Saturday, November 24, 2007
Ingmar Bergman's "Sommaren med Monika" (1953)
I was surprised that the IFC theater was not full for the restored print of this Bergman film. Two working class teenagers take off in a motorboat to escape from jobs, adults and the city. When she gets pregnant, they return to civilization, and tragedy follows. A simple three-part structure. But parallel and contrasting scenes deepen and multiply the structure. Harry Lund's house is a decorated and silent grave while Monika's house roars with neighbors singing, mother shouting, brothers yelling and father drunkenly celebrating. In both transitions to the next part of the frame, the motorboat passes by Cubist buildings and under angular bridges, both uniformed in black and white, but, whereas the outward journey is a joyful escape, the inward one is an ominous return. Harriet Andersson played Monika with the brio and sensuality promised by the reviews. Lars Ekborg played Harry with a sweet innocence.