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aka - Sommaren Med Monika
Sweden 1952
Directed by
Ingmar Bergman
97 minutes
Rated G

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

Summer With Monika

Summer With Monika is a straightforward, nearly French-style story of feckless young love (Lars Ekborg and Harriet Andersson play the lovers) taken from a naturalistic novel by Per-Anders Fogelström that was made on a shoestring budget and was Bergman's first international success.

Although the film's main appeal was in the depiction of the two young lovers enjoying a classically Scandinavian back-to-nature summer idyll, there is no shortage of irony in the title and if the film lacks the more expressionist style of visual composition associated with Bergman's subsequent more brooding films (with the exception of the Andersson's striking stare into the camera) there is jaundice aplenty as love vanishes with the summer sun. Not surprisingly French critics have always placed the film high in the Bergman canon, stills from it appearing in Truffaut's The 400 Blows.

FYI: Andersson who appears in her first major screen role and memorably incarnates a selfish, wild-child hedonism, would go on to become a Bergman regular on screen and, fairly typically of his leading ladies, off-screen as his lover.




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