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.
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Monika est une enfant sauvage et entêtée, une adolescente à la sensualité animale, une femme acharnée à défendre son désir contre toutes les conventions sociales, toutes les "lois naturelles"... La combinaison de la photogénie et de la personnalité, de la science et de l'instinct du jeu d'acteur, atteint chez Harriett Anderson un point d'incandescence rare, sous le regard passionné de Bergman. Un film de liberté !
Just when you think you know where Ingmar Bergman's romance between two teenagers who run away from home one languid summer is going, Bergman pulls the rug out from under us and hits us with a hard, painful dose of reality. A poignant and ultimately heartbreaking tale of young love whose naivete comes crashing down when the consequences of their actions finally catch up with them.
Bergman's showcase for his then lover Harriet Andersson, complete with brief but shocking early 50's nudity, about teenage idealists who rebel against society for the summer, but come home pregnant and miserable. Made just before "Sawdust and Tinsel", this is a major director on the cusp of super greatness.
The breadth of Bergman's accomplishments still astounds. This is a proto-New Wave story of love on the run, high on location shooting and the spontaneity of its starlet. Recut in the US as an exploitation film because it has 50 frames of sideboob, it's a requiem to youthful dreams, full of humbled adults in the background. The crowning shot: Monika's extended eye contact with the audience, daring them to judge her.
There are some real moments of exquisite beauty; but sadly it felt too melodramatic and overacted, and ultimately fake. But it was to be expected, as narrative cinema hadn't reached an interesting stage for me at this moment in time.
This is an « ok » film; not a groundbreaking's one, i think. Two interesting moments: the « promenade » of the boat « without the apparition of the two characters » and the gaze of Monika to the lentil of the camera near the end of the film.
A ravishing idyll followed by a wrenching reversal, Bergman's Summer with Monika offers a bleakly beautiful elegy for the seduced and the abandoned. In her dread extended close-up, Monika is revealed as a monster, but this spider is at least as trapped as her quarry.