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
I Love this film ! Because this film stands starkly in contrast to Bergman’s trademark and popular works and the stuff we generally associate with him. Because this is one of the most precious Early Bergman gems. Because this is arguably the simplest film Bergman has ever made and one which is deeply affecting too precisely because of its compliance with reality and physical situations rather than those of a spiritual kind which formed the focal point of the films Bergman made later, which propelled him to the level of a Master Film-maker and one of the greatest observers and commentators on the human condition. But this is the film where the seeds of his later success were sown. A melodrama of sorts, this film is a delightful meditation on teenage love, teenage rebellion , generational conflict and features a memorably incisive portrayal of a woman who is at ease with her being, owns her sexuality and is free to honour her urges without being held back by the claws of morality; a character which almost comes across as repugnant but incites awe coz of her free spiritedness. A breakthrough performance by 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