Wednesday, December 5, 2012

SUMMER INTERLUDE (1951) (Swedish)

Exploring my second Bergman film is the one belongs to his early phase of career. With this film Bergman stamped his original impression that brought him special notice. The film is visual elegy about love and it’s lost. There’s elegance oozing in every frame in this romantic melodrama. The essence and tenderness of those bygone silent classic reflects through innocence of romance between an emotional fool and smart pretty ballerina. The story was told through flashback and present with fine poise, atmospheric tuning between sight and sound. It represents innocence and charm of romance follows up by lost youth and purged memories. The melodramatic seriousness of drama also covers some playful notes in romantic part too.

Perhaps it represents the face of youthful spirit of bloom in form of graceful Maj-Britt Nelson playing Marie. There’re myriad expressions covered in close ups with mirror reflection, quite a fine prop used a number of times in later films to serve a wall or double face between real and conceived image. Marie built a wall around her after sudden strike of personal tragedy. Having seen just two films it’s invalid to built certain amount of notion but Bergman left certain characters with ambiguity of human instinct. In ‘The Virgin spring’, it’s Ingeri, the jealous maid, in case of this one it’s Marie’s uncle who left me hard to make an opinion about intentions. However that rubbing of masked make up is quite symbolic frame, somehow I feel the happy ending part sudden and over imposed one where the character or plot doesn’t show us enough role playing of transformation.

Though Bergman loathed Godard’s experimental form, in July 1958’s Cahiers du Cinema, Godard noted such about this Bergman classic. “There are five or six films in the history of the cinema which one wants to review simply by saying, ‘it’s most beautiful of films’. Because there can be no higher praise…I love Summer Interlude.”


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