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.