Monday, February 26, 2007

Wild Strawberries

AJ and I have been attending the Monday night Bergman retrospective at the Charles. I want to jump up and down and praise him. So far we've seen Secrets of Women, Seventh Seal and tonight, Wild Strawberries.

It is a struggle to get over the archaic quality of the film. I know this is the wrong issue to gnaw on, just look at the frame and lighting on the son and father above. I know Bergman was doing things in film that no one else had imagined. I really, really liked Seventh Seal. Who else thought of playing chess with Death? Brilliant. Aren't we all going to live forever if we just make the right moves? Aren't we always going to be here? Alive? The images of the Seventh Seal are forever in my mind. Thank you. Thank you.

But, it is hard to hang in there with these early movies. The pace, the somberness lull me towards sleep. I fought sleep tonight during Wild Strawberries. AJ lost the fight and snored softly to my left. Again, I liked the film, this simple tale of a man coming to terms with his life and finding infinite support in the happiness of his childhood memories. The three young travelers were a terrific contrast. And, there was the wise and angry daughter-in-law who helped him to begin the move toward a deeper understanding of the harm his pompous indifference has caused.

The man who plays the part of the professor is so vulnerable and fragile by virtue of his age, this viewer could feel only sympathy for him. Here he was on this epiphanic car trip to receive his scholarly award. Each time the old man dozes off, a nightmare awaits him. Each nightmare shocks him into a deeper encounter with consequences of his actions. We should all be so lucky, earlier!

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