Bergman Amazes Me Again-Wild Strawberries

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ike, Feb 16, 2002.

  1. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

    Jan 14, 2000
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    I've seen, not counting Wild Strawberries, three Bergman pictures-The Seventh Seal, Autumn Sonata, and Cries and Whispers. I own them all, and cherish them. The first one I watched was The Seventh Seal, buying it merely because it was Criterion. It shocked me. It spoke to me. If someone asked for films that changed my life, I'd say the Seventh Seal. The way it looked at the world was so similar to my own. It's not everyday that a movie helps spark a change of religion.
    I watched Autumn Sonata, and Cries and Whispers, and loved them similarly, but enjoyed them more on the level of a film. I found them quite brilliant, but it didn't get to me like The Seventh Seal did. That's not a snub-the only other film that has had as much personal impact is probably Taxi Driver.
    My Criterion DVD of Wild Strawberries arrived in the mail today. I'd already watched M: Criterion Collection not 30 minutes before, but felt like making it a double feature. I didn't have high expectations, since I'd not read any reviews. I expected it to be good, since it was Bergman after all, but once again Bergman has shocked me.
    Wild Strawberries talks in it's own private language. It seems so private, so intimate-it cuts to the heart of life. Bergman deals with big subjects, and this isn't an exception. It feels like he is laying himself bare, like he is talking direct to the audience.
    I've seen Woody Allen's retelling, Deconstructing Harry, several times. In it, the man character, Harry Block, tells one of his honoree's that he shouldn't even act like the characters in his book or someone else-they are him. Here, Ingmar Bergman seems to be saying the same thing. (Listening to a bit of Peter Crowie's commentary, he points out that Isak Borgman, the main protagonist in the film, has the same initials as Bergman.)
    I think of one scene that particularly resonates with me. In the car, between Evald and Marianne, when she informs him she is pregnant. Evald begins discussing how humans follow their own needs. Marianne trying to fulfill her "hellish" need to live and recreate, and his need is just to be dead. I can't tell you why, or how much, this rings with me. It's like, once again, Bergman is speaking to me.
    It's amazing to see how mature a vision this is for the times, and for someone of the age Bergman was when he made it. Abortion and impending death were probably uncommon for both.
    In the end, I don't think I could ever read a review that approaches this like a film. Like the aforementioned The Seventh Seal and Taxi Driver, this is more of an experience than a film. These are the sorts of films that reaffirm why I love movies. Between all the junk at the box office that is there to make money, it's always fantastic, and oddly comforting, to have a good, emotion releasing viewing of a brilliant film. And that's exactly what this did to me.
    My score: [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  2. Josh_Hill

    Josh_Hill Screenwriter

    Jan 6, 2002
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    I know. After all these years, he's still ahead of everyone else. Kinda like Kubrick.

    I just received Wild Strawberries this week and watched it for the first time yesterday and it was just absolutely amazing. The dream sequence in the beginning is one of the most amazing scenes in cinema. I dont think Ive ever seen a scene that held me in its grasp as this one did. Brilliant and poetic. Bergman was and still is a master of the art of cinema.
  3. Tim RH

    Tim RH Second Unit

    Nov 20, 2001
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    WILD STRAWBERRIES is my favorite Ingmar Bergman film. I've always found it to be superior to THE SEVENTH SEAL, though I know most would disagree with me.

    I recommend you see Bergman's THE VIRGIN SPRING (currently unavailable on DVD), which also deals with the subject of God, among other things.

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