‘If you really want to control a man, you need to take charge of three things: his heart, his words, and his loins.’ Another of my sad cinematic confessions is that before last night I’d never seen any Bergman. Well that has all changed now, as I watched ‘Smiles of A Summer Night.’ I picked this one because it’s a sex farce, which as a genre is a particular of mine; however, I get the impression it’s probably not the film most representative of Bergman’s over all work.
Thus I think I shouldn’t let my muted response negatively influence my decision to seek out more of this work – but as a sex farce, I don’t know, it was underwhelming. But this may be only in comparison, as some of my favourite filmmakers specialise in this area: whilst it had the resigned emotional maturity of Lubitsch, it had none of his effervescent joy, and whilst it had that European sensibility it had none of the wounded romanticism or nostalgic melancholy of Max Ophuls.
So Bergman fans tell me, what should I have picked instead, and where should I go next?
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