WILD STRAWBERRIES (1957)
Article #603 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 11-8-2002
Posting date: 4-4-2003
A doctor on his way to receive an award for his fifty years of service finds himself troubled by strange dreams and reliving scenes from earlier in his life.
Sometimes this journey through the world of fantastic cinema takes me to some interesting places, even if they only marginally belong under the banner of the fantastic. I’m not really surprised that eventually I would encounter Ingmar Bergman along the way; I remember reading once that he was profoundly influenced by James Whales’ FRANKENSTEIN, and if you watch that movie and any of Bergman’s, you can see the influence. This thoughtful drama is both sad and comic, with meditations on life and death and any other subjects of philosophy you might wish to examine; I ultimately found myself deeply moved by it, though I suspect your average horror/science fiction/fantasy fan might have little use for it. However, if it should come by your way some time, take five minutes to catch the opening dream sequence in the movie; this dream is so filled with creepy dread that it’s almost like a little horror movie in itself, and it is for this scene alone that the movie is being covered here. It’s so powerful, that when a seemingly innocuous image in the dream (that of a clock missing its hands) recurs later in the movie, it actual has a certain shock factor. Fascinating, but only for those willing to venture into the world of Bergman.