Autumn Sonata (1978)

autumn sonata criterion bluray

I have not yet watched an Ingmar Bergman film for this year’s Foreign Film February. I really should remedy that. I bought a big boxed set of his films from the Criterion Collection a couple of years ago and haven’t begun to really scratch the surface of it. Bergman films tend to be very weighty, which sometimes makes them difficult to watch. They are often rewarding, but the effort it takes to watch them often makes me put them off. Foreign Film February is always a good excuse to make me make that effort, but I haven’t yet.


I did watch this one several years ago and reviewed it here. It is definitely a rewarding watch.

Wild Strawberries (1957)

wild strawberries criterion

I often think that Ingmar Bergman is the reason most Americans don’t like foreign films. Bergman often made emotionally heavy, deeply symbolic, and frankly not all that easy to watch movies. He is the epitome of the intellectual, art-house type of filmmaker that I think a lot of Americans think of when they think of foreign language films. The fact that there are all kinds of films – silly comedies, dumb action films, etc. – being made in countries that aren’t American doesn’t matter. Foreign films = inexplicable movies that only smarty-pants film critics like.

Or something. I generalize. But it is true that when I talk to my friends who don’t like foreign films they seem to think that all foreign films are European art-house films of the kind that Bergman specialized in.

Which, is perhaps, a weird way of saying I actually love Bergman. I find most of his films to be utterly fascinating. Wild Strawberries is one of his best. Criterion released a Blu-ray of it a few years back, and I’ve got a review.