(Sommarnattens leende, Ingmar Bergman, Sweden 1955, 109 min., 35mm, Swedish w/English Subtitles)
Vintage 35mm print
Ingmar Bergman is, among many other things, responsible for what may be the most elegant sex comedy ever made on film. Set at the turn of the century and inspired by a wide range of writers and filmmakers (from Shakespeare and Maupassant to Ophüls, Lubitsch, and Renoir), it, in turn, left a huge trace in culture, including direct remakes on Broadway (Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music) and on screen (Woody Allen’s A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy). Four men and four women swapping partners on a single night could have been a subject for a crude farce, had Bergman and his magnificent cast not smuggled in some of the most serious issues – such as infidelity, sexual disfunction, class distinctions, a conflict of generations, and much more. We will be screening an original US release print from 1957.
Post-screening discussion with Senior Curator Peter Bagrov.