SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT
SOMMARNATTENS LEENDE
1955, Janus Films, 108 min, Sweden, Dir: Ingmar Bergman

After 15 films that received mostly local acclaim, this classic film at last ushered in an international audience for Ingmar Bergman. In turn-of-the-century Sweden, four men and four women attempt to navigate the laws of attraction. During a weekend in the country, the women collude to force the men’s hands in matters of the heart, exposing their pretensions and insecurities along the way. Chock-full of flirtatious propositions and sharp witticisms delivered by such Swedish screen legends as Gunnar Björnstrand and Harriet Andersson, SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT is one of cinema’s great erotic comedies.


ALL THESE WOMEN
FÖR ATT INTE TALA OM ALLA DESSA KVINNOR
1964, Janus Films, 80 min, Sweden, Dir: Ingmar Bergman

Conceived as an amusing diversion in the wake of the despairing THE SILENCE, this comedy is Bergman’s first film in color, and it looks like a glorious chocolate box. Working from a bawdy screenplay he cowrote with actor Erland Josephson, about a supercilious critic drawn into the dizzying orbit of a famous cellist, Bergman brings together buoyant comic turns by a number of his frequent collaborators, including Jarl Kulle, Eva Dahlbeck, Harriet Andersson and Bibi Andersson. ALL THESE WOMEN, in which Bergman pokes fun at the pretensions of drawing-room art, possesses a distinctly playful atmosphere and a carefree rhythm.


WAITING WOMEN
KVINNORS VÄNTAN
1952, Janus Films, 107 min, Sweden, Dir: Ingmar Bergman

An early precursor to many Bergman classics - indicated by both its flashback structure and comedic timing - WAITING WOMEN is a charming film about three sisters who deliver personal accounts of the state of their marriages, ranging from brutally honest to genuinely funny and sweet. Known primarily for a hilarious flashback sequence involving a broken elevator, the film’s subtler humor is just as memorable, pointing toward the minimalism and restraint that Bergman would demonstrate throughout his career.


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