Inspired by the earthy eroticism of his muse Harriet Andersson, in the first of her many roles for him, Ingmar Bergman had a major international breakthrough with this ravaging, sensual tale of young love. In Stockholm, a girl (Andersson) and boy (Lars Ekborg) from working-class families run away from home to spend a secluded, romantic summer at the beach, far from parents and responsibilities. Inevitably, it is not long before the pair is forced to return to reality. The version originally released in the U.S. was reedited by its distributor into something more salacious, but the original Summer with Monika, as presented here, is a work of stunning maturity and one of Bergman’s most important films. –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
"We rebelled Monika, against all of them!" Young love is violent. I'm thinking Wes Anderson's seen this a few times. Much more authentic acting than other early Bergmans. This is summer in the truest sense. Gets better with every minute and naturally degenerates. I can still see them dancing by the water... Clearly those who interpreted this as smut missed the message.
I think that people may have trouble rating this very high because of how it appears alongside the rest of Bergman's films. The film making is a little more simple, and Bergman's style hadn't yet been fully developed. It's still a great film though. It successfully and wisely confronted the audience with a painful aspect of life, and it did so with the grace of wonderfully filmed rocks, water and Harriet Andersson.
Rarely has half a year's wait been so richly rewarded. Early in August 2009 Jack Stevenson had promised a review copy of his forthcoming book
You know that famous scene in Ugetsu where the protagonist and his love affair lingered in their pleasures by the sparkling river? Take that scene and stretch it out to the length of a full feature… read review
Ingmar Bergman’s 1953 film, Summer with Monika, is based on a short story that was later developed into a novel by famous Swedish literary figure, Per Anders Fogelström. Bergman happened to… read review