Philip Kaufman

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Philip Kaufman achieves a delicate, erotic balance with his screen version of Milan Kundera’s “unfilmable” novel. Adapted by Kaufman and Jean-Claude Carrière, the film follows a womanizing surgeon (Daniel Day-Lewis) as he struggles with his free-spirited mistress (Lena Olin) and his childlike wife (Juliette Binoche). An intimate epic, The Unbearable Lightness of Being charts the frontiers of relationships with wit, emotion, and devastating honesty.

Film Info

  • Philip Kaufman
  • United States
  • 1988
  • 172 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #55

Special Features

  • Beautiful widescreen transfer, enhanced for widescreen televisions
  • Audio commentary by director Philip Kaufman, co-writer Jean-Claude Carrière, editor Walter Murch, and actor Lena Olin
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
  • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • Beautiful widescreen transfer, enhanced for widescreen televisions
  • Audio commentary by director Philip Kaufman, co-writer Jean-Claude Carrière, editor Walter Murch, and actor Lena Olin
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
  • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Cast
Daniel Day-Lewis
Tomas
Lena Olin
Sabina
Juliette Binoche
Tereza
Derek de Lint
Franz
Erland Josephson
The ambassador
Pavel Landovsky
Pavel
Donald Moffat
Chief surgeon
Daniel Olbrychski
Interior ministry official
Stellan Skarsgård
The engineer
Credits
Director
Philip Kaufman
Producer
Saul Zaentz
Screenplay
Philip Kaufman
Screenplay
Jean-Claude Carrière
Based on the novel by
Milan Kundera
Cinematography
Sven Nykvist
Supervising film editor
Walter Murch
Costume design
Ann Roth
Production design
Pierre Guffroy

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Sven Nykvist

Cinematographer

Few cinematographers have been as influential as Ingmar Bergman’s close collaborator Sven Nykvist, who helped create such visual tours de force as The Silence, Cries and Whispers, and Fanny and Alexander. A painter whose medium was natural light, a capturer of souls, Nykvist made every human portrait an X-ray, and every interior—whether austerely white or lavishly chromatic—an expressive canvas. Nykvist first worked with Bergman in 1953, when he was one of three cinematographers assigned to the director’s gloomy, twilit circus tale Sawdust and Tinsel. But their union truly began with The Virgin Spring—that savage medieval folk tale ushered in the new era of unsparing, gorgeously shot psychological portraits and open-air location photography that would take Bergman from the devastating God’s Silence trilogy to the richly life-affirming Fanny and Alexander. His work with Bergman made Nykvist an in-demand industry figure, and he would go on to shoot movies in Hollywood and beyond, for directors like Bob Rafelson, Bob Fosse, Philip Kaufman, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Woody Allen. Nykvist died in 2006.