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A few words about...™ Wild Strawberries -- in Blu-ray

A Few Words About

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#1 of 9 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted May 28 2013 - 03:26 PM

We must have viewed Mr. Bergman's Wild Strawberries in our film study classes a dozen times a year.  Normally followed by either 8 1/2, Citizen Kane or L'Avventura.

 

At a certain point, we knew every move that Victor Sjostrom would make.  Every nuance and every expression in what may be one of the finest performances on film.  Mr. Sjostrom is worth researching, by the way, as he had quite a career.

 

All the way back to 1912.

 

Wild Strawberries would be his final work.  He passed away in 1960, at 80.

 

I had to cover this film for HTF, as it's one of the greats on so many levels.  Just iconic.

 

A brilliant, and entertaining film.

 

Gorgeous black & white cinematography by Gunnar Fischer, who also shot Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal and The Magician.  All incredibly beautiful work.

 

As a Blu-ray, the Criterion release shines.  The image harvest is perfect, although I have conceptual problems.  The tonalities of the black & white image are not bettered by anything else on Blu-ray.

 

The original Swedish track in uncompressed form is likewise, perfect.

 

My single problem, and it really has nothing to do with the Blu-ray, is my disagreement with a 2k scan of the original negative toward a video master.  To me, it's an archival waste.  An original negative should never be used to produce anything other than archival elements.

 

One could have scanned a new fine grain master, and achieved the same final result.  Or even better, a 4k scan of the OCN, actually accomplishing something.

 

Regardless, the Blu-ray is a stellar achievement, of one of the greatest films ever made.

 

For those who have never experienced Wild Strawberries, it's a haunting about life, the past, and the future.  It's a film that you'll never forget once you see it, finally arriving on Blu-ray in a form that should be on one's short list of reference discs.

 

As to Mr. Bergman's work, if I was forced to select one of his films as my favorite, this might be it.

 

Image - 5

 

Audio - 5

 

Very Highly Recommended.

 

RAH


"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#2 of 9 OFFLINE   bujaki

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Posted May 28 2013 - 03:41 PM

Amen.

A small amendment: Sjostrom died aged 80.



#3 of 9 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted May 28 2013 - 04:50 PM

Amen.

A small amendment: Sjostrom died aged 80.

 

My mathematical skills have never been my high point.  Only worse is my sense of direction, which is nil.

 

RAH


"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#4 of 9 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted May 28 2013 - 05:04 PM

I have no idea how I'd ever choose a single favorite Bergman film.

 

I do remember this was the second one I saw.  The first was The Magician.

 

Been waiting for this, as I somehow never acquired the DVD.



#5 of 9 OFFLINE   theonemacduff

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Posted May 28 2013 - 07:30 PM

Saw this in film studies class (though in our class it came with Seven Samurai, Red & White, and Zéro Pour Conduit  which I actually didn't like that much) and when the opportunity arose, some years later, I VHS taped it off a local educational channel and basically wore out the tape. Nice to know I can request it as a birthday present, and soon.

 



#6 of 9 OFFLINE   DavidJ

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Posted May 28 2013 - 07:46 PM

Thanks for the "words." It is great to hear that the Blu-ray is up to Criterion's usual standards, but it is a shame that it wasn't a 4K scan to help preserve this great film. This may be my favorite of many great Bergman films.  



#7 of 9 OFFLINE   atcolomb

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Posted May 29 2013 - 08:58 AM

My first Criterion laserdisc i ever bought years ago and one of my favorite films of all time. Also this was the first Bergman movie i ever saw as a kid when i saw it on my local PBS station.



#8 of 9 OFFLINE   Craig Beam

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Posted May 29 2013 - 08:33 PM

A-ha!  There's my Father's Day present!   :D



#9 of 9 OFFLINE   Lromero1396

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Posted May 30 2013 - 06:23 PM

My single problem, and it really has nothing to do with the Blu-ray, is my disagreement with a 2k scan of the original negative toward a video master.  To me, it's an archival waste.  An original negative should never be used to produce anything other than archival elements.

 

One could have scanned a new fine grain master, and achieved the same final result.  Or even better, a 4k scan of the OCN, actually accomplishing something.

AMEN!







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