the allusion to wild strawberries becomes significant as it is the symbol of regeneration: through his inner journey, mixing dream and reality, Borg sees the truth about his life and its emptiness. The film charts his growing intimacy with his daughter-in-law and an eventual inner peace.
A man looks at himself, his life, his regrets and the childhood that is his sanctuary amidst his loneliness. a film about mortality, lost time and, ultimately, redemption. The parade of characters that cross paths with Isak represent themes like the inability to enjoy life, nihilism, the vitality of youth. Great cinematography. i did feel however that the movie lacked something... more impactful moments, perhaps.
A feather less than 4 stars for me. The transfixing oneiric otherness of the dream sequences made me wish that Bergman had been a dedicated Surrealist, but that would mean doing without his worldly sentimentalism. He has too much pessimistic love for humans to be a Švankmajer or a Buñuel. This was, in effect, Bergman's retelling of 'A Christmas Carol', but in the hazy heat of summer. Touch of Powell & Pressburger too
Spectacular opening B&W dream sequence echoes Magritte and other painters, emphasising perhaps the difference between art-with-film and film-as-art. Thereafter a more realistic shades-of-grey monochrome story is told, echoing Citizen Kane with a reticent middle class protagonist rather than Welles's super-rich dynamic entrepreneur. And, sadly for me, lacking Citizen Kane's punchline. Enormously enjoyable film.
A tale of loneliness, and how one can miss what really matters. But rather drawn out and slow, long flashbacks, all a bit sweet. Visually the most arresting is the first dream, the scene of an empty town in which the clocks have stopped and in which a hand/ his double grabs him and wants to pull him into the coffin which has fallen out of the hearse. A nod to Entr'acte perhaps.
An elderly Professor thinks back on his life and starts to consider how he could have changed things, and been less cold to the loved ones around him, as he drives to collect another accolade for his work. This Ingmar Bergman film is yet another of his classics, despite some minor mis-steps and one or two exchanges between characters that feel too affected and silly. Well worth your time.
There is*that*masterpiece scene in Hitchcock's Vertigo where they enter the forest, that forest with the entire history of time and lust. Bergman enters here a same forest, but as the first is lush, boundless, haunted and aphrodisiac, this one is a dry deathbed of twigs and strawberry leaves - "I'm going to take a dive in the lake" Sara says, walking offscreen to the lively woods of the present while Isak lays[cont.]
Ingmar Bergman was a genius who managed to create something new and something unique in every one of his pictures. In this film he plays around with dreams and reality, and shows how our dreams can often pose the questions we deny while we are awake. This juxtaposition of realities sees Bergman creating a complex narrative that ends with a jolt as if it were us that was suddenly awoken from the midst of a dream.
Where looking back on your memories of your choices in life and cross referencing them with dreams to create anxiety of the effects the film is tackling some heavy themes that I feel at times is too much and too little to explain in the 90 min run time. The dream at the beginning is eerily excellent to set the tone on the life of an old doctor gradually reflecting on his life and decisions on one short road trip.