[REL] Sommaren med Monika 1953 - tribute to Ingmar Bergman

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[REL] Sommaren med Monika 1953 - tribute to Ingmar Bergman

Post by billanben »   8 likes


aka Summer with Monika

Summer with Monika is a fine, if not completely masterful, showing of what would be to come with Ingmar Bergman's more notable and personal dramas. That is, in the technical side of things- here he uses a lot of shots that are simply there for the location, the imagery of where the characters are at. It's much more of a documentary than a usual tale of young love. But it's a good story at the core, and in it Bergman also establishes one of the actresses that would become crucial to his career. Harriet Andersson is remarkable as the happy, though high strung and (as one in my generation might call) 'needy' Monika, who works at a vegetable stand. She meets Harry (Ekberg) in a bar one day, and the two hit it off after later seeing a movie. Monika's home life is the pits, as is Harry's work environment. So, they act on an impulse to get away for the summer to an island. Out of that comes what is very natural in a relationship- happiness, love, despair, hunger, and the oncoming (unplanned) child. The third act goes as how one might expect, but the way it's filmed and acted is still extraordinary.

Once Bergman gets his film on the water, he just shoots and shoots. Some of this may not seem to go anywhere, some of it may just seem like shots of animals and rocks. But I have a feeling Bergman was likely inspired by either painters or the neo-realists with their documentary feel. If nothing else, everything feels very much alive and real with how the characters talk and act to each other, and that doesn't lose its ground after fifty years. Some shots here and there (one when Monika is out one night, when Harry is not at home, is intriguing on how it just stays on her, and how it's lit) are some of the more memorable ones of the 1950's for the director. I also liked how the characters were believably stuck in the middle of a very plausible dilemma- do they keep on going on with a great, bit love affair alone and off from civilization, or do they face up to what they have to do with living? It's a tragic, somewhat obvious conclusion, but the way it's told is how it scores some points.

Basically, Summer with Monika is a fresh, dark love story that may appeal to those looking for a good alternative to a film of today loaded with cynicism or delight in its conventions with the characters. One may have seen characters like Monika and Harry in other films, yet they are fitting for the style of this film.

This is my tribute to the passing of one of the all time greatest directors - Ingmar Bergman. If you haven't seen any of his films, I would recommend you start with this one, then maybe see some of the more acclaimed classics like :-

Smiles of a Summer night
Wild strawberries
The seventh Seal
The Silence
Through a glass darkly
Cries and Whispers
Scenes from a Marriage
From the life of Marionettes
The Virgin Spring (VERY OT)

It i each to their own, but this is just a taste of what this master of the celluloid was capable of. A very sad loss.

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Re: [REL] Sommaren med Monika 1953 - tribute to Ingmar Bergm

Post by Debaser »   0 likes

Thanks for this :)

and I agree, The Virgin Spring is very OT, well for some of us anyway.

I remember a certain member being less than impressed by it!
No prizes for guessing who that was lol
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