After fifteen films of mostly local acclaim, the 1956 prize-winning comedy Smiles of a Summer Night at last ushered in an international audience for director Ingmar Bergman. Set in turn-of-the-century Sweden, four women and four men attempt to juggle the laws of attraction amidst their daily bourgeois life. When a weekend in the country brings them all face to face, the women ally to force the men’s hands in their matters of the heart, exposing their pretensions and insecurities along the way. Chock full of flirtatious propositions and sharp-witted wisdom delivered by such legends of the Swedish screen as Gunnar Björnstrand, Eva Dahlbeck, Harriet Andersson, and Ulla Jacobsson, Smiles of a Summer Night is one of film history’s great tragicomedies, a bittersweet view of the transience of human carnality. —The Criterion Collection
The most famed and honored filmmaker ever to emerge from the nation of Sweden – and regarded by many as one of the three or four most brilliant directors of the 20th century – Ingmar Bergman radically altered the nature and meaning of the motion-picture form, transfiguring a medium long devoted to spectacle into an art capable of profoundly personal meditations into the myriad struggles facing the psyche and the soul. By focusing on the exploration of self with unparalleled intensity, Bergman brought to the screen a new sense of emotional intimacy, fusing the concepts behind Freudian psychotherapy with a dreamlike sensibility founded on visual metaphors, flashbacks, and extreme close-ups to create a revelatory cinematic world unlike any before it.
Born Ernst Ingmar Bergman on July 14, 1918, in Uppsala, Sweden, he followed a brief 1938 military stay by attending Stockholm University. While there, he staged his first plays, among them adaptations of Macbeth, August Strindberg’s… read more
the second Bergman film I've seen so far and it was interesting to compare it to the other, "The Seventh Seal". here, Bergman tries the comedy genre on for size and succeeds in inserting enough dry wit and humor to constitute it as such. the actresses are beautiful, as is the black and white, making everyone glow in a strange way. the blunt sexuality of this film is also quite striking.
Fun and frolics in the Swedish sunshine are on show in Bergman's luscious confection, a midsummer comedy that is genuinely erotic and displays a lightness of touch that is a joy. The script is marvelous, witty and sophisticated, and is spoken by an exceptional cast. Special plaudits on this masterpiece go to Fischer, soon to be replaced by Nykvist as Bergman's cinematographer of choice, for his luminous photography..
And who said that Ingmar Bergman didn’t have a sense of humor?
Smiles of a Summer Night is a sweet little giddy movie from, surprisingly, Ingmar Bergman (who I consider to be one of the greatest… read review