Jan 23, 2013

Summer with Monika is an

Outstanding film for many different reasons, but foremost amongst them has to be the magnificent and luminescent photography by Gunnar Fischer.  It is a cold and crisp and glowing world that Fischer has captured to tell Ingmar Bergman's tale of young doomed love.

Crisp is a crucial word to describe this film.  In terms of temperature and texture and refreshment. It is a word and theme that appears to inform every single element; from story, art design, photography, and direction, etc, ...

This crispness is also essential to the film's longevity.  It is a film experience that has retained all the same snap and bite that must have exhilarated audiences back in 1953.  Moreover, it is a film that can still speak to young audiences today.

And yes, the shot that Fischer, Bergman, and their star, Harriet Andersson create, wherein Ms Andersson stares directly in to the camera as the light fades behind her and the jazz number mixes with music more sinister is one of the greatest moments of cinema.  Godard copied it in Vivre sa vie.  And scores of other directors have also tried to recreate that moment.  Remember, too, that both Godard and Bergman were romantically involved with their stars when they made these films.  And, yes it comes as no surprise to me that this film would have such a huge impact and influence on Woody Allen.

Summer with Monika is absolutely essential cinema that is just as special today as it was then.  It is available for sale or for rental through iTunes, and Criterion have made superb dvd and bluray versions, as well.

Mwah, ... 

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