BTXXV 1957: Behind Wild Strawberries

The narrator says “There’s me”. And if she’s the script girl, then that’s Katinka Faragó, according to imdb. Narrator identified! Possibly!

Behind Wild Strawberries (Bakomfilm Smultronstället). Ingmar Bergman. 1957. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★.

I still don’t know who’s doing the voice-over on these documentaries, but she seems fun.

You don’t really get much information beyond what the actors’ names are, though. But there’s the occasional amusing anecdote.

This post is part of the 87 Bergman Things series.

BTXXIV 1957: Wild Strawberries

Wild Strawberries (Smultronstället). Ingmar Bergman. 1957. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.

Is this Bergman’s greatest commercial success, perhaps? It’s probably second to The Seventh Seal as “The Bergman Film”, though.

It’s such a lovely and surprising film. It has a road movie structure where people fade in and out of the proceedings in a very pleasing manner.

This post is part of the 87 Bergman Things series.

BTXXIII 1956: Behind The Seventh Seal

Behind The Seventh Seal (Bakomfilm Det sjunde inseglet). Ingmar Bergman. 1956. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★.

The narrator on this short is the same as on the previous one, but I still don’t know who it is. Perhaps the script supervisor? The narration is very seat-of-the-pants: The narrator has obviously never seen the footage before, so she’s commenting on what she’s seeing in real time, which is kind of fun.

But it also means that she often doesn’t know what’s really going on in the shots.

Apparently most of this footage has been shot by Bergman himself?

I got it off of the torrentzes, but I would guess the origin is from an old Swedish DVD.

This post is part of the 87 Bergman Things series.

BTXXII 1957: The Seventh Seal

The Seventh Seal (Det sjunde inseglet). Ingmar Bergman. 1957. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.

This is probably the one film everybody thinks of when you mention Ingmar Bergman, right? Very serious, filled with symbolism and religious anguish. As pop-culture penetration of art film goes, nothing beats Death on the beach playing chess.

And Max von Sydow, for the first time in a Bergman film!

I thought this film was from later in Bergman’s career, but here it is, in the middle of his sweetest comedies.

The film seems constructed to entice people to write treatises about it, what with the film commenting on itself and commenting on Bergman’s career and stuff. Just the stuff film nerds love.

This post is part of the 87 Bergman Things series.

BTXXI 1955: Smiles of a Summer Night

Smiles of a Summer Night (Sommarnattens leende). Ingmar Bergman. 1955. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.

“A romantic comedy by Ingmar Bergman.” Bergman was depressed but needed money, so he made this little masterpiece, which was also his international break-through, I think. It won prizes in Cannes and everything.

Gunnar Björnstrand’s glued-on comedy beard is rather disturbing, though.

“The last three years I’ve turned 29, which is nothing for a woman of my age.”

It’s a kinda perfect movie. You have to wonder about what’s going on at the set, though. Bergman’s relationship with Harriet Andersson (playing a significant part) was over, and Harriet’s sister, Bibi, makes her first appearance in a Bergman film. (They’d later become involved.)

It’s all so complicated. But we have this.

This post is part of the 87 Bergman Things series.