Film Series / Events

Search All Film Series (1999-present)
Browse All Film Series

December 3 - 14, 2004

Ingmar Bergman: Early Works

Following on the heels of the Brattle Theatre’s celebration of Ingmar Bergman’s mid-career triumphs, we present a selection of the Swedish master’s rarely screened early works, drawn from the collections of the HFA, the Swedish Film Institute, and Janus Films. As a group, the films are closely tied to the director’s background in theatre, employing many of the histrionic elements of live performance. Although the faces of such luminaries as Liv Ullman, Max von Sydow, and Bibi Andersson became a dominant motif for Bergman later in his career, these films are populated by less familiar visages that are no less powerful in their ability to bring to life the director’s searching visions.

Special thanks to the Brattle Theatre Foundation, Sarah Finklea, Janus Films, and the Swedish Film Institute.


December 3 (Friday) 7 pm

Frenzy (aka Torment) (Hets)

Directed by Alf Sjöberg
Sweden, 1944, b/w, 101 min.
With Mai Zetterling, Stig Jarrel, Alf Kjellin
Swedish with English subtitles

Ingmar Bergman made his screenwriting debut with this tale of sex, passion, and (possibly) murder. The disturbing story of a young student, his sadistic teacher, and the girl they both love, Torment is a beautifully observed and incisive psychological drama, structured as a bleak, sordid thriller. One of the most popular Swedish films of its time, it brought international recognition to actress Mai Zetterling, whose role as the young prostitute Berthe she always regarded as her best.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

December 4 (Saturday) 7 pm

Port of Call (Hamnstad)

Directed by Ingmar Bergman
Sweden, 1948, b/w, 100 min.
With Nine-Christine Jonsson, Bengt Eklund, Mimi Nelson
Swedish with English subtitles

This documentary-like story of the relationship that develops between a seaman and a young girl is compassionate in a way that only a Bergman film can be. The girl, having been involved with an abundance of different men, has lost all self-respect. The sailor does everything he can to encourage her to value herself. Although better known for his harsh reflections on love, Bergman provides a sharp, oddly optimistic perspective on the young couple.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

December 4 (Saturday) 9 pm

Thirst (aka Three Strange Loves) (Törst)

Directed by Ingmar Bergman
Sweden, 1949, b/w, 88 min.
With Eva Henning, Birger Malmsten, Birgit Tengroth
Swedish with English subtitles

The lives and loves of three very strange women: a hysterical young wife unable to bear children, a damaged widow under the eye of a grim psychiatrist, and a lesbian dancer with an eye for the widow. A truly weird trek, the film probes the psyche of shattered humanity.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

December 5 (Sunday) 7 pm

Illicit Interlude (aka Summer Interlude) (Sommarlek)

Directed by Ingmar Bergman
Sweden, 1950, b/w, 96 min.
With Maj-Britt Nilson, Birger Malmsten, Alf Kjellin
Swedish with English subtitles

 

A ballerina discovers the diary of a former lover and recalls the wonders and tragedies of a summer affair. With its visions of glittering water, clean air, and expansive fields, this wonderfully lyrical film paints a vividly captures the unique beauty of the Swedish countryside.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

December 5 (Sunday) 9 pm
December 15 (Wednesday) 9:15 pm

Monika (aka Summer with Monika) (Sommaren med Monika)

Directed by Ingmar Bergman
Sweden, 1953, b/w, 96 min.
With Harriet Andersson, Lars Ekborg, John Harryson
Swedish with English subtitles

Bergman tells the harshly moving story of two lovers and the severe events that disrupt their lives with a stark simplicity that only a master of cinema can accomplish. Because of the nude footage never intended for the original, Monika was pushed as a sexploitation film in the U.S. during its initial release. Bergman has said that Harriet Andersson “radiated more uninhibited erotic charm” than any other actress in Swedish cinema.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

December 7 (Tuesday) 9:15 pm

Secrets of Women (Kvinnors väntan)

Directed by Ingmar Bergman
Sweden, 1952, b/w, 107 min.
With Anita Bjork, Karl Arne Holmsten, Jarl Kulle
Swedish with English subtitles

In his first comic piece, Bergman produced a saucy film with remarkable wit: three of a group of four sisters-in-law discuss their marriages and affairs as they await their husbands. Told in three long flashbacks, the style ascends from a certain realism to illusory expressionism to slapstick comedy.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

December 3 (Friday) at 9 pm
December 8 (Wednesday) 9:15 pm

Sawdust and Tinsel (aka The Naked Night) (Gycklarnas afton)

Directed by Ingmar Bergman
Sweden, 1953, b/w, 92 min.
With Harriet Andersson, Ake Grönberg
Swedish with English subtitles

Set in an unsuccessful traveling circus in turn-of-the-century Sweden, this film tells of the humiliation suffered by the aging proprietor at the hands of his young mistress and her actor lover. With striking black and white photography and unparalleled editing of both sound and visuals, Bergman has constructed a powerful visual exercise in physical and spiritual degradation.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

December 14 (Tuesday) 9:15 pm

A Lesson in Love (En lektion i kärlek)

Directed by Ingmar Bergman
Sweden, 1954, b/w, 95 min.
With Eva Dahlbeck, Gunnar Björnstrand, Yvonne Lombard
Swedish with English subtitles

Although Bergman is known for searing and austere visions of darkness, he also fashioned a sublime but witty cinema of comedy. A gynecologist takes a mistress, and much to his dismay, his jealous wife returns to her old career as an artist’s model. This endearingly funny film marked the first of several collaborations between Bergman and Gunnar Björnstrand.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top
Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700