INGMAR BERGMAN INTERVIEWS INGMAR BERGMAN
once upon a time there was a Swedish publicity magazine called Filmnyheter, issued by production company Svensk Filmindustri to promote their pictures. when Ingmar Bergman’s Summer With Monika came out in 1953, the accompanying issue of Filmnyheter included an interview between Ingmar Bergman and… Ingmar Bergman. you can read the entire thing in the booklet that Criterion has included inside their Summer With Monika release, but i’ve included some of my favorite snippets below. Bergman’s droll sense of humor is evident throughout his work, but between all the doom and despair it can be easy to forget just how hilarious the dude really was.
Bergman: What was it like making Summer With Monika?
Bergman: I didn’t *make* Monika. [source novel author and co-screenwriter Per Anders] Fogelström bred her in me and then, like an elephant, I was pregnant for three years, and last summer she was born with a big ballyhoo. Today, she is a beautiful and naughty child. I hope she will cause an emotional uproar and all sorts of reactions. I shall challenge any indifferent person to a duel!
Bergman: From what I’ve heard, Summer With Monika includes the obligatory Swedish nude swimming.
Bergman: I haven’t heard that nude swimming has become obligatory in Swedish filmmaking. But I think it should be.
Bergman: So do you want to say anything with this film?
Bergman: “Get out! But return!”
Bergman: Any beautiful moment from the shooting of the film?
Bergman: As always, one forgets the hard work and remembers the fun. In this case, the skerries. We—
Bergman: MAKE IT SHORT!
Bergman: One morning at six o’clock, we were on our way to location, the engine of our little boat thumping across the still waters. The horizon at sea fused with the sky, the islets stood like floating octopuses in all that soft white. Up above, the fiery button of the sun was burning. It was warm and unusually still; there wasn’t even a swell, not a ripple. It was like eternity itself. It was like being in eternity. The smell of the sea, the quivering in the hull, the murmur around the stem, and the high silence — the summer of eternity.
Bergman: And then what happened?
Bergman: Nothing. That was it.