Sommarlek

Leap Day makes me feel a bit sad because it reminds me of the death of Davy Jones four years ago. I went out to work and was annoyed at the people who called in sick, leaving the burden to me and a couple of others. I was tired when I got home and watched the Blu-ray disc of Ingmar Bergman’s “Summer Interlude.” This is an early Bergman film that introduces some of the ideas we would see in films like “Wild Strawberries” and even “The Seventh Seal.” This movie is not to be confused with “Summer with Monika,” which I saw once before many years ago. This story has Maj-Britt Nilsson as the aspiring ballerina Marie who has a summer love affair with a student named Henrik. I would say that Henrik didn’t show much in the way of character. He is moody and complains a lot. Marie seems to be wasting her time with him. There is an Uncle Erland who pays too much attention to Marie. The film makes you appreciate the cinematographer Gunnar Fischer with his brilliant black and white images. We see a mixture of classical music and performance that we would see in “The Magic Flute” or “Fanny and Alexander.” I saw a bit of “Persona” in the stage scenes. There is one very enjoyable scene that uses animation. It was an unexpected pleasure in a Bergman film. What was expected, however, was some tragedy. Henrik did seem like a real fool, and not a survivor. Those rocks on the beach seem like a dangerous place for someone who is not always paying attention to what he is doing. Maj-Britt Nilsson does a very good job of acting in this film, going from the brightness of youth to disillusionment later in life. The youthful idealism is rather touching although foolish. How could Marie really expect to feel the same way about Henrik for very long? She was already getting sick of him before the summer ended. The Swan Lake in this film made me forget about the Swan Lake of Natalie Portman. I can’t remember much about “To Joy” and “Torment,” which were films that came before “Summer Interlude.” I can say this film is bridge to the type of films that we associate with the Bergman name. It is one that you might want to watch before the other classics like “Wild Strawberries.” Bergman would create so many brilliant films, although “The Serpent’s Egg” was not one of them. The only ones that I saw during their original release were “From the Life of the Marionettes” and “Fanny and Alexander.” I suppose I could also count “Saraband” towards the end. Maj-Britt Nilsson was the least famous of the Bergman actresses, but she was quite good. She is the one person I’ll remember from “Summer Interlude.” I heard about the death of George Kennedy at age 91. I’ll remember him for “Cool Hand Luke,” of course, and the scene in which he bet that Luke could eat fifty hard-boiled eggs in one hour. He seemed to have an unsteady hand when he appeared on Match Game, but he really hung in there and worked for a long time. He was in better shape than my grandmother was at that age. On the Tonight Show from April 7, 1981, Suzanne Pleshette and Dick Cavett were the guests. I watched the Supergirl episode. She visited the Fortress of Solitude. It seemed like she was trespassing. I think that I would be glad if Lucy exited the series. I saw a Facebook post from Jeremy Lin critical about the humor directed at Asian children at the Oscars. I applaud him for saying something about this. I listened to a couple of Monkees songs, like “Daydream Believer.” Davy Jones went out to see his horses on that fateful day in Florida, and he had a heart attack. Now I will always remember him on Leap Day. The weather reporters are predicting that rain will return to these parts during the weekend. I wouldn’t mind if it rains during March if the weather clears up in time for baseball season. I heard on the news about the lack of fog affecting the redwood forests. I watched the second half of “Lady Snowblood” again with its plot of the plague and fire and a mysterious document and blood and killing. I could see how it could be turned into a Quentin Tarantino film, although Uma Thurman was more convincing as an assassin. The widescreen photography was quite good. I heard on the news about the teachers at Hayward complaining about their low pay. I could sympathize with their plight. They aren’t being paid very well at all. I saw some photos of Susan Dey which made me feel like seeing “Looker” one more time. She was being scanned digitally, so the concept of the movie sure seemed to be ahead of its time in the early 1980s. Albert Finney was really on a roll in his career at the time. “Shoot the Moon” was powerful, even though it was very odd. I thought “Wolfen” was an interesting movie and rather fun to watch, and I even liked Finney in “Annie.” Some of the people who died on March 1 include Gregory La Cava (1952), Jackie Coogan (1984), Jack Wild (2006), and Bonnie Franklin (2013). Today is a birthday for Catherine Bach (62), Ron Howard (62), Alan Thicke (69), Roger Daltrey (72), and Harry Belafonte (89). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for March 1, James Taylor appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 1971. In 1986, Mr. Mister had the Number One single, “Kyrie.” Also in 1986, the Valerie Harper television program “Valerie” made its debut on NBC. In 1996, the movie “Up Close & Personal,” starring Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer, was released.

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