[Last Film I Saw] Summer Interlude (1951)

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English Title: Summer Interlude
Original Title: Sommarlek
Year: 1951
Country: Sweden
Language: Swedish
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director: Ingmar Bergman
Writers:
Ingmar Bergman
Herbert Grevenius
Cast:
Maj-Britt Nilsson
Birger Malmsten
Georg Funkquist
Alf Kjellin
Annalisa Ericson
Stig Olin
Mimi Pollak
Gunnar Olsson
Renée Björling
John Botvid
Douglas Håge
Rating: 7.3/10

Summer Interlude 1951

This Ingmar Bergman’s earlier essay is a dedicative recount of a young ballerina’s summer holiday puppy romance with a timid college student which culminated in a tragic accident and the narrative leaps between the reminiscent past and the present (13 years later, when she is preparing her SWAN LAKE premier).

The film is slightly differentiated from Bergman’s usual philosophy-heavy, mentally-straining members of his reservoir, a summer vacation in a Scandinavian island, with youth in bathing suits, is a curio to find out. But the die-hard Bergman fans will as always revel in the solemn nuances and formidable expressions from Maj-Britt Nilsson’s heroine, whose god-spitting manifesto “I’ll hate him till the day I die!”defies any compromise and detour, which could also be Bergman’s mouthpiece speaking.

There are many aesthetically haunting shots with utterly perfect structural deployment (which cannot be a surprise since this is the sixth Bergman’s film I have watched so far), a witchcraft of radiating the characters’ frank and inherent emotion and sixth senses through Black & White lens, the portrait close-ups, the little cartoon on the letter, even the ballet tableaux, all sparkle with resilience of a human soul’s elusive fickleness. The wild strawberry, chess playing with the clergyman and the hag with mustache, there are many anecdotes here just for perusing.

Ms. Nilsson captures all the spotlight in the film, although she and Birger Malmsten are quite awkward in pulling off mid-or-late teens in love since wrinkles and creases cannot lie, but it is almost a mission-impossible for any actress since spanning 13 years especially from teenage to adulthood is a great challenge, nevertheless, this blemish can not overthrow the film’s majestic study on a psychological case of a lost love soul’s selective protection and rejuvenation, although may not be Bergman’s best, still a recommendable film from the maestro and furthermore attests his consistency in filmic supremacy.

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