Ingmar Bergman

Ingmar’s passing at 89 today, or was it yesterday, brought to mind again how much I was fascinated by his films. I think my favorite was Wild Strawberries. The clock with no hands, the funeral processions, the waste of hate, the contrast of youth and age, the isolation, the uncanniness, all these are vague memories now but at one time were more intensely felt and remembered. (I should see the movie over again?)

I’m perusing, as I write this, the NYT article this morning, Ingmar Bergman, Famed Director, Dies at 89. OK, here’s an excerpt from the article:

In 1957, the same year as “Seventh Seal,” Mr. Bergman also directed “Wild Strawberries,” his acclaimed study of old age. In the film, the 78-year-old Isak Borg (played by the silent-film director and actor Victor Sjostrom), drives through the countryside, stops at his childhood home, relives the memory of his first love and comes to terms with his emotional isolation. “I had created a figure who, on the outside, looked like my father but was me, through and through,” Mr. Bergman has said. “I was then 37, cut off from all human emotions.”

I think I first saw the movie and became fascinated with it in the early 1960’s when I was in my early thirties, but now I’m the same age as Isak Borg in the movie, although I’m certainly not suffering the way he did. It’s interesting that I was so fascinated with it at the time, and perhaps still am.

UPDATE 7/31/2007: Eric Alterman‘s first Bergman film was Wild Strawberries and he has interesting comments on the film here.

  1. Aldon Hynes’s avatar

    I, too, am a big Bergman fan. I loved Wild Strawberries, if ‘love’ is the right word for it, although The Seventh Seal is probably my favorite.

  2. CASH for COMMENTS’s avatar

    Congratulations on turning 89. I wonder if they would have that at a the local blockbuster. I doubt it.

  3. Mardé’s avatar

    Thanks, Aldon. Yes, if ‘love’ is the right word for it. :-) Much as I had wanted to, I never quite got to see the Seventh Seal, although I’ve seen bits from it over the years.

    Thanks, Cash for Comments. Are you congratulating me for turning 89? I’m not quite there yet, if I’m to get there! Ingmar made it to 89… I’m not sure about the local blockbuster, but I’m sure Netflix would have it. Thanks for the comment, but I don’t pay cash for comments unless you’d like to fix the tire on my truck. 😆

  4. Valentin’s avatar

    Well, same day Ingmar start his travel to
    ancestors or following his path to next
    reincarnation, Teoctist, the romanian ortodox
    church leader started same “race”. Yet is said
    “about dead people speak only well”, opposite
    to Ingmar, Teoctist (age 92) was a very
    controversial guy, inclusive the odds that it
    should be an “a” between “g” and “y” …

    But .. I use to allways say that, after all,
    life is a lethal disease …

  5. Mardé’s avatar

    Thanks, Valentin, for that comment. Very interesting. I’ll have to look up this guy (gay?) Teoctist, the Romanian orthodox church leader. But you say both Ingmar and he are “racing” toward their ancestors or to their next reincarnations? Maybe you’re kidding here? 😉
    Or maybe not?

  6. Valentin’s avatar

    ” Maybe you’re kidding here?
    Or maybe not?”

    Exactly !

  7. Mardé’s avatar

    “Exactly !”

    Yes, if life is not a lethal disease, it is at least fraught with ambiguities. Or perhaps both?


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