Day 17: ‘Smiles of a Summer Night’ 1955

‘Smiles of a Summer Night’ 1955

Ingmar Bergman Week, which began with the aim of watching Fanny and Alexander, The Seventh Seal and, possibly, Persona, is turning into a marathon, eating into Week 3, which was to be Sunrise (1927) and Nosferatu (1922). I’ve been caught up in Bergman’s oeuvre, and added Hour of the Wolf, The Virgin Spring, then Cries and Whispers and now Smiles of a Summer Night, to my screenings. I am so glad now that I’ve I continued on with Bergman. Last night I watched the earliest of his films I’ve seen to date; one which I’d heard of but knew nothing about. It shows a completely different side to his personality, which appeared in none of the other six films, with the exception of the first hour of Fanny and Alexander, and a few moments of buffoonery in The Seventh Seal.

It’s a complete delight; and so funny. I didn’t realise there was such a light-hearted side to Bergman; and when it threatens to go to the dark side, it doesn’t. Instead it uses what I’ve come to know as Bergman’s dark side from the latter films, for comedy, to great effect. More on this later.