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This Criterion high-def box set is the stuff dreams are made of....
Criterion / 305 Minutes / 1950-1954 / Unrated / Street Date: September 24, 2013
It’s probably a little early to call 3 Films by Roberto Rossellini Starring Ingrid Bergman Criterion’s single most delightful Blu-ray release of 2013, but I can’t help myself: this is the kind of box set the studio has become famous for. Even if Criterion’s overall slate this year was perhaps more slapdash than need be – a Grey Gardens upgrade? DVD/Blu-ray combo packs? – this compilation more than atones for any missteps it may have made. It’s a multi-disc release we’ve been anticipating for years.
Criterion has been more than attentive to Rossellini’s output over the years – a monstrous Eclipse set, a War Trilogy DVD collection – but here we have not only three masterful works presented in deliciously pristine high-definition, but also a fully-stocked arsenal of Criterion bonuses that do more than just orient the movies within the context of Rossellini’s and Bergman’s life and times: they legitimize them as museum-caliber pieces of art liberated from the dusty tombs of celluloid limbo.
Stromboli (1950), Europe ’51 (1952), and Journey to Italy (1954) constitute some of Rossellini’s finest hours as a filmmaker, but that’s almost beside the point here. Not only have these titles been relatively hard to find during the last decade or so, but they’re presented on BD on this compilation with a gorgeously comprehensive sensibility. Not only does 3 Films allow for a viewer investigation into some of the most important works of post-war moviemaking, it makes a compelling argument that this triptych is currently more imperative than it’s ever been.