‘Wild Strawberries’ is a classical drama which was written and directed by Ingmar Bergman in the year 1957. In the popular media the movie has been commonly known to be an autobiographical work by Ingmar Bergman wherein, Bergman presents a catharsis of his own experiences and understandings of the life which comes out like a wonderful tale of redemption and love. Victor Sjostrom plays the protagonist role of Professor Isak Borg whose self-indulgent cynicism is transformed into passionate love and realization.
Sjostrom whoes work goes back to the very beginning of the Swedish cinema in the silent film era has given a brilliant and compelling performance. The most impressive part of the film is that throughout the movie Bergman has made the viewers to experience forgiveness and transformed human spirit from the negative emotions of jealousy to the feeling of love and renewal of the human spirit.
While on one hand the movie has a fictitious standpoint where a movie suddenly opens in the doors of reality, then enters into period of one existence, and where all the time the past is going on alive; on another hand, realism is completely intact in the movie, for example, during the end scene when the housekeeper responses that even at her age she needs to take care of her reputation. The progression of the movie was fantastic and throughout the movie Bergman has made efforts to keep the audiences upright, engaged and positive.
From an experimental view point the movie seems to have done complete justification to the plot and maintained the legacy of the Bergman films. Not only the direction but the other actors like Bibi Andersson (plays Sara), Ingrid Thulin (Marianne Borg), Gunnar Bjornstrand (Dr. Evald Borg) have done a tremendous justification to their parts. Bibi Anderson who plays both the role of Sara from Borg’s childhood, the cousin he was to marry, and the hitchhiker Sara has shown variety of emotions and moods which is far beyond from any form of replication.
TECHNICALS From the direction view point the movie was brilliantly executed in the total running time of 91 minutes and with most of the shooting done in outdoor locations of Dalora, Gotlands, Stockholms Ian, Lund and Vattern. The film negative format was 35mm and had a spherical cinematographic process with an aspect ratio of 1:37: 1. The film had celebrity associations with like cinematographer Gunnar Fischer, film editor as Oscar Rosander, camera and electrical department by Louis Hunch and Bjorn Thermaneius.
The movie had a tremendous impact of the traditional Swedish music by musicians like Carl Axel Lundvall, Alwin Mueller, Sakari Topelius and Herman Palm. It is estimated that the movie made heavy box office collections and was nominated for the prestigious Oscar awards for its writing, story and screenplay. Other awards include Bodil award for the best European film, the Golden Globe for the best foreign film, the Silver Ribbon for best direction and the Kinema Junpo Award for the best foreign language film.
While the movie was set in the outdoor locations, most of the shots were captured in Mid shot (MS) where some part of the actors were shown in much more detail while it still gave the impression of the whole actor. Other prominent shot types were Medium Close Up (MCU), which is halfway between a mid shot and close up. When shooting a scene with double subjects the most popular shots have been two-shots where a shot of two same people are shown framed similarly to a mod shot and (OOS) over-the-shoulder shot in which the person is looking behind the person at the subject.
For example, some of the monologues of Sjostro were shot in Medium Close Up (MCU) and CU (Close Up), most of the scenes where a dialogue is present (OOS), over the shoulder and two-shot are used. For example, the scene when Borg and Sara confronted. Soft (diffused) light effects were used to create a broad, even area of light. Overall the movie portrayed the most sophisticated technical expertise available during the year 1957 and before. OVERALL IMPACT
The movie has successfully portrayed the political, social and economic dimensions prevalent in the Sweden during 1957. The essence of the movie is in its connectivity with its audiences which to date feel connected with the movie in some way or other. The ranges of human emotions expressed in the movie are still not uncommon to the circumstances of life and it’s the realization of these circumstances which provide the movie a high grade.
The central theme of the movie which revolves around dreams and recollections; newly discovered secrets of the past seems very natural and rational even to the date as Ian says to himself in the film, “ Dreams, as I must tell myself something I won’t listen to them when I am awake”. In my view the “Wild Strawberry” is definitely a movie which can change man’s mind and can really lead our ego to ask questions to ourselves (Dawson, 2002). The movie definitely can be appreciated for many reasons, chiefly, the ways in which the film perfectly conveys the themes of self-examination, self-realization, and contemplating one’s own morality.
The movie is completely a sincere, intelligent and emotional effort to understand the complications, disappointments, regrets, losses and drawbacks in life. Overall, the movie has a wonderful class, subtle sophistication, and a legendary work of conflicting realities, and is worth watching for people from every era, every stature and from any walk of life. Reference: 1. Dawson, Tom. BBC Entertainment. 13 December 2002. 12 July 2010 <http://www. bbc. co. uk/films/2002/12/13/wild_strawberries_1958_review. shtml>.