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Criterion Collection: Summer With Monika [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Top Customer Reviews
Based on the novel by Per Anders Fogelstrom, this has the themes and style that many of Bergman's subsequent works would have- a transcendental use of imagery verging on the magic, miserable relations between people and the existential nature of life and the obligatory decay that occurs with time...
Harriet Andersson's Monika is not dissimilar to other 'wild women' of the screen- Jeanne Moreau's Catherine in Jules et Jim and Beatrice Dalle in Betty Blue sprung to mind. The island holiday between the couple has that idealised quality of youth that people pang for and base whole careers on attempting to recapture- the end shows that change occurs and things can never be the same again.
I think this film is where Bergman came of age, and it has, for me, one of the most iconic images I have seen in cinema: Harriet Andersson running naked towards the sea. This is the most perfect image, one of innocence and beauty on a plain removed from the conventional (the beach is often seen as something like a dreamplain, if you're misreading Jung and gazing at Dali at the same time)- this is the moment that Lars Ekborg's character will try to recapture in a Proustian fashion (and fail to). A perfect moment in cinema.
It is great that Summer with Monika is now available on DVD, as I believe it to be a classic work and the ideal introduction to the world of Ingmar Bergman.
I would recommend this film to anyone that has loved and lost. A moving and deeply personal film.
second half goes further and explores the 'what if' of the summer
romance between teens; moving into parenthood, marriage, and
The acting is excellent, and unlike 'Summer Interlude' these actors
look close to the naïve age they're playing.
The film's point of view sometimes felt a bit one sided to me with 'bad
girl' Monika, from a crude, poor family, less willing to extend herself
than her upper-class boyfriend Harry. Of course, along with being
selfish she is also the more complex and fascinating character,
especially as played by the young Harriet Andersson.
Some critics make the argument - with merit - that the film doesn't
judge Monika,the audience does. Indeed, it could be argued that the
film is meant to make us question our own judgment of a poor girl who
is brought up with dreams of marriage as a glamorous escape, and not
just a humdrum existence. It's not for nothing the heroine is obsessed
with Hollywood love stories.
Andersson's performance may be the first of the many hyper-real and
extremely complex characters in Bergman's body of work, transcending
'type' and moral judgment.
The film was beloved by the French New wave filmmakers, who saw in it's
complex attitude (and very brief nudity) a throwing off of the shackles
of conventional characters and storytelling.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Incredible film, warm, romantic, beautifully shot - what life should be like all the time.Published 9 months ago by Dan Smith
There are interesting Special Features that accompany the main feature, especially the interview with Harriet Andersson, at age 80, and still sharp and with very clear memories of... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Stanley Crowe
This was adventurous stuff when it was filmed. But we must watch it in the now, and in the now, it's dull, clumsy and trite in the extreme. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Mrs Virginia MacDonald
First saw this film many years ago and it touched me as it might with many people.
Life seems so beautiful for awhile then hard reality sets in and we have to grow up fast.
The film illustrates very well the old adage 'marry in haste and repent at leisure'. Beautiful B&W photography which I admired.Published on 10 Aug. 2013 by Joseph.Feeley
This film is definitely 'of its time' in many ways but it is a great example of Bergman's work. The black and white photography adds to its appeal.Published on 15 Mar. 2013 by Oldie
Bergman is perhaps one of those artists that you either love or perhaps quite like; maybe some people hate his films. Read morePublished on 25 May 2012 by T. S. C.
Oh dear, I know this is hailed as one of Ingmar Bergman's classics..... but I simply didn't like it. Read morePublished on 17 Mar. 2012 by Frank48
In 1950s Sweden, two young working class kids, still in their teens, the reckless and rebellious Monica and the handsome if quiet Harry, decide to elope from their families in his... Read morePublished on 7 Jan. 2011 by Andres C. Salama