Film 181 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 1957’s “Smultronstället“. Or as it’s known in English, “Wild Strawberries”. This Ingmar Bergman Swedish drama is about… I don’t actually know because this film doesn’t tell me. One minute I’m watching an old man hail abuse to a woman who I think is his maid because she refuses to go somewhere 14 hours early. Then the next minute the old man is having flashbacks to when he and his cousin picked strawberries. All I got out of the film was that the old man hates women or thinks women hate him because his wife died decades ago. At one point, his daughter-in-law lights up a cigarette to which he gives her the riot act before saying “women should only smoke cigars” to which he quickly changes his mind and says “There should be a law saying women aren’t allowed to smoke”. I had so many questions while watching this and none of them were being answered. I managed a little over 22 minutes before I started to fall asleep. I was so bored watching this that I ended up watching the trees blowing in the wind outside my window more interesting than this film. (sigh) In 2003, Ingmar Bergman had this to say about the film, “I’m not sure if it’s so much about me. Of course, I’m in it somewhere, but the basic character in Isak Borg is very much my dad.” Fun Fact of the Film – Victor Sjöström’s own film “Körkalen” (The Phantom Carriage) was a key influence on Ingmar Bergman. If you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1957’s “Smultronstället”
Film – Wild Strawberries (Smultronstallet)
Year – 1957
Director – Ingmar Bergman
Written by – Ingmar Bergman
Staring – Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin
IMDb Rating – 8.3/10
My Rating – ZZZZzzz
Length – 87 min (1h 27min)
Genre – Drama
We open with a man writing in his diary while his dog sits next to him
Better look at photos of his family
If he’s 78 and his mum is still alive, that means his mum is in her mid 90’s
Isak leaves as the opening credits roll
It’s June 1st – A day before my birthday!!!
Flashback to Isak walking around looking at clocks on the street
That clock has no dials! Why does this make me sweat?
Why does this place remind me of Halifax?
It’s a woman with no face…. who just died! – Ok then…
Who’s in charge of this funeral travel? They’ve crashed into a lamppost and the coffin’s fallen out of it
Wait… the dead person is alive!
Wait… the dead person is Isak!
This is meant to be great?! The weather outside my window is more interesting than this
Is she his maid?
Are marriage rules in Sweden different to those in UK & America? Are couples allowed to stay together the night before the wedding in Sweden?
I DEMAND EGGS!
Isak’s daughter-in-law, Marriane wants Isak to drive her to Evald on his way to Lund
Why is he going to Lund? – I don’t know
Don’t smoke cigs in my car, woman! Only cigars are allowed in my car
“There should be a law saying women aren’t allowed to smoke”
This is the quietest car I’ve ever heard! Are they driving a hybrid?
I have no idea what’s happening
The subtitles/translation is confusing
Is he drivig while asleep?
Does Isak think all women hate him since his wife dies decades ago?
Isak drives Marriane into the woods for a picnic and to show her his cabin in the woods
While my daughter goes for a swim, I’m going to lay down in a pile of strawberries
Is this another flashback?
Isak thinks he can see Sara
Here comes the milkman, Young Isak, to deliver some cream for her berries
If these two are cousins, they are being a bit flirty with each other?