Wild Strawberries

Wild Strawberries

4.8 12
Director: Ingmar Bergman

Cast: Ingmar Bergman, Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin

     
 

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After exploring his disillusionment with religion in his previous films, Ingmar Bergman adopted a humanistic approach for this classic study in isolationism. Legendary Scandinavian director Victor Sjöström stars as Isak Borg, an aging medical professor who reassesses his life while journeying to his former university to receive an honorary degree. Borg travels with… See more details below

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Overview

After exploring his disillusionment with religion in his previous films, Ingmar Bergman adopted a humanistic approach for this classic study in isolationism. Legendary Scandinavian director Victor Sjöström stars as Isak Borg, an aging medical professor who reassesses his life while journeying to his former university to receive an honorary degree. Borg travels with his estranged daughter-in-law Marianne (Ingrid Thulin) and revisits many of the landmarks of his past, conjuring up memories of his family and of his onetime sweetheart Sara (Bibi Andersson). Returning to the present, he meets a teenage girl who resembles the long-departed Sara. She hitches a ride with the professor and Marianne, as do a ceaselessly bickering married couple. These new characters eventually become intertwined with Borg's hazy flashbacks and fantasies, as the old man recalls the disappointments and disillusionments that have left him cold and guilt-ridden, attributes emphasized when he encounters his equally cold and resentful son. Bookending Borg's odyssey of self-discovery are a series of symbolic images at the beginning of the film (a clock without hands, a man without a face) and a hauntingly beautiful finale, in which professor is beckoned back to the "perfect" world he left behind so many years earlier. This classic art movie remains one of Bergman's most accessible films and one of the most influential European art movies of its generation. Its intense focus on one man's thoughts, regrets, and memories set the tone for innumerable psychological character studies in its wake.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
The most hauntingly beautiful road-trip movie ever made, Wild Strawberries is at once profound and simple. This 1957 Ingmar Bergman masterpiece offers a portrait of a man's life within the events of a single day. An elderly doctor, Isak Borg (famed Swedish director Victor Sjöström), ventures off in the car with his daughter-in-law Marianne (Ingrid Thulin) to attend a ceremony honoring his 50 years of medical service. Rather than using a linear narrative, Bergman enhances the doctor's journey with reminders of his past: The people and places he encounters along the way trigger memories and reveries that bring him face-to-face with the meaning of his life (and his impending death). Bergman's remarkable dexterity with unconscious material makes the film's several dream sequences subtly chilling; they affect the rest of the narrative, and have inspired filmmakers ever since. This simple afternoon drive acquires the qualities of a daydream. With its unique combination of sharp, revelatory dialogue, evocative imagery, and careful symbolism, Wild Strawberries has a liquid clarity that is unforgettable.
All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
Smultronstället/Wild Strawberries is one of the masterpieces of world cinema, a key early representative of the European art films that would change how people thought about movies in the late 1950s and 1960s. While the film posits a frightening questioning of life, it ultimately offers hope and redemption to its aging protagonist, and ultimately to us all. Director Ingmar Bergman effectively alternates emotional warmth with coldness to create one of the screen's greatest philosophical character studies. His shot composition is remarkable, particularly his close-ups of legendary Swedish director Victor Sjöström, here playing the elderly professor. The film is full of masterful symbolic imagery and allegorical storytelling. Most important, Bergman makes his film accessible to the ordinary viewer. This is a warm and human film, strongly filled with a richness rarely experienced on screen.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/11/2013
UPC:
0715515106818
Original Release:
1957
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
1:32:00
Sales rank:
183

Special Features

Audio Commentary featuring film scholar Peter Cowie; Introduction by Director Ingmar Bergman; Ingmar Bergman on Life and Work, a ninety-minute documentary by filmmaker and author Jörn Donner; Behind-the-scenes footage shot by Bergman; ; Plus: A booklet featuring an essay by film writer Mark Le Fanu

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Victor Sjöström Professor Isak Borg
Bibi Andersson Sara
Ingrid Thulin Marianne Borg
Gunnar Björnstrand Evald Borg
Folke Sundquist Anders
Naima Wifstrand Isak's Mother
Björn Bjelvenstam Viktor
Per Sjöstrand Sigfrid
Julian Kindahl Agda, the housekeeper
Gunnel Broström Mrs. Berit Almann
Åke Fridell Gertud's Lover
Gertrud Fridh Isak's Wife
Maud Hansson Angelica
Gunnel Lindblom Charlotta
Goran Lundstrom Benjamin
Yngve Nordwall Uncle Aron
Gio Petre Sigbritt
Sif Ruud Aunt
Gunnar Sjöberg Alman
Max von Sydow Åkerman

Technical Credits
Ingmar Bergman Director,Screenwriter
E. Eckert-Lundin Musical Direction/Supervision
Allan Ekelund Producer
Gunnar Fischer Cinematographer
Erik Nordgren Score Composer
Oscar Rosander Editor
Millie Strom Costumes/Costume Designer
Aaby Wedin Sound/Sound Designer

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