Saturday, November 24, 2012
That's the question on Isak Borg's (Victor Sjostrom) mind throughout Ingmar Bergman's Wild Strawberries. On the day he is to receive his doctorate, he suffers a sort of existential crisis. He examines moments in his life, wondering if he did anything wrong when he was younger.
Bergman apparently knew the human mind and how it works (just look at Persona), as well as the meaning of life an death (The Seventh Seal), family conflict (Autumn Sonata), and judgment and morals (The Virgin Spring). Wild Strawberries has all of those themes and boy, are they on full display beautifully.
It seems fitting that Wild Strawberries was Sjostrom's final film. After all, a film about a man examining his life is practically a perfect swan song for either an actor or a director. (An ideal metaphor for their career? It would seem so.) He definitely gives one of the most essential performances in the history of cinema.
Wild Strawberries is the kind of film that only the most astute of directors will make. Bergman is obviously one such director. Is Wild Strawberries his best film? Well, it's one of them, that's for sure. (My vote goes to either Persona or The Virgin Spring.)
My Rating: *****