Following the ESC (Eurovision Song Contest) marathon I grabbed the remote and discovered Bergman’s Wild Strawberries was showing on one of the other channels. What a relief! What elixir for my psyche after overdosing for three and a half hours on heavily made-up beautiful people, spectacular lighting and special effects…
What an astonishing master of film making Ingmar Bergman was. Made in 1957, Wild Strawberries is filmed in black and white. Albeit an old movie, each frame is a piece of art, and the story, the silences and every spoken line he wrote into this script, as in all his scripts, are full of lived life. His casting is close to perfection, and Bergman’s way of getting a great performance out of his actors is surpassed by very few, if any. I enjoy watching this film so much – an experience diametrically opposite to all the glitter and shine of the ESC event, making the grand musical show appear pathetically shallow.
And yet, there is a time and a place for both. That’s the wonder of life, of being alive, and grateful am I.
The picture below is from a central scene in the movie. Young Sara, played by Bibi Andersson, confronts Isak Berg, the aging professor played by Victor Sjöström, with his estrangement to life and people. Holding a mirror to his face, Sara prompts him to look at himself:
“You’re not looking! Look! As professor emeritus, you ought to know why it hurts. But you don’t know.(…) You know so much, and you don’t know anything.”