• It is easy to confuse Summer Interlude with the rest of Ingmar Bergman’s oeuvre- it is one of three of his works from the 1950s with “Summer” in the title.
  • Opens with the Swan Lake ballet. Bergman uses a stark backdrop effectively displays his acumen for low and high angles.

In an impressive frame there are a trio of dancers in the foreground left—and another trio background right—with the main focus of the camera on the dancers in the center of the frame and center depth.

  • When Bergman is not shooting the ballet, ballet practice, or backstage at the ballet- this film largely uses exteriors.
  • A trip to an island, a ferry, triggers a flashback to thirteen years before- youth, first love, summer, wild strawberries- much of it on and around the water. This idyllic youth romance/lust is common in Bergman’s work (as is the flashback as a narrative device). “You feel it in your chest and your stomach.”

Maj-Britt Nilsson plays Marie. She sort of looks like Jean Simmons- very charming. She plays two versions of herself and plays them drastically different with not only the costume and hair- but also her posture. And her smile is gone in the contemporary (non-flashback) scenes. Bergman does put some makeup on her older version of herself- but this is exemplary acting.

The best composition in the film perhaps is at the 58-minute mark with Birger Malmsten (playing Henrik) in the foreground left. Nilsson is middle depth far right of the frame with the priest center of the frame in the background- simply a sublime arrangement.

At the 70–71-minute mark, Henrik hurts himself diving- and Bergman tilts the camera up to the clouds with the audio design capturing Marie crying. Bergman then uses a graphic match of Henrik’s face perfectly on top of the cloud.

  • A powerful silent scene of the doctor closing Henrik’s eyes.
  • This is certainly the voice of Ingmar Bergman: “Nothing means anything in the long run”… “I don’t believe God exists. And if he does, I hate him.” … “I’d spit in his face.”

Playful use of mirrors in the backstage scenes during the film’s final fifteen (15) minutes

  • The voice-over inner monologue ending (not set up well enough)- “I’m actually…happy”- another ending that does not fully match what proceeded it from Bergman in his earlier period of work.
  • No stranger to hyperbole- a young Jean-Luc Godard wrote that Summer Interlude was “the world’s most beautiful film”
  • A Recommend/ Highly Recommend border film