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Summer Interlude

aka Illicit Interlude (Sommarlek)
Sweden 1951. Dir: Ingmar Bergman. 96 min. DCP

Bergman becomes Bergman with the lyrical Summer Interlude, his first major critical success and, arguably, first mature work. Effusively admired by many — Godard declared, “I love Summer Interlude” — the film, Bergman’s tenth feature, anticipates Wild Strawberries with its flashback structure and elegiac, deeply-felt exploration of love, loss, and acceptance of the past. Maj-Britt Nilsson is prima ballerina Marie, nearing the end of her performing career, and struggling in her current romance. The unexpected discovery of a diary leads her to recall her ill-fated first love affair as a teenager many years before. The film received a U.S. release as Illicit Interlude; Bergman’s original American distributors often saw fit to push the saucy or salacious. “Of the Bergman films I have seen, Summer Interlude is the earliest in which one feels in the presence of a great artist” (Robin Wood).



"Complex and beguiling, this is the first foothold on Bergman's climb to brilliance."

Empire | full review