Saturday, July 18, 2020

1107. Summer with Monika

Summer with Monika
Directed by Ingmar Bergman

So I guess a later addition of this Book traded Winter Light for this Bergman film. If readers were hoping I grew out of my hating Bergman phase, I regret to report very little growth in that area. I still found this to be a rather dull affair.

Harry and Monika are in love and we get to watch them spend a rather sickening summer frolicking around and being insufferably happy. Once summer is over, Monika finds it difficult to adjust to her new life as mother and homemaker.

Apparently this caused quite a stir upon its release, as it features a naked woman. It's not even a particularly sexy scene, but I guess this was back in the Doris Days when people were desperate for anything edgy.

What was special about Harry and Monika? I still don't know. Maybe that was the point, that they were just two ordinary people that thought their love made them extraordinary, and they were wrong. Monika was only interesting in her misery and Harry was such a blank slate I found most scenes with him rather boring.

Still, because it is Bergman, it is a technically beautiful movie, even if Monika and Harry light each other's cigarettes in the most obnoxious way imaginable.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Most widely viewed Bergman film in the U.S.


  1. What a beautifully restrained, reasonable, and yet honest review of another Bergman for poor Amanda. Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the book, believing the pages were now safe from Scandi misery, along comes your dear, dear friend Mr Bergman... Ohhh.. I'm sorry!

    A rather drastic change, dumping 'Winter Light' for this, comparatively very light weight affair... Winter Light is so .. so... 'Bergman', with his signature religious doubt and oppression seriously adding to the general tone of misery, it's a shame it went (although it is far from one of my favourite Mr. B films), but this is one more likely to entice Bergman agnostics. I would still like to see 'Scenes from a marriage' in there, but deciding which of the others to drop is tricky.. even I would think that about 15 films would be going a bit far.

    And, as ever, you are delightful honest about the beautiful cinematagraphy.

    I've forgotten what way they lit the cigarettes.. and why it could be considered obnoxious..

    to wind up with my attempt at a sign off snippet..

    In the old days, when IMDb had a social media plat form, where people could post messages, usually questions, such as 'I missed the beginning / end 5 mins, what happened', or 'What is the symbolic significance of ...' Or even, very useful and informative, someone asking 'What the beep was THAT all about?, I just didn't get it' Unfortunatly, they dropped that facility..
    Anyway, this one raised several threads about the fact that, at the end of this film about a young girl, who abandons things like schooling, conventional social etiquette, has non married sex, is seen naked, and ends up being an unmarried mother...... as the film ends, in big, bold, uppercase letters across the screen appear the seeming rather out of character for Mr B, judgemental and rather harsh word for her, 'SLUT'.
    Some people were genuinely upset and angry about that..

    1. That is hilarious, Ray. Just to clarify, "slut" means "The End" in all the Nordic languages. Never realised it could be misunderstood like this. Sort of fitting...
      Knew of a guy called Bent A. Kock who went to live in America. He had to change his name...