Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Bergman's Wild Strawberres

About memory again, on several levels:  Yesterday's foreign film was Igmar Bergman's 1957, Wild Strawberries. I saw a Bergman retrospective sometime in the '70s and believe(d) I saw it then.  A couple of other women who went to the filming with me also said they had seen it.  At the end of the movie -- which happens to be all about an old man's memories and his coming to terms with the kind of person he has been (a beloved doctor but cold to his family) -- we three said almost simultaneously, "I don't think I ever saw that before."  I have not talked to the others but on the way home I began to have a shadow memory of the movie I had just seen. Maybe I DID see it before, certainly the themes were familiar and some scenes began to seem recently and distantly famliar ... perhaps I did see it.

It is a beautiful, complex story of Isek, in his '80s, about to be given a grand recognition of accomplishment.  His beautiful daughter-in-law, who is very outspoken, accompanies him on the day long drive. They pick up three young people, a girl and to boys, both in love with her, one to be a minister and the other a musician. They are so fresh and young; they are very beautiful, so is the daughter-in-law, but older and wiser. Many memories come to Isek, and he also stops to visit his very old mother. We see his complex marriage, not to the woman he had hoped to marry and we see him struggle to understand and even possibly overcome his lifelong habit of emotional reticence. It's a classic as it deserves to be and seeing it again, I'm sure I understood it better than I would have 40 years ago ... if I actually saw it back them.


Kass said...

I saw this film in the seventies too. I loved it.

June Calender said...

But do you really remember it, Kass. That's a question since I would have answered exactly that was a couple days ago.