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Today's quote:

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Now watch "Wild Strawberries" from beginning to end which is what it is all about - the end.

Click on Watch on YouTube to watch it


Some folks seem to think that a movie with subtitles must be ‘arty’, pretentious, difficult or boring. But all it really means is that the film was made in a country where the first language is not English.

In fact, subtitles can be a good sign, since their presence shows that the film has been deemed interesting enough to be exported to other cultures. Remember that many – perhaps most – of the films widely regarded by movie critics, historians and directors as among the greatest ever made are not in English. Yasujirō Ozu’s "Tokyo Story" (1953), Jean Renoir’s "The Rules of the Game" (1939), Federico Fellini’s "8 1/2" (1963) and Bergman’s "Wild Strawberries" (1957) are regular high-flyers.

Similarly, just because a film is in black and white rather than colour doesn’t mean that it is inferior or impoverished. Many of the most rewarding and entertaining films of all time were shot in black and white, either because that was, for technical reasons, the norm when they were made, or because the filmmakers deliberately chose to shoot in black and white; monochrome can produce a formal beauty different from colour. Again, critics, historians and directors number many black-and-white movies in polls and surveys of the greatest films ever made. Alongside the titles I mentioned above, Orson Welles’s "Citizen Kane" (1941), Alfred Hitchcock’s "Psycho" (1960) and Billy Wilder’s "Some Like It Hot" (1959) are consistent favourites.

Be patient. Give the movie time and your undivided attention. Don’t expect to be hooked from the first minute. Even if you feel you’re getting little out of a movie, if you’re watching at home, give it a minimum of, say, 40 minutes before you switch off; you’d be surprised how many filmmakers wait half an hour or so before they drop their first narrative bombshell.

At the same time, when you find a film that’s worked well for you, do a little research to find out more about its place in cinema history. Besides being made by a specific group of people, it will also be part of a national cinema, and you might follow that route: in every continent, there are countries renowned for having distinguished and distinctive schools and styles of filmmaking. Moreover, the film in question may also be regarded as having been part of, or influenced by, a historical movement. So if you find that it’s an example of German expressionism, French poetic realism, Italian neorealism, the French New Wave or whatever, it can be rewarding to check out other examples.

With all that in mind, you may want to listen to this introduction:

In Swedish, the expression "a place where wild strawberries grow" is used to describe a place or time where you feel particularly joyful and at home, hence the title of the movie. Ingmar Bergmann's other famous - perhaps even more famous - movies are "The Seventh Seal" and "Fanny and Alexander" (with Polish subtitles for my Polish friend in Greece 😀)

That should keep you occupied for the weekend!


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