Tag Archives: Ingmar Bergman

I’m cold and there are wolves after me.

53. Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)

I’ve been trying to think of something funny, relevant, acerbic, or insightful to write about this film, and so far I am shooting blanks.

The plot is as follows: an old man, played by Victor Sjöström(who was a bitchin’ silent film director), travels with his daughter-in-law and some hitchhikers to the city to collect an honorary doctorate degree. Along the way he daydreams and is forced to confront how fucked his life is.

I guess that’s a function of being old: you dwell and reflect on the past, and the mistakes and what-went-wrongs especially.

This was the second Bergman film I watched after The Seventh Seal, and it’s a bit more uplifting, but that is as much a product of it not being set in the time of plague. It does probably have the most hopeful resolution of any Bergman film I’ve seen, in that the old man kind of comes to terms with his life, and regains a bit of what he had lost. But it’s still pretty much a bummer.

The poster’s a bummer too.

On filmaffinity.com I gave the film 7/10. Maybe I’ll start digging Bergman in my 60’s when I am filled with painful regret.

I liked Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey better.

42. The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)

My first Bergman, and despite the cool poster of a skeleton riding a checkerboard, somewhat underwhelming.

As I mentioned in my post on “Ordet“, I am/was quite religious(still a bit undecided on where I am now), and this film is pretty much indebted to the Christian interpretation of the world. Having seen a good chunk of both Dreyer‘s and Bergman’s work, I find that I can’t think of one without the other. And I think I like Dreyer’s work more.

I like that Dreyer’s work leaves things hanging. Bergman I find tries to make sense of things a bit too much, and seems preoccupied with exposing the hypocrisy of the church. I find Bergman to be focused on existentialism, and the inherent futility of the pursuit of understanding. Dreyer seems willing to narrow his focus to the church, and to good and evil. I like Dreyer’s work because it is so willing to explore the world, without passing such dreadful judgment upon it. I always get the sense that Dreyer is somehow willing to believe in something bigger than himself, while Bergman simply can’t comprehend any world view other than his own. Essentially God doesn’t give a shit, and life is meaningless.

I do like some of Bergman’s work, but I like Dreyer’s treatment of God, Religion, and life more. Dreyer just seems less cynical than Bergman, perhaps more willing to accept the role of faith and religion in life, whereas Bergman just wants to cast it aside.

I realize that both men were essentially agnostic, but somehow I admire Dreyer’s films for their willingness to accept religion as a part of life, where I find myself unable to relate to much of Bergman’s work for it’s dismissal of religion. Also I like Connect Four more than chess, maybe if Bergman used that I would have felt it more.

this realization is somewhat ironic given my current agnosticism, but for whatever reason I admire Dreyer’s seeming willingness to tackle religion as opposed to Bergman’s seeming dismissal of it.

On filmaffinity.com I gave the film a 6/10. It just didn’t resonate with me, and felt disjointed. I think I like Bergman’s treatment of life, moreso than his treatment of religion.

The best Swedish porn. XXX

32. Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)

Ranking Bergman:

  1. Persona
  2. Cries & Whispers
  3. Wild Strawberries
  4. Fanny & Alexander
  5. The Seventh Seal

There’s a lot more Bergman on this list, but his movies kind depress so I generally avoid him. It’s not that he makes bad films, it’s mainly that they always deal with some existential crisis and they have are always blak, with a cold Nordic kind of atmosphere.

I don’t watching movies and feeling depressed by them, but I prefer failed relationships, heartbreak, and sad deaths over existential crises over the futility of wife. And I know that’s what I’ll get with Bergman, so I have to be in the right mood to watch. Give me melodrama anyday.

That’s being said I do like Persona, partly because I like the concept: a famous actress all of the sudden stops speaking and no one can figure out why, and partly because it’s only 80 minutes. Short movies can be boring, but 80 minutes is still only 80 minutes. Despite being so short the film is incredibly dense with ideas and existential ramblings, but the general premise of the film is enough of a hook that the film doesn’t get bogged down. Plus the Liv Ullmann who plays the actress, and Bibi Andersson who plays the nurse who tries to help her are both pretty ballin’. Swedish chicks=pure sex.

On filmaffinity.com I gave the film a 8/10, it might be the only Bergman film I have seen that I would genuinely like to re-watch. Some of his other stuff is good, but requires to much thinking. Thinking is totally for chumps and people whose moms went to college.