For those accustomed to Ingmar Bergman’s more serious fare, such as the austere Winter Light or his foreboding The Seventh Seal, Smiles of a Summer Night is a light-hearted, utterly amusing antidote. It is the Bergman film for people who don’t like Bergman. Of course, the film has some of the usual touches of the Swedish director: familiar actors such as Gunnar Bjornstrand and Harriet Andersson, a theater scene within the film, characters revealing their most intimate thoughts to others, etc. However, while Bergman typically dedicates an entire film to the intense inner turmoil of one or two characters, in Smiles there are many characters struggling with anxieties that are often exploited to a farcical end.
Tag: Smiles of a Summer Night
Like most cinephiles, I went through a major Ingmar Bergman phase. I devoured a chunk of his films from the classic (THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY) to the obscure (THE PASSION OF ANNA). Four films of his, however, will always hold a special place in my heart: SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT, THE VIRGIN SPRING, WILD STRAWBERRIES and THE SEVENTH SEAL. Admittedly, those are probably Bergman’s most famous films. These four films, a sex comedy, a rape/revenge thriller, a redemption drama and an allegorical seriocomedy, provide a quick glimpse of Bergman the filmmaker and Bergman the person.