by guest writer
Wild Strawberries (1957) sees the pairing of two of the greatest film-makers in Europe: Victor Sjöström and Ingmar Bergman. To my recollection, it is the second movie Bergman made with his true inspiration as a director, Victor Sjöström. The ex-director was well over 70 when the shooting began and used to require a ‘little glass of refreshment’ every morning before working. He plays Dr. Isak Borg, an aging professor, looking for the joys of elderly and at the same time fearing the future for what it will bring him. So, he decides to take a long journey to Lund with his daughter-in-law, Marianne Borg (Ingrid Thulin), to visit his son. Even though it seems she is bitter with her father-in-law, it only proves to be different in the end.
It seems the director is interested in redemption and how it is never too late to look for it. Although the subject seems a bit dark, you will never feel nothing but warmth. Wild strawberries is a visionary movie, the kind of frankness you only encounter in European movies. Bergman is using Bunuelian surrealism with every ocassion he is offered: to make a trip down the memory lane into the youth of Dr. Isak with the mirror as a leitmotif or in one of the most beautifuly crafted dream sequence in cinema. Gunnar Fischer does wonders with his camera succeeding to deliver a very expressive black and white photography.
photo: still from the film | Svensk Filmindustri