Wild Strawberries: Essential Art House

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  • Weaving a tapestry of memory and dreams, Ingmar Bergman delves into the past of aged professor Isak Borg, en route to receive an award from his alma mater for a life he no longer understands. Following directly on the heels of his international breakthrough The Seventh Seal, the alternately warm and nightmarish Wild Strawberries cemented Bergman as the leading art-house visionary of his era. Fo

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Weaving a tapestry of memory and dreams, Ingmar Bergman delves into the past of aged professor Isak Borg, en route to receive an award from his alma mater for a life he no longer understands. Following directly on the heels of his international breakthrough The Seventh Seal, the alternately warm and nightmarish Wild Strawberries cemented Bergman as the leading art-house visionary of his era…. More >>

Wild Strawberries: Essential Art House

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5 Comments
  1. Ingmar Bergman’s “Wild Strawberries” (1957) follows the memories of an elderly man reminiscing about his life. Dreams, nightmares and flashbacks haunt this man as we learn about his romantic failures, and his desire to return to childhood. It is a study of old age as well as a moral inquiry into a man’s life choices. This is a thoughtful film that offers us the time to reflect on the choices we make in life.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. When I watched this film when I was young, I did not like it. I thought it was too stark, too melancholy, too dark. When you are young the world is more of a technicolor place and perhaps we are all unwilling to let the dark clouds into it. I resaw this film when I was in my 50s and my reaction was much different. There is a melancholy yet bittersweet quality to this film, almost a dreamlike glide through the corridors of memory and time. For it is an old person who will die sooner, rather than later, who is looking back on his whole life and his memories as well as winding up his life as it exists in the present. Everyone who has made it to an older age will recognize the territory of the film at once as very, very familiar. It is a Swedish professor who we watch on this journey. His relationships in life have been turbulent but not out of the ordinary. It is a beautiful film, one of Bergman’s very best and he didn’t make any duds.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. This movie is over 60 years old, yet still is a showcase for intriguing and effective movie making. It is slow moving in comparison to some of the ‘hotter’ cinematic efforts of today – I regularly pull out the DVD and watch parts (or all!) of it. The actors are splendid, the story of old age and remorse is timeless.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. Wild Strawberries is an excellent display of the broad spectrum of human emotion. At first glance an immediate disdain is inspired by the main character, until the story unfolds revealing the source of his callousness. By the end I felt nothing but a profound sense of empathy and compassion. Bergman has quickly become one of my favorite directors, and in my opinion, this film is among his best.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. After half a century, WILD STRAWBERRIES yet glimmers in these darkling days. A meditation on old age, selfishness, duty, love, and reconciliation, the film traces the last days of a respected but unloving physician (played by the elderly, frail, great Victor Sjostram, who passed away during the making of the film [in the 1920s he had starred in the daunting silent THE OUTLAW AND HIS WIFE, set in Iceland]). The main character undertakes a journey by car with his daughter-in-law to receive an honorary degree from Alma Mater. On the way he adopts three college students and a snarling, embittered married couple. He visits his very very elderly and very cold mother–and always there are visions of the sorrows, regrets, and bitternesses of his past. At the film’s luminescent close the doctor at last casts off ancient recriminations to achieve a peaceful repose lulled by a shimmering scene from long ago with Mother and Father in happy tableau. One of cinema’s outstanding achievemnts. But I too am an old man.
    Rating: 5 / 5

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