(1963, Swe, 75 min) Dir Isak Borg. Cast Isak Borg, Berit Alman, Henrik Åkerman, Charlotta Borg.
By the time the early sixties had swung by Isak Borg should have been a happy man. Of the three films that he had so far written, produced, directed and starred in all three were slapstick comedy classics that had broken the box office in his native Sweden. Isak Borg, however, wasn’t a happy man. A legendarily paranoid and depressive man, he had grown to resent more and more the influence of his fellow countryman Ingmar Bergman who was taken so very seriously while Borg was scorned by critics, festivals and awards ceremonies alike. Thankfully that curse that had struck so many before him had not struck him – he had no desire to be taken seriously. No, he didn’t want to go to the critics, he wanted the critics to come to him. Hence Fresh Raspberries – surely a spoof of Bergman’s films would puncture their pomposity, reveal to the world at large the ridiculousness of the man’s self-seriousness? Alas, it did not work. Borg’s film of a clumsy priest’s spasms of doubt being met by increasingly absurd interruptions – starting with long forgotten uncles, graduating to a troupe of mean-spirited clowns and finishing with a wise talking death – was coldly received by not just the critics but by audiences too, evidently alienated by his previous film’s good cheer having curdled so badly. Within the year the beaten Borg was back to basics with Accidental Postman Grun.