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Summer Interlude

Sommarlek

Marie (Maj-Britt Nilsson) is a ballerina of 28 who is rehearsing for Swan Lake. Someone sends her a parcel containing the diary of her lover Henrik (Birger Malsten), who died thirteen years previously. Stirred by her memories, Marie returns by boat to the island where the love affair took place and recalls the various incidents of the idyllic summer that had ended abruptly with Henrik’s accidental death.
The importance of Summer Interlude in relation to Bergman’s early films is immediately evident: it both continues and develops the characteristic preoccupations with youth and the vulnerability of innocence. But here the transition from innocent youth to experienced adulthood is explored in more depth, and with it the possibility of coming to terms with the world of experience. The film’s most distinctive characteristic is perhaps its feeling for nature: there is no other Bergman film where it is felt as such a pervasive influenceoseas, sunlight, clouds, a precise sense of the time of year and the time of day, images of natural fertility counterpointing the development of the relationship.

1951.
English subtitles.
Black and white.
96 mins.

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