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A Lesson in Love

(En lektion i kärlek)
Sweden 1954. Dir: Ingmar Bergman. 95 min. DCP

“The popular image of Bergman as a frigid intellectual can scarcely survive a viewing of A Lesson in Love,” esteemed British-Canadian film critic Robin Wood wrote of this warm, witty sex farce. Anticipating the delights of Smiles of a Summer Night, the director’s international breakthrough the next year, the film has Bergman regular Gunnar Björnstrand as a jaded gynaecologist involved in an extramarital affair with a patient (“I want your fire to burn away my apathy”). The doctor’s jilted wife (Eva Dahlbeck), for her part, seeks comfort in the arms of a former fiancé. Told largely in flashback, and beginning with an hilarious chance encounter that sets the estranged couple to reviewing their troubled relationship, this delightful film in the mode of the classic Hollywood marriage comedy is deliciously laden with irony, innuendo, and amusing cynicism about the battle of the sexes.

 

REVIEWS

"Reveals certain sparkling characteristics that have been striking in Mr. Bergman's themes and style ... It has humor, wisdom, and charm."

New York Times | full review