“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. For sentimental reasons, too, it was also fun making it.”It’s the film where Bergman became Bergman, so to speak.
You know what’s the interesting bit? It was his 14th feature film.
I see Summer Interlude as a lovely companion piece to Summer with Monika (a later film, but I saw it last June). The 2 films have similarities—first love, summer, an island; and Maj-Britt Nilsson looks similar to Harriet Andersson from some angles. While the love story in Summer with Monika is built on romantic illusion and frivolity, and destroyed by the realities of life as well as Monika’s egoism and selfishness, the love story in Summer Interlude is destroyed by that inevitable fact of life—death. Harriet Andersson may be more fascinating and memorable, because of her wild sensuality and erotic charm, and because of the superficiality and selfishness of her character, but Maj-Britt Nilsson is also good, even haunting, in Summer Interlude, with a clear difference between the young Marie, carefree and flirtatious, and the older Marie, hardened, cold, and cynical. Summer with Monika is about love and ruin. Summer Interlude is about love and loss, and acceptance, or to be more precise, about coming to terms with loss, cherishing the memories but moving on, breaking the walls you’ve built for yourself after great pain, and opening up to someone else again.
A beautiful film.
This is perhaps the most beautiful shot in the film—like a painting:
My favourite shot—look at the composition:
Also, here is one of the shots of feet in the film, which I was very quick to notice as I’m making an experimental film with a feet-related concept: