Friday, August 28, 2009

Summer with Monika @ the Charles Theatre this week

Saturday, August 29 at Noon
Monday, August 31 at 7 PM
Thursday, September 3 at 9 PM

1953 (Ingmar Bergman) Harriet Andersson, Lars Eckborg, Dagmar Ebbesen, Åke Fridell. 96m. In Swedish with English subtitles.

When revived in Paris, then-critic Jean-Luc Godard hailed Monika in a frenzy of enthusiasm as "the cinematographic event" of 1958: "Ignored when it was first shown on the boulevards, [Monika] is the most original film of the most original of directors. It is to cinema today what Birth of a Nation is to classical cinema." In the U.S., the movie—with its 20-year-old star Harriet Andersson swimming in the nude—inspired another sort of excitement. Veteran exploitation distributor Kroger Babb cut the film to 62 minutes, dubbed the dialogue, added a Les Baxter score, and released it as Monika, the Story of a Bad Girl. Woody Allen claims to have camped out on the sidewalk the night before its Flatbush opening. Uneven and sometimes clumsy, Monika doesn't nearly justify Godard's claims, but it's easy to see what impressed him. Bergman's tale of heedless teenage love is a sort of neorealist Rebel Without a Cause—except that sex is acknowledged and the outlaw is a girl....(J. Hoberman)

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