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My Life As a Dog (Dubbed in English) [VHS]
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Product Description

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 Hallstr?m 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

Customer Reviews:

  • An interesting movie
    To tell the truth I fast forwarded through the movie because the dubbed voices got on my nerves. The basic premise is that he gets sent to the countryside because his mother is dying of cancer. While in the countryside he befriends a 13 year old girl who is just beginning to develop. She speaks frankly to him about the physical changes she is going through. I enjoyed the fraternity of kids (age 8-13) who got along like our gang from the little rascal shorts. There is some nudity in this movie that some may find alarming, therefore this is an 18 and above movie. Enjoy....more info
  • 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. Extremely well acted on all sides, with a bold script that dares to ask the important questions. Ingemar must try to find some balance in his life, as he is tossed from one "home" to another, like a stray dog... or, like the Soviet space-dog Laika, who was sent into space only to starve to death in orbit. "They never intended to bring her back." The final scenes of "My Life as a Dog" do win out, when the odd town's crazy old man takes a swim in the frozen river. The whole cast of peculiar town-folk come out to "rescue" him, and offer him a place by the fire, a blanket, a little whiskey... Here, Ingemar finds balance in the love of other people, so one is left, not with a sense of despair, but with a sense of hope in the midst of sorrow and loss.

    Note: I recommend the subtitled version over the dubbed version, as the language and inflections should be experienced in full....more info

  • 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. People went to see it again and again in the cinema and argued about it's meaning for years afterwards.

    Whatever this film has, it touches a nerve. Whether it's the remarkable performance of Anton Glanzelius or the whole 'growing up' thing, I don't know. Glanzelius appears so vulnerable one wants to take him home and bring him up as one's own kid brother. I know of people who made sound tapes of the film in the cinema before the fim was available on video just to hear the kid speak Swedish. [The video version looks worse than the pirate video I made in a cinema in Manhatten, but never mind]. It's a great great film, and, a sort of pre-pubescent Fight Club in it's way....more info

  • Best Movie I've seen
    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!...more info
  • An film about a snippet of life.
    This film seems ordinary when watching it though interesting, but by the time the story comes to a close you realize you've enjoyed to whole film and that it's a beautiful story.I think this is a story that reaches out to all who watch it and that we can all relate to it on one level or another.
    It is an honest and lovely film, well recommended. ...more info
  • Essential cinema: Hallstr?m's 'Mitt liv som hund.'
    Swedish director, Lars Sven (Lasse) Hallstr?m's (1946) film, My Life as a Dog (Mitt liv som hund) (1985) tells the bittersweet story of a working-class 12-year-old, Ingemar (Anton Ganzelius), who is sent to live with his uncle Gunnar (Tomas von Br?mssen) and his wife Ulla (Kicki Rundgren) in a small rural town in Sm?land, after his mother (Anki Lid¨¦n) becomes terminally ill. In Sm?land, he encounters a variety of warmhearted eccentics: Saga (Melinda Kinnaman), a tomboy who repeatedly beats him in boxing; Fransson (Magnus Rask), a man who continually fixes the roof of his house; and Mr. Arviddson (Didrik Gustavsson), an old man living downstairs who asks Ingemar to read to him from a lingerie catalog. At one especially memorable point in the film, Ingemar clings to Saga's leg and starts barking like a dog. Upset by his strange behavior, Saga tells Ingemar during a boxing match that his beloved family dog, Sickan (which he had thought was in a kennel) has been euthanized. This, along with his mother's death, is too much for Ingemar. He reassures himself throughout the film that it could have been worse, reciting several examples, such as the man who took a shortcut onto the field during a track meet only to be killed by a javelin, and the story of the dog "Laika," the first creature sent into orbit by the Russians (without any way to return to Earth). Hallstr?m later went on to direct What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Something to Talk About, The Cider House Rules, and An Unfinished Life.

    My Life as a Dog is among my all-time film favorites, and it consistently ranks in critical top movie lists. The Criterion edition offers an amazingly crisp digital transfer of the film, with a clear soundtrack and score, a 52-minute film by Lasse Hallstr?m: Shall We Go to Your or My Place or Each Go Home Alone?, a video interview with Lasse Hallstr?m, and Kurt Vonnegut's reflections on My Life as a Dog.

    G. Merritt ...more info
  • 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. And I wasn't thrilled about watching an80s movie. But one Saturday, I finally decided to give it a shot. Iwatch a lot of foreign movies, and I figured I'd watch this oneeventually. Within five minutes of this movie, I was hooked. I don'tthink it matters what type of person you are--a softie or aroughneck--you can relate to this little boy's life. We all know whatit's like to be a child--all the trauma and all the joy And the coming of age parts are just as indelible: his little girlfriend; hisodd inability to drink a full glass; his friendship with the tomboy;his fall thru the glass ceiling from peeking at the naked lady. . . This is a thoroughly entertaining movie for people of allages. I highly recommend it. Like "Stand By Me", this movieis an accurate portrayal of childhood--one of the best. (Don't letthe cover and the age of this movie put you off)....more info
  • A Great Swedish Film!
    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!...more info
  • Unforgettable
    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....more info
  • 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. It frequently moves the heart to both laughter and tears throughout its 140 minutes; and it truly deserves to be labled a a classic. For that reason the second-rate quality of the transfer to DVD is regrettable. While the power of the story overcomes technical shortcomings, buyers should know the last minutes of the film contain contain annoying scratches and video "schmutz." Even though the single DVD is priced on a premium level, the transfer is not even equal to what is found on many bargain-priced discs. In spite of these technical drawbacks, this is still a disc that I treasure....more info
  • 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!
    Definitely one of my best 5 movies.

    And final bonus. When they were filming the train from the birds' view, they forgot the legs of helicopter. Enjoy it.
    9/11/2001...more info

  • 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. Buy it on vhs and wait until they re-release it on dvd. I give this five stars because it is still a good movie....more info