ON CHESIL BEACH
2017, Bleecker Street Media, 110 min, UK, Dir: Dominic Cooke

Adapted by Ian McEwan from his bestselling novel, this drama centers on a young English couple in the summer of 1962. Florence Ponting (Saoirse Ronan), born into a prosperous, conservative home presided over by her overbearing father (Samuel West) and mother (Emily Watson), falls in love with Edward Mayhew (Billy Howle) whose chaotic but loving upbringing by a schoolteacher father (Adrian Scarborough) and brain-damaged artist mother (Anne-Marie Duff) stands in stark contrast. Following Florence and Edward through their idyllic courtship, the film explores sex and the societal pressure that can accompany physical intimacy, leading to an awkward and fateful wedding night.


GRAND HOTEL
1932, Warner Bros., 113 min, USA, Dir: Edmund Goulding

Director Edmund Goulding orchestrates a dazzling parade of iconographic stars and intersecting subplots. Ballerina Greta Garbo, aristocrat John Barrymore, secretary Joan Crawford and cutthroat mogul Wallace Beery are just a few of the legends who make their way through this classic ensemble drama, a film whose influence can be seen in later films by Robert Altman and P.T. Anderson, among many others. Cedric Gibbons’ stunning Art Deco art direction gives the players an opulent setting for their personal melodramas.


SUMMER WITH MONIKA
SOMMAREN MED MONIKA
1953, Janus Films, 97 min, Sweden, Dir: Ingmar Bergman

Inspired by the earthy eroticism of Harriet Andersson (in the first of her many roles for him), Ingmar Bergman had a major international breakthrough with this sensual and ultimately ravaging tale of young love. A girl (Andersson) and boy (Lars Ekborg) from working-class families in Stockholm run away from home to spend a secluded, romantic summer at the beach, far from parents and responsibilities. Inevitably, it is not long before the pair are forced to return to reality. The version initially released in the U.S. was re-edited by its distributor into something more salacious, but the original presented here is a work of stunning maturity and one of Bergman’s most important films.


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