dir. ingmar bergman
“You dare not leave and you dare not stay. You only see your life clearly once, when all your protective walls have tumbled down. You stand there naked and cold, seeing yourself just the way you are. Only once. At that moment you dare not either live or die.”
“For me Summer Interlude is one of my most important films. Even though to an outsider it may seem terribly passé, for me it isn’t. This was my first film in which I felt I was functioning independently, with a style of my own, making a film all my own, with a particular appearance of its own, which no one could ape. It was like no other film. It was all my own work. Suddenly I knew I was putting the camera on the right spot, getting the right results; that everything added up.” – Ingmar Bergman
With his tenth film, Bergman found his glorious footing. Summer Interlude is nothing short of magnificent, from its writing to its acting to its filming. Bergman was not only a master director, but his writing is beautifully elegant, even here in the earliest of his works I’ve seen. His films are poetry played on celluloid: a feast for the eyes and ears.
Interlude plays out Bergman’s signature themes: loss of innocence, the inescapability of the past, the trials of love, the questioning of faith, etc. Here we follow Marie as she remembers her first love, Henrik, during a summer vacation. She remembers the simplicity of her life and the hopes she had for it–in sharp contrast to her dismal life in the present. Interlude is not always a happy film, but it’s a real film.
“One night, following a scorching summer day of blazing sunlight, there was an immense silence that reached all the way to the starless vault of heaven.”
There are honestly too many quotes from this film that I love–a true testament to Bergman’s talents as a writer. I’m also incredibly disappointed in the lack of gifs available for this film; it’s absolutely beautiful to look at (particularly the first twenty-or-so minutes). The film is intimate and it’s simple; Bergman will go on to make many films that are much darker and much more complicated, so this one feels like a breath of fresh air.
“Days like pearls: round and lustrous, threaded on a golden string. Days filled with fun and caresses. Nights of waking dreams. When did we sleep? We had no time for sleep.”
Criterion Spine #613
Available to stream via Filmstruck