Friday, September 14, 2007

My Favorite Bergman Film

Ingmar Bergman, one a the greatest directors of film died in late July after a remarkable career. For most cocktail party film buffs, the Bergman films they might mention are Wild Strawberries or The Seventh Seal. While both of these are amazing films, Bergman made so many films (he directed over 60 - via IMDB) that you really need to see his top 10 or 20 before deciding which is your favorite Bergman film. For me, his best was Sommarnattens leende, or Smiles of a Summer Night released in 1955. The movie is very reminiscent of a 1939 Jean Renoir film called Rules of The Game (rated #3 in the BFI Sight & Sound top 10 films of all time). Both movies offer a funny and thought provoking look at love, and how it changes in the course of one's journey through life. Young lovers who are foolish and naive, middle aged lovers who are bored with their spouses and end up being unfaithful. And older, wiser folks who see love like a child, but also take with them the wisdom gleaned from those more carnal years. It is really hard to say which film is better - both are very funny and entertaining, but I laughed so hard during the final scenes of Bergamn's Smiles of Summer Night, I'd have to give the nod to Bergman. But decide for yourself - which love satire did you like better - Rules of the Game or Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night.