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Friday, July 18, 2014

Smultronstallet (aka Wild Strawberries) (1957)

A rather cold and self absorbed aged academic (Victor Sjostrom) is being honored with a special doctorate degree by a university. As he travels the long auto ride with his daughter in law (Ingrid Thulin) to receive the honor, he reflects on his life through dreams and flashbacks. This is a lovely and poignant rumination and self examination of one's life, the mistakes we've made, the wrongs we've done others and perhaps the opportunity to set some of it right and free ourselves in the process. One of Ingmar Bergman's more accessible films, it features a beautiful performance by the famed actor/director Sjostrom in his final film role. It contains some of the most unforgettable sequences in Bergman's career: Sjostrom's first dream on the deserted streets, his visit to his old mother, the bickering couple they pick up on the road. Thulin is also wonderful though it's often difficult to get past her great beauty to appreciate her performance. A genuine example of cinema as an art form. With Bibi Andersson (playing two roles), Gunnar Bjornstrand, Max Von Sydow, Gunnel Lindblom, Naima Wifstrand, Folke Sundquist and Bjorn Bjelfvenstam.

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