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Good Movie: Wild Strawberries (1957)


roverrocks
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Greatly enjoyed the fine 1957 Swedish movie shown last night (Nov. 14) by TCM.  Well acted and a movie for anyone aging like myself who reflects on one's past and the roads chosen.  Thanks for showing this fine movie that I had never seen before.  Ingmar Bergman: a fantastic director and storyteller. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

The other day, I watched Bergman Island (2004). In the documentary, Bergman related a story about his first meeting with Victor Sjöström, who played Dr. Isak Borg in Wild Strawberries.

 

At the time, Sjöström was the director of the Svensk Film Industri, where Bergman was working. Bergman had been behaving badly with the actors and crews of his films, and had practically everyone upset with him.  Sjöström had just returned to the studio from somewhere, and was essentially elected by everyone to take Bergman to task for his bad behavior. Bergman said that Sjöström caught him by the back of the neck and sternly walked him around the studio’s courtyard for almost two hours, admonishing him, and teaching him how to work with everyone (particularly actors) while everyone watched from the windows.

 

I was vaguely aware of Sjöström’s stature in Swedish films, and that his appearance in Wild Strawberries was his last film performance – all the more poignant for the film – but the added dimension of the student (so to speak), Bergman, directing the master, Sjöström, in his final performance, in a movie of such subject matter, adds another nice element to the film.

 

As far as Bergman’s Island is concerned, I thought it was an interesting movie – learned a lot about Bergman’s other accomplishments, etc. – but it caused me to lose some respect for him as a person, though, particularly the way in which he essentially abandoned his children, apparently now without any self-reproach or remorse.

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I was particularly pleased to see the lineup of Bergman films on Wednesday, Dec 3rd.  One great film after another.  I think TCM should highlight more foreign directors in this manner.  I know the foreign films get short shrift (only a little over 1000 posts in this part of the message board), but the audience might build if TCM set out to coax it along.

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