Saturday, December 27, 2014

Wild Strawberries (1957)

An elderly doctor (Victor Sjostrom) travels to the town where his son lives to receive an honorarium. Along the way he passes places from his youth, and reevaluates his life now that it's near the end.

I was hesitant at first to watch this because, well, Ingmar Bergman. His reputation for confoundingly symbolic movies is legendary, but I found this very accessible. Old Doctor Borg's journey is both physical and spiritual as he explores his life and loneliness. His relationship with his son, mother, and daughter-in-law, his dead wife, his live in housekeeper, with society at large, as with life itself.

He has dreams that trouble him, as they did 1950's literalistic American audiences, no doubt. He sees and interacts with images of his past and maybe seeing the error of his ways. In this manner it feels like a version of A Christmas Carol, similar to The Phantom Carriage (directed by and staring a young Sjostrom). The people he crosses paths with provide a real world illustration of his past mistakes.

One cannot go into all of the meanings and metaphors of a Bergman film here (certainly not with a Philistine at the helm), but suffice it to say Wild Strawberries leaves you thinking. While also being very watchable. AMRU 4.
"As professor emeritus, you ought to know why it hurts. But you don't know. You know so much, and you don't know anything."

No comments:

Post a Comment