only drawback I found was that about 45 minutes into the movie the subtitles start to lag behind the Swedish dialogue. This only lasts about two minutes but it can take you out of the story momentarily (hence 4 stars instead of 5). With that as the only caveat, there is no reason not to buy this wonderful new release of one of the very best childhood films ever made. Strongly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Movie I've seen July 24 2002
By A Customer
Format:DVD
This is truly a bery good well acted,written,and produced film. I can't stop watching it. I'm not very fluent in Swedish,but the subtitles are great. You really get a feel for the Swedush culture. Rent or buy this movie,you wont regreat it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Swedish Film! April 25 2002
By A Customer
Format:DVD
A must see for all you foreign film buffs! This film contains a brilliant mixture of depressing and inspiring moments. It leaves you feeling both lethargic and energized. Frustrated and peaceful. Basically, it touches on all your emotions. Filmed in Sweden, the scenery reminds you of the rural Midwestern U.S.
You really get a feel for Swedish culture. See it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable Feb. 19 2002
Format:DVD
I'm not going to write anything sophisticated or technical about this movie (I leave that to the experts). I saw it 15 years ago, when I was 15 and, since then, it has been on my mind (at the end, and this might be a reason to understand why I kept it forever, I saw it six times). Today I'm starting my DVD collection and My Life as a Dog has to be there as a humble tribute to this masterpiece.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is what you have been looking for!
Occasionally life offers pearls that are accessible. This is one of them. Buy it, please! You will be richer for it.
Published on Dec 4 2002 by Patrick Lang
5.0 out of 5 stars Very touching film. Transfer to DVD second-rate.
I don't think I could add anything to previous reviews that speak so eloquently of the many touching qualities of this film. Read more
Published on Feb. 19 2002 by Hoc Stercus
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my best 5 (but don't miss the helicopter ^_^)
See it.
Heartwarming.
Make you think of your younger days-your brothers and parents.
Make you smile.
Something are growing at those ages! Read more
Published on Sept. 11 2001 by youngchool choe
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite movie of all time.
Few movies come this close to perfection. This is an intelligent and moving story of a boy who must come to terms with abandonment, loss and the casual betrayal of adults. Read more
Published on Aug. 24 2001 by alyosha
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should watch this . . .
I have seen "my life as a dog" in the foreignmoviesection of my video store, and have always been put off by thecover. It looked too cheesy. Read more
Published on Jan. 8 2001 by jman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie, DVD Sucks
Awesome movie. Thank God, I have it on video, because the DVD tranfer is horrible. To anyone investing in a dvd collection that wants to include this move. Read more
Published on Dec 6 2000 by Rick K.
5.0 out of 5 stars A film like this comes along once in a decade.
This film, so my mother assures me, was to the 1980's what Visconti's "Death in Venice" was to the 1970's. Read more
Published on June 19 2000 by Tyler Durden
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